What you should know about yourself and your potential trainer BEFORE you hire them.
Assessed needs will always outweigh desired goals. This is especially important because most people look at their health the other way around, asking for and expecting a quick fix. This approach to fitness is why there are so many injuries which down the line are now part of the blame for why someone hasn’t reached their goals after quote on quote “trying everything”. If at any point you find yourself sacrificing your health for the purpose of a better body, then you’re doing it wrong. Nothing drives a good trainer mad than a woman asking her peers for a referral to a trainer after having named very detailed rehab needs and getting a recommendation to a boot camp. It’s common sense; HOWEVER something I realized is that maybe people just don’t know! So in this article we’re going to cover what questions you should ask before hiring a trainer and of those questions help you decide which trainer is right for you!
Let’s start with the first sentence of this article… If you don’t know your needs vs your wants then continuing to read this is pointless…
Examples: Feel free to make note of which may apply to you
- Do you have a Previous Injury that gives you issues more than once a year?
- Previous Surgery which would directly change the type of exercise you participate in? (Knee, shoulder, hip, foot, etc.)
- Do you have any plate or screws in your body?
- Are you currently under the care of a medical professional who is addressing your structural integrity? (Chiropractor, Physical Therapist, Orthopedic, etc.)
- Are you an athlete whose future depends greatly on the capabilities of your body?
- Do you regularly experience pain? (lower back, knees when going up stairs, plantar fasciitis, sciatic pain, neck pain, etc.)
- Have you ever been in a major car accident?
If you answered YES to any of these first 7 questions, you have automatically been placed in the category of needing to work with a specialist trainer. We will mention what that means later in this article. Yes I am one of your options, however, your reading this article by no means puts pressure on you to work with myself and the Trainer In PINK team. Should you want a referral for a specialist trainer in the area, I will gladly give you one!
The above were clear examples of NEEDS.
WANTS include, weight loss, toning, perkier booty, size#, perhaps for a certain occasion, to look and feel better in your clothes, etc.
Now that you are better in tune with your goals, let’s move forward.
All trainers are NOT created equally. In the state of Texas, it’s not even required for a person offering personal training services to have any kind of certification whatsoever. I’ve personally seen a woman with a weekend boot camp certification play herself off as a Cooper Institute Certified Trainer. Did you know there are people that call themselves certified personal trainers with a Groupon? Oh yea, true story. Now moving slightly above this level, there are opportunities to receive your certification 100% ONLINE. That’s a-whole-nother ridiculous conversation revolved around working with a human body and a 2-d screen just doesn’t cut it. My advice on the above cases are, Don’t Waste Your Time!
Always Ask Who a Trainer is Certified With. ACSM, NASM and The Cooper Institute are in my opinion the best and those are the ones for which I have seen some the best trainers come out of. Other nationally accredited certifications include ACE and AFFA, please keep in mind that AFFA was originally only for certified fitness instruction, as in group classes. The trainers I’ve seen come from that, maintain that kind of atmosphere and demeanor in personal training.
Ask about their Continued Education. This will tell you a lot about the trainer personally and where their passion drives them to be. A trainer with 20+ years experience means absolutely nothing if they just did the bare minimum to keep their certification alive. It means they’ve been doing the SAME thing for 20 years. This is not usually the case but it happens, dominantly with men!(sorry guys) Have you ever stopped going to a doctor because you felt like they were so old fashioned and not up with the times, exactly the problem here. Most CPT(personal training) certifications last 2-3 years with about 20-30 hours required of continued education. That’s not a lot at all! These required hours can be obtained in classes structured around weight management, mechanics, rehab, and pregnancy, working with older adults, nutrition, military training, interval training and so much more. Some of which again can be taken 100% online. Feel free to ask specific questions about their certifications. When I am interviewing for possibly hiring a trainer I like to ask what was their favorite part of the class and what information did they find the most valuable. Hmmm were they listening… Really though, the key here is knowing Did this trainer set any focus in the education that fits my needs? Did you recently have a baby and this trainer has a certification revolving around pre/post natal? Are you planning on joining the military and has this trainer actually been in the military themselves or has taken the training to make sure your military requirements are met. This can easily be your make it or break it in hiring any trainer.
Ask about the Success of their Clients
There is nothing wrong with this question and in no way violates any confidentiality as names are not included. You want to know that the trainer you are thinking about hiring has passed on their expertise and knowledge to their client base and has made a positive impact in someone’s life. With this question add, Have clients maintained after they stopped working with you? I like this question because it tells you if that trainer kept in touch and showed care to that client as a person even after they stopped paying for sessions. Now don’t base everything on this, life happens and it’s not easy to keep track of everyone but usually when a trainer mentions great success of a client it’s because they also grew a great relationship along the way.
Ask about the Trainers Plan for You
You should know going into it that you are not part of another cookie cutter experiment. Asking how long it will take to lose X number of pounds is not the best example; they are not fortune tellers and your success is just as much your responsibility as it is theirs. How many days per week do they recommend? What are areas they feel need extra attention before moving onto other things? What are you going to be responsible for during and outside of your workouts? Do they offer other services such as nutritional guidance, or web material?
Ask about their Pricing Methods
If you only care about the cheapest price then go with a boot camp. Does your trainer or trainers’ company offer packages? Be careful because there are often times hidden rules with a package deal. What if your kid gets sick and you have to cancel, do you still get charged? Do they expire? Can you change the schedule? All of these come into play if you are a mom or a busy business woman. You have to choose what will best fit your lifestyle. Of course you have to pick something within your budget as well. With that please remember you have ONE Body and ONE Life to make it everything you want it to be. You do not want to be limited with incapability’s or pain. Make heart fulfilling goals to go hiking with your sons boy scouts or participate in the annual 5k or make a promise to yourself (sky is the limit, unless of course you’re reaching for the moon!)