I've been planning on getting around to this one for a while. The question here is: How do I choose a personal trainer? Well before you can answer this question you need to ask yourself why do you REALLY want a trainer? People hire personal trainers for different reasons. Here are a few conscious and subconscious reasons i've observed as to why people hire trainers:
- Social Standing: Not much to explain here, some people live a life of pampering or being taken extra care of in everything they do. The gym is no different. They tell the trainer what exercises, how much weight, and how many reps they will be doing each time they workout.
- Lost: These are the people who are usually new to the fitness realm and need a point in the right direction. If you fit into this category a trainer may be a great way to get you started on a program or to learn proper exercise technique so that eventually you can learn your way around the gym on your own.
- Therapy: Most of us live stressful lives and exercise is a great way to deal with the stress. Some people end up subconsciously getting a trainer as someone they can vent to.
- Motivation: Some people have the knowhow but can't seem to push themselves in the gym. So investing in a trainer is a way for them to be held accountable.
- Result Seeking: This is the person who really really wants to get in shape and believes hiring a trainer is their ticket to achieving this. The results seeker has to keep in mind that they are only with their trainer 30 mins to an hour of their day, what they put in their mouths the other 23 hours of the day is out of the trainer's hands. I've seen trainers get blamed for not achieving results numerous times because of what the trainee has been doing outside of the gym.
Now, let's look at the general personality types of trainers there are out there:
- Drill Sergeant: This is the trainer who kicks ass and takes names. Your best bet is to have a pre-acknowledged safe word if you hire this guy. Also, make sure you don't mind getting yelled at.
- Cheerleader: This is the trainer who has nothing but positive things to say to you, he/she only speak of your achievements and/or potential in any given situation.
- Number Counter: This is the trainer who lacks a lot of personality. Usually rookie trainers start out this way (I know I did lol). This trainer may feel as though they take the "personal" out of personal training as they are often writing down how much weight you did and counting numbers. Don't expect this trainer to ask you how your dog's visit to the vet went as all conversation is strictly training related. Still you can find some knowledgable trainers that fit this description.
- Master Trainer: This trainer is generally a veteran and is pretty well rounded. One who can make you laugh and feel good about your workout and progress or ride your ass when they know you're slacking on a workout. This trainer tailors his/her style to person in front of them and changes it if need be from session to session or moment to moment.
Of course there are other examples of trainers and trainees out there but the point is to ask questions about who you are and what you want in a trainer. Once you have clarity of the situation you can discuss the details with your prospective trainer before hand. You'll be giving over a certain amount of authority to this individual so make sure you have a good fit (pun intended).