Before hiring a personal trainer it’s best to decide exactly what you hope to achieve through personal training and whether personal training is even required to reach your goals.
Some key questions to ask yourself:
- Do i need emotional support?
- Do i need someone to motivate me?
- Do i need someone to give me advice on a training routine?
- Do i need someone to critique my form or teach me how to exercise?
If so, then a personal trainer might be for you!
All good personal trainers will work with you to develop a concrete plan to reach your goals. But first, having a clear and concise idea about what you want to achieve is vital. By making your intentions and expectations clear from the first moment you meet your new trainer, you’re more likely to see success.
Setting your “SMART” goals:
- Specific: Vague goals such as “I want to lose weight”, “i want to tone up”, etc. will never lead you to success. Instead, pick very specific goals such as “i will lose 5 pounds in 30 days”, “I want to have a BMI of 20”, or “I want to be 18% body fat”.
- Measurable: Once you have your specific goal you need to ensure that your goal is measurable. How will you track your progress? Will you weigh yourself, reevaluate your BMI, use calipers to measure your body fat? If so, when? What schedule are you going to implement in order to ensure you are on track?
- Attainable: Can your goal actually be accomplished? For example, can you actually achieve the body of your dreams with diet and exercise? This is very important as often we set an unattainable aesthetic goal that does not actually reflect our capabilities due to our height, body shape, or genetics.
- Realistic: Is your goal realistic? Can you actually eat the calorie goal needed to lose “x”pounds in “x”time? Is it realistic to expect yourself to stick to these changes? Is it realistic to expect an increase in strength or weight loss within the time you’ve set for yourself? (I.E. losing 30 pounds in 30 days would be unrealistic) In order to reach your goals you must be able to stick to this plan and this is something only you can decide.
- Timely: How long is this going to take? If you started right now, how long would it take for you to reach your goals? How often are you going to re-evaluate this goal and make sure you’re on track? How long do you plan on using training services?
Great, so you’ve got your goal and you know you want training. What next?
Finding the “Right” trainer
This is quite possibly the most difficult step in starting a good personal training relationship with someone. Since personal trainers are all human there are going to be a plethora of personalities, philosophies, and styles. There will be many trainers who might not mesh well with you and your goals, and that’s okay! Don’t let this discourage you! There is certainly someone out there who can fulfill and even exceed your expectations.
I want to encourage you to look out for the following traits on your first few sessions to decide before hand whether a more lengthy investment is worth it.
- Does this persons motivation style work well with you? (ex. Do you work best with a military style of motivation or gentle positive re-enforcement)
- Does working with this person make me feel good about myself and my investment?
- Do i trust this person’s knowledge? Do they provide me factual information?
- Does this person encourage me to educate myself on training, health, etc. so that their services are one day no longer needed? Or do they hoard information?
- Does this person show a real passion for fitness and helping you achieve your goals? Do they seem enthused or invested in your progress?
- Do i trust them to provide me the most up to date information based on real science (not bro-science)?
- Is this persons education, certifications, etc. credible?
- Did they pursue this education out of a passion for this field or simply to bide time? (ex., to help make some extra cash while in college or is this their desired career)
- Does this person’s philosophy on fitness and health align with my own?
If you’ve followed the above steps, you should be able to see great success with your new personal trainer. If you think that i’m someone who might mesh well with your personal philosophy or that i’m able to help reach your goals, do not hesistate to contact me. I currently offer virtual coaching (which requires self-motivation) as well as in-person training services.