You decided to look for a personal trainer. You start doing research by asking friends for recommendations, looking up personal trainer directories, and checking out your gym. Now that you have a few personal trainers that you are interested in, the question becomes 'How do I find the right personal trainer'.
We have 5 questions you should be asking when considering working with a new personal trainer, and what kind of answers you should expect.
1. What is your relationship with food and exercise?
Good Response looks like:
‘I used to really struggle with a few certain foods when I was younger but overall my diet is fairly balanced now.’
‘I can often overtrain because I am working with clients all day long, so I have to consciously focus on ensuring I have enough rest.'
Overall an answer that feels authentic, where they are giving you a little detail into themselves that isn’t the ‘perfect personal trainer' image, is a good answer.
Bad Response looks like:
‘I don’t have any issues with either.’
Anything that shows zero reflection or empathy to prior versions of themselves is probably a bad sign for your training relationship. Bad relationships with food and exercise are prominent in the fitness industry so knowledge and understanding of those issues should be something every personal trainer requires.
2. What is your training style?
You want to understand what your sessions and relationship with the trainer might be like. There are no bad answers here you just need to think about what you prefer. We have written a few reponses and what they might mean below.
‘I am a flexible trainer and like to get my clients feeling great after our sessions.’
What it may mean:
This type of trainer is probably not a militant trainer, they won't be trying to push you to your brink or cheat extra reps of an exercise. If you enjoy feeling positive and uplifted after your workout and don't need a strict trainer to keep up your workouts, this could be a good choice for you.
‘I think it's really important to focus on overall health so I include lots of different practices, strength, mobility.’
What it may mean:
This trainer is likely to focus on many aspects of fitness instead of just strength or cardio for example. Their programs will have a variety of moves and stretches and a multi-discipline approach. If you have a good amount of experience with working out and have a specific program you want, this might not be the trainer for you. If you are looking for a well rounded trainer that focuses on overall functionality and wellbeing, they could match your needs well.
'I push my clients to their limit, they should go home feeling like they are not able to walk up the stairs.'
What it may mean:
This type of trainer is the typical militant, 'push it to the max' kind of trainer. If you need high levels of discipline and don't have authority issues, this could be the trainer for you. Their sessions are likely to be very focused, 'no chit chat' and just get through it. This trainer type isn't for everyone so be realistic about whether this would suit you.
3. What do you believe are the biggest hurdles people face when wanting to reach their goals?
Great answers should include personalization, because no two people are the same. For example:
'It really depends on the person and their lifestyle, I think one factor that is big is consistency. but again It's really personal’
Bad answers would be super confident, one statement fits all, type of answer. We would personally say try to avoid trainers with this approach as they are likely to have a similar cookie cutter plan for all their clients.
4. Do you charge extra for a workout plan?
This is a yes or no but might be relevant to include in your package if you also want to work out outside your specific training sessions. If you want a plan written for you, they should ask about what exercises you already know or what equipment you are familiar with.
There is no good or bad answer here, it really depends on how the personal trainer normally works.
5. Do you have check-ins and progress schedules?
This might be a biased answer but this should always be a yes. I would ask about how that works in terms of setting goals and check-ins. A good answer might look like:
‘Yes, we set goals every 6 weeks and then do a check-in at the end of that to see progress and discuss any changes that need to be made'
All trainers are taught the basics of goal setting and tracking, we lack to understand a program that doesn't have goals. Your goals might be weight, strength, cardio, consistency, or even mental well-being related - but you should have goals you track. Setting goals is a proven way to improve motivation and overall outcomes. Here at OneWorkout it's a non-negotiable.