A personal trainer can make a real difference when it comes to your health and fitness, but not all of these professionals are a good fit for you. Some are highly qualified while others have specific training methods that are not for everyone. You need to know how to make the right choice when it comes to a personal trainer, and the following five questions can help you choose a trainer who will propel you towards your fitness goals.
- What certifications, education and qualifications do you have?
You first question should be about the things that qualify the person to be a personal trainer. You will want a personal trainer who has one of the major certifications in the industry. Some trainers will have lesser certifications in specific techniques. Ask whether the trainer received any formal education in fitness or nutrition. This is not necessary, although formal education can separate exceptional trainers from less-than-professional ones. Talk about any other qualifications that make the individual a more effective personal trainer.
- How many clients have you worked with?
You want a personal trainer who has experience. Ask about the number of clients the trainer has worked with in the past and whether the clients were able to meet basic goals. Experience with many clients over the course of several years will show that the trainer knows how to effectively communicate and build meaningful relationships. Previous success with clients shows that the trainer can put together an effective workout routine tailored to your needs. Avoid personal trainers with little or no experience.
- What is your philosophy when it comes to fitness?
There are actually many different philosophies today about the best way to get fit, stay in shape, and lead a healthy lifestyle. Some philosophies are very specific and involve lifestyle changes that might not be good for your exact situation. Be certain that the personal trainer has a philosophy that fits in with what you want to get from the training sessions. If the philosophy presented seems confusing, strange or gimmicky, consider moving on.
- Are you involved in continuing education and training?
Information about fitness and nutrition changes all the time. New discoveries are made that sometimes shatter previous perceptions about what is "healthy" or how the body works, and you want a personal trainer who is keeping up with these changes as they occur. Ask whether the personal trainer is involved in continuing education. Many have to take part in continuing education to maintain a certification. Continuing education will ensure that you are receiving the best advice and training possible today.
- Will you help with nutrition and wellness?
A final question to ask is whether the personal trainer will help you with nutrition and wellness. Not all people need this service, although it can be very helpful. Your health and fitness rely on more than just a workout; you need to eat right so that you have energy and the nutrients necessary to build strong muscles and bones. Some personal trainers will assist you with developing a good meal plan. The trainer might also help you to take steps to live a healthier lifestyle between sessions.