Most people tend to hire a personal trainer when just starting out in the gym as a way of easing into the fitness world. There are other reasons that you may wish to learn how to hire a personal trainer.
Personal trainers, however, don’t come cheap and if you are going to spend your money on one, you need to make sure that your personal trainer of choice cares more about your progress and goals than your cash.
There are good and bad personal trainers out there but you have to sift through to find one that fits your needs. What are some of the things that you have to consider before hiring a good personal trainer?
Before hiring a personal trainer, you should know what YOU want first
It’s not the personal trainer’s job to define goals for you. You must know what you are looking to get out of the relationship and training program.
Start by explaining your goals to a few personal trainers and check how they relate to you, and you with them. A good personal trainer will listen to you and be straightforward with you about how you will achieve your goals.
I have met trainers who talked more about themselves, how they trained, what they ate and pretty much cared less about what I wished to accomplish with them.
How to hire a personal trainer in 5 easy steps
1. Is the personal trainer certified?
Do not assume that as long as someone says they are a personal trainer, they are actually qualified. In this digital age, anyone can obtain certification overnight and call themselves a ‘certified personal trainer’ or ‘online coach’.
It is your right to ask where they studied, the accreditation of the qualification, what they studied and for how long etc., because these days you can get a personal trainer qualification with only 4 hours of study.
If you are not comfortable with asking them directly about their education, approach the gym management and ask for the personal trainer’s credentials.
2. What is their experience?
Having the right personal trainer qualifications isn’t enough. The trainer must have real-world experience in the field for you to consider hiring them even as an online personal trainer.
Ask them questions. Find out how long have they been in the fitness industry. Ask about the clients they have worked with.
You should as well request for the success stories and the ‘before and after’ photos of their clients. Whatever your goal, find out how many clients they have trained in that particular area and the time it took to see the results. This will help you to gauge how long it will take for you to reach your goals with them as your fitness trainer.
3. How to Hire the Right Personal Trainer: How do they relate to their current clients?
Observe personal trainers when they are working with their current clients. You’d be surprised at how many trainers I have seen who do not respect their client’s time.
I have seen trainers who spend half the time chit-chatting with the client or with the people around them.
There are also trainers who don’t pay attention to the client and are constantly texting on the phone. I have also seen trainers who are impressively engaged with their clients.
A great and professional personal trainer will focus their attention on the client during their paid-for sessions.
4. How does the personal trainer intend to hold you accountable?
If your goal is weight or fat loss, the trainer should be able to advise you upfront to make use of food tracking apps such as MyfitnessPal, Eat This Much etc or use a fitness planner to track your meals, workouts and overall progress.
As the saying goes ‘anyone can workout for an hour, but to control what goes on the plate the other 23 hours, that’s hard work.’ A great trainer will ask that you track your meals and give them feedback at the end of every night.
5. How long should I hire a personal trainer
Okay, so now you have found the perfect personal trainer who has the right qualifications and know their stuff. Here’s the big question: how long should I hire a personal trainer?
Well, this depends entirely on your goals and your budget. The trainers should be able to tell you how long it should take to achieve your desired results.
If you have no set goals, I can tell you for free that some personal trainers will take full advantage of you and make you a cash cow.
Know what you want and match that to what is available in your wallet. A reasonable time frame to hire a personal trainer is between 3- 6 months.
Final thoughts on how to hire a personal trainer
Finally, knowing how to hire a good personal trainer that knows what they are doing is only half the work. You are accountable for the results you want to see. If you put in minimum effort, you will get minimum results. Your fitness goals must be realistic.
Sometimes people want to see results overnight and expect miracles from trainers. When this doesn’t happen, they quickly give up and give trainers a bad name.
Susan Chanda is a professional content writer/journalist with over 20 years’ experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from University of South Africa and a diploma in Journalism and Public relations.
Susan has been writing evidence based fitness and health articles since 2016 for Fitness Chat, and is a certified fitness trainer, and diet and nutrition coach.
Fitness Chat is one of the several other websites that Susan owns, or co-owns with her children.
You can read more about Susan here.