If you’re hoping to start a new training program in order to develop your physique or lose weight, then finding a personal trainer to work with is a great place to start. With a professional trainer you will have access to expert knowledge that can help you to ensure you are using the very most efficient training methods in order to reach your goals. At the same time you will get the encouragement of someone who knows how to motivate people and get the best out of them, and you’ll find it’s much more difficult to decide to skip sessions or put in less effort.
But here is where you can end up facing your first challenge: when you have to actually choose who you are going to use as a personal trainer and find someone who can get the best out of you and your training efforts. Read on and we’ll look at what makes a good personal trainer and at how to pick the right one for you…
Things That Make a Good Trainer
There are many things that a good personal trainer should be, and finding someone who ticks every box can sometimes be difficult. For starters, the best personal trainers will be the ones who are most knowledgeable on the subject of health and fitness. Ideally you want to work with someone whose knowledge is varied and wide reaching so that they can devise a program that will improve your fitness and strength without sacrificing your overall health for instance.
At the same time you also want a personal trainer who is genuinely fascinated by the topic they’re studying and who is constantly reading and finding out new things in the world of fitness. These are areas that are constantly changing and what we ‘know’ to be correct at any given point can be proven wrong by new information. You need a coach who is constantly at the cutting edge, and who is also not so stubborn as to refuse new evidence and new ideas.
This should also translate to enthusiasm in the way that they train and the way that they encourage you to train. When they devise a training program for you, it should be inventive, challenging, fun and exciting. And when they tell you what they have in store for you, their excitement should be palpable. This is critical because their enthusiasm for working out is going to affect your attitude towards it greatly. If they seem excited and enthusiastic then you’re more likely to throw yourself into your training with abandon. If they seem like they’re just waiting to go home, then it’s going to be very difficult for you to get the kind of energy you need to have a great workout.
The best personal trainers will be the ones who go above and beyond the call of duty – the ones who share information with you as they discover it because they think it’s relevant to your training, and the ones who will stay late at work just to make sure you do those extra reps. That’s all about enthusiasm.
The ability to motivate also comes down to people skills to an extent – and the ability of your trainer to identify what makes you tick and what works for you. In a way a personal trainer should double as a therapist, as it’s their job to identify the different factors in your life that may be impacting your health. That means things like your stress levels and like your routines at home. A great personal trainer should be able to understand how these factor into the bigger picture that is your health and then help you to address them. Likewise they should be able to devise a training program that works for you as an individual rather than giving you an ill-suited program that doesn’t take into account your particular health issues, goals or lifestyle.
This is a controversial topic, but it’s always worth asking whether you’d respect a trainer more who was in better shape themselves. While a trainer could be overweight or very thin and still have the knowledge and enthusiasm it takes to be a great, you may find that someone who is in better shape themselves will be better able to motivate you as you look up to their physique. Likewise you might find that someone who has more strength is better able to support you through particular movements – and that’s especially important if you are going to be lifting very heavy weights. If nothing else then you at least want a spotter on the bench press to be strong enough to help you lift that barbell when you need it.
Choosing the Right Personal Trainer for You
A great personal trainer is a great personal trainer no matter who they’re training. But that said it’s still always a good idea to choose the trainer who you feel best suites your own particular approach to training and your own strengths and weaknesses. Some people will respond better to a trainer who is constantly shouting at them to try harder for instance, while others might prefer a more sedate approach. Hopefully those aforementioned people skills will enable your trainer to pick up on which type of person you are and adapt accordingly, but they are still going to be naturally inclined to a particular style of training that may or may not suit you.
Looking at the trainer’s own personal experience, looking at their track record and just chatting to them and seeing how well you get on are all great ways to decide whether or not they’re the right person to help you with your training.