Is your trainer a lemon? Tips to a hiring a good trainer

Have you ever been to a gym and noticed a trainer not engaged in the training or simply looking bored while a client is going through the motions of the exercise? I have been in a lot of gyms in my life and it is frustrating to see a lack of enthusiasm or encouragement in a trainer.  I am certainly not putting all trainers in the same pool. There are some awesome ones out there, but it only takes one or two bad experiences to make someone’s perception of personal trainers as unqualified and virtually useless. I decided to direct my frustration into a positive way by writing about what to look for in a trainer before you commit your hard-earned money.

1.When you sit down with a trainer for the first time, she (I’ll say she since I am picturing myself here) should start by asking you about your medical and family history, weight and exercise challenges throughout your life, etc… She should get a good idea where your fitness journey has taken you.

2. Discuss your goals. The trainer needs to know exactly the results you are expecting. This is a great time to get a sense of the emotional side of the client, particularly if the client is struggling with losing weight. A lot of time weight gain comes along with heavy emotions. Although we are not therapists, we can provide a listening ear and understanding to try to understand situations that may have contributed to weight gain.

3.  Next the trainers devises a plan for fitness success. This should be very personal. Some clients may just need a written plan and the knowledge of how to do the exercises, and they will run with it. Others may need emails on the days they don’t see their trainer for motivation and encouragement. The key here is to treat each client as the individual they are.

4. Make sure your trainer is engaged during your session and answers questions. A trainer should be always checking your form, making sure you have the appropriate amount of weight and that your are working at the correct level of intensity.

5. Lastly, if you do find your trainer not treating youas the valuable client you are – find a new one. There are lots of competent, caring trainers out there. Just like when you are searching for a realtor, doctor or other professional, you may have to shop around a little. Don’t waste your time and money. You have goals to achieve!

Now I have a question for you. I have been reading about virtual training. Basically certified trainers write exercise plans for clients they will never actually meet in person. You may interact via web-cam and skype for exercise demonstrations or to check in. The fee would certainly be less than having a trainer in person. Would you do this? I thought this type of training might be helpful for some of the moms out there who can’t afford a trainer or get to a gym easily.

Let me know your thoughts!

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