How to pick the right personal trainer

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Like dating, finding the right personal trainer for you can be difficult. Here are five essential questions to ask to help you meet your perfect match…

1. What are your qualifications?

Hiring a personal trainer (PT) isn’t about walking into a gym and picking the one with the best body or looking at how many followers they have on Instagram. You need to check they know their stuff and have the relevant qualifications: in the UK that means a Level 3 personal trainer qualification, plus a first aid award and public liability insurance. Ask them how long they’ve been a personal trainer for and if they have any specialties that may appeal to you, such as resistance training or injury rehabilitation.

2. How do you measure your client’s success?

Your PT needs to be able to understand your goals and you want to find out how your success will be tracked. A body composition analysis, which provides a detailed recording of your weight including muscle, fat, and water, can be a good way to gauge progress. However, if you’re looking for a more holistic approach will your PT talk to you about your sleep pattern and energy levels? And if you want to track your progress in the gym, will they chart the weights you’re lifting from week to week?

3. What’s your motivational style?

Chemistry is key to an effective client-trainer relationship – you’ll be spending a lot of time together so it’s important you get on well. Choose someone who you feel comfortable around and that you’ll trust always has your best interests at heart. It’s a good idea to observe them at work to see how they motivate and inspire their clients. Do you want a PT who is going to push you hard or deal with you more sensitively?

4. Will you provide an eating plan?

Nutrition and exercise go hand-in-hand, so your PT should be able to observe your current eating habits and provide advice on the right foods to eat to fuel your training. However, they are not able to provide a meal plan unless they are a registered dietician.

5. What’s your availability?

On a practical level, there are a few things to consider. How far will you have to travel to train with them? Will they be able to see you at the times you’re free? Can you contact them for advice outside the gym?

By Sam

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