By CRAIG W. ARMSTRONG
The time has come. Your pants don’t fit and trying to take a selfie without a double chin has become impossible. You decide it’s time to hit the gym, but you could use a little help. Your commitment is high so you decide to hire a personal trainer. This is an important decision, so you need to do your homework and ask the right questions.
Where does someone find a personal trainer? The gym you join will undoubtedly have trainers on staff. This is convenient, but it doesn’t mean you have to use their staff. The upside is that they may offer special discounts; the downside is that your choices are limited. Also, if you are training at home, this does you no good. Consider finding a trainer using the best source — word of mouth. Talk to family, friends and co-workers. See if they would recommend someone that they have used or know is good. Another source is the internet. This is less personal, but you can find out a lot online, both good and bad.
Once you have prospects, it is time to do some interviews. Remember, you are paying these people; you have the right to ask questions and get answers. Start with confirming that they are certified. Anyone can say they are a personal trainer. Ask for proof and make sure you see it.
Along with proof of certification, ask for proof of results. A good trainer will have testimonials and pictures of his clients, showing their results. Next, find out the cost. Do they charge hourly, by the session, or a flat rate? Find out about their availability. Will they work around your schedule, and train you at your gym? Are they available to answer questions or give encouragement via text?
If you any special considerations such as medical conditions or things you will not do, you need to discuss those up front. A good trainer will be able to respond to these issues and explain how they deal with them. An experienced trainer will have dealt with this issues before and have a proven solution.
Next is the most important part. How do you relate to them? Communication between you two is going to be paramount. You need to make sure you are comfortable with their personality. A big part of how you relate to them is going to depend on their style. Are they the tough drill instructor type, the passive encouraging type or something in between? Their style needs to match your needs and comfort level. With that said, keep in mind anyone can make a good first impression. That’s why a trial training session is a good idea. Ask them for a free session or one at a discounted rate. Again, you are employing them and you have the right to get your money’s worth.
Even finding the perfect personal trainer doesn’t guarantee results. This journey is yours. However, having the right instruction and encouragement can be a valuable weapon in the battle of the bulge.