Anyone who has ever tried to improve their fitness knows that motivation is the key. Everyone starts off incredibly inspired to get back to their college weight, but it can be a lot different a few months down the line. There are various factors that can help to keep you motivated, and finding a good personal trainer is one. Having someone guide your workout isn’t for everyone, but for some folks it leads to great results. Sometimes you just have to swallow your ego and admit you need help from someone who knows what they’re doing. Unfortunately, there are horrors stories of people who have had bad experiences or got completely ripped off. You have to use your discretion and trust your instincts when entrusting your fitness and health to someone else. Here are some tips to keep in mind in order to find the perfect personal trainer for you.
Understand the process – before you get a personal trainer it’s important to understand the general process. In most cases, you’ll be hiring someone who will help you to work out for one hour sessions. It will probably start off with an initial assessment and then build from there. Your trainer will help you to progress while refining your workout routine. It’s essential that you understand that your personal trainer isn’t going to do the work for you. It’s not an automatic guarantee that you’ll lose weight or get fit. Don’t look for miracles that free you from any effort because you’re still going to have to do the work.
Qualifications – many people are unfamiliar with the qualifications necessary to become a professional trainer. Remember, these are professionals, not just guys who hang out at the gym who used to be PE coaches. In many cases, they have gone through years of schooling in order to learn the ins and outs of the job. It’s perfectly reasonable for you to ask for qualifications and references so you can check things out. Diplomas, degrees, and CPR certification are indications that a person has been educated properly.
Experience – nothing against rookies just starting out, but in general you want to find someone with a bit of experience. People who have been on the job have seen the ups and downs and they’re more likely to be able to motivate you properly. It’s also important to match a trainer’s previous experience with what you expect so that they aren’t on unfamiliar territory.
Location – if you’re just starting out, you might want to visit your local gym to see if there are professional trainers available. The good thing about hiring a gym-based trainer is a lot of the leg work is done for you. In general, they won’t find a continuing position without the proper qualifications and experience. A gym is also a good central location so that you can establish a set routine for your weekly sessions.
Communication – it’s absolutely essential that you are able to communicate effectively with your professional trainer. They need to have the ability to listen as well. You don’t just want someone to bark out orders while you lift weights. Ideally, your trainer is going to work with you rather than forcing you to do things all the time.
Personality – what you want in personality will be different for each person. It’s important to be honest with yourself while resisting the temptation to take shortcuts. Sure you could find a trainer that is easy-going and relaxed, but is that what you really need? Or if you have a cantankerous personality, is it the best idea to find someone who is like an army drill sergeant? It’s important to find someone who you enjoy spending time with but who won’t let you get away with too many things.
Finding a good personal trainer is a bit like a job interview. It’s important to remember you don’t have to settle for the first one that comes along. Some people feel intimidated during the initial process and are either too afraid to back out of the situation. This is a person who you will be spending time with on a consistent basis, so it has to be at least tolerable. Even better, find someone with an infectious appreciation of fitness and health who can inspire you to get fit.
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