10 Signs of a Great Personal Trainer.
Over the years I have worked along side many personal trainers. Some absolute gems and the fair share of a few stinkers, but the great thing about that is you learn from both camps. You soak up all the good stuff from the gems and you understand the shortcomings of the stinkers. I guess this can be applied in many aspects in working life.
Anyhow this is all well and good, but when you are the paying client, you want to make sure your hard earned cash is being spent wisely. Personal Training after all can be quite a costly investment, but a wise investment should you reap the rewards with better health through excellent fitness coaching
“I’m ignoring the standard things like, Certified Fitness Qualifications, Personality & Experience. We already know these are important.”
A great personal trainer does these things.
1. They talk about YOU, not themselves.
They don’t bore you with their past sporting prowess, their record lifting deadlift numbers or how many Insta followers they have. Their sole focus is on you and only you.
2. No lock in long-term contracts.
This is not so clear cut. A trainer that works in a commercial gym environment will have to play by that gyms rule book which most of the time – Contract and Cancellation fees. Freelance trainers generally don’t have to follow this.
I’m still a huge believer that a top trainer will know that their fitness services are exceptional and because of this they know they can retain clients long-term and not need to lock clients in long-term.
3. They don’t make you train like them.
Most fitness trainers have their favored way of training themselves but a great trainer will train you in a style that is specific for your goals and ideally enjoyable for you. They understand the session is yours and yours only. As trainers, we all have our favorite exercises and programs, but this should never trump what the requirements are for the client.
4. Design customized fitness & nutrition programs.
Great trainers design great fitness programs. Great programs comprise of fitness plans, nutrition plans and other relevant material to create successful results for their clients. This also includes what I call “homework”. The extra work you need to do outside the personal training sessions. There are 168 hours in a week, you may only see your trainer 2 or 3 hours of that time. What you do during the rest of that 165 odd hours matters. They know this and they design the appropriate plan based on your lifestyle and goals.
5. They count more than just reps.
Top fitness trainers are not glorified repetition counters. They oversee technique from all angles, give great instructional cues both verbally and through demonstration. They ensure their clients are working out correctly, efficiently and in a safe manner.
6. Simplify the process.
They don’t use complicated lingo to sound “impressive.” or smarter than you. Great trainers can instruct exercise movements and convey them in a way that you can easily understand. Essentially they have excellent communication and instructional skills.
7. Don’t take phone calls during your session.
There is nothing more unprofessional than a fitness trainer talking on their phone during the workout. Unless it is an emergency, there really is no excuse. Avoid!
8. Not pushing magic powder elixirs.
Yes, as a personal trainer, you need to make money. At the end of the day it is a job and they need to make a living. But great personal trainers don’t bombard you with pushing affiliated supplements for extra kick-backs. Your health and goals are their priority, not your wallet.
9. Have a great professional network.
Excellent trainers will refer you to another trainer or fitness specialist if they believe that will be more beneficial for your requirements. They understand that perhaps your goals or specific medical history is beyond their scope of skill level and they are able to utilize their professional network for your benefit.
10. Their aim is to see you succeed… on your own.
Their ultimate aim, besides helping you obtain your initial health goals, is to see you keep moving forward long term. They understand it is inevitable that at some point your training term will finish. But at this point they will be confident in your future success because they have educated you through their fitness & nutrition knowledge and experiences to allow you to keep pushing forward on your own.
So is your fitness trainer a pro?
If your personal trainer is showing a majority of these traits outlined above I can confidently say you are in good hands. If not, perhaps it is time to pull the plug and look elsewhere!