Signing up for a personal training service whether it’s at the local gym, at the privacy of your home, or through a bootcamp setting, is not as straight forward as you might think. A lot of people hire a personal trainer all the wrong way. Some see an ad, they call the person, find out the rates and sign up right there and then. Others have a gym membership and they have been aggressively pitched by the gym to sign up for their extra services, and so they do. And yet others search online for trainers, select one of the options, and then they hire that trainer.
The approach mentioned above are not what you’re suppose to do.
Finding the right trainer is like finding the right life partner. You have to consider a number of traits, get to know them, and listen to your gut, before you should even hire anyone. In other words, you have to do your due diligence otherwise the relationship between you and the trainer will never work.
The first thing you want to do is ask yourself some questions:
- What are my objectives: weight loss, toning or building muscle, overall health improvement?
- Would I want to work with a female or male trainer?
- What style of training is most suited for me?
- How much can I afford?
- What is my time commitment?
- Do I prefer a one-on-one or a group setting?
- What environment do I like to work out in: gym, outside, in-home or a mix?
- Most importantly, am I ready for this?
Once you have an idea of what you want. Then you should research potential trainers – ask friends and family for a recommendation; search online; pay attention to advertisements; look at deal-of-the-day websites if money is a factor. Part of your research should include checking out potential trainers’ websites. Some things that you may want to look for:
- Are they certified?
- Is the certification from a reputable school?
- What do they specialize in?
- What is their training style?
- What is their experience?
- How long have they been training?
- What have their clients said?
Don’t forget to visit their social media channels (if they have any) and review sites such as Yelp. These websites will give you some knowledge on the candidates’ reputation, service and overall experience of the client.
By this time, you should already have pared down your list of trainers – I would aim for three. Once you have a shortlist, call each of them and ask them a handful of questions to verify what you uncovered in your research – like their rates, experience, etc. Note that I mentioned “call” instead of “contact”, which means, you should call them and not email them because not only are you verifying but you are listening to see what they are like on the phone.
If on paper the potential trainers checks all your boxes, and on the phone, they sound professional, courteous and knowledgeable, then go ahead and book a consultation. Make sure that the first meeting is free.
To prepare for the consultation, write down all the questions you want to ask so that you don’t forget them during the meeting. In addition, you already should be have an idea of what your fitness goals are for the personal training.
The purpose of the consultation from the trainer’s perspective is to understand the client’s goals, as well as get to know the client a little bit better. In other words, the trainer is seeing if there’s a fit. A good trainer then will ask you thoughtful questions about you, your objectives, and what you’re looking for.
From the client’s perspective, you are also trying to understand if you are able to work with them. So you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Don’t forget to refer to your pre-written questions, and make sure you take notes so that you can review them at a later time.
For more information on personal training, visit: www.firststepsfitness.ca/