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Personal trainers can do amazing things for both your physical and mental health. If you’re interested in beginning work with a personal trainer but don’t know where to start, this is the article for you.
So, sit back, relax, and take the first step toward finding the personal trainer who can help bring about the best version of you.
Whatever has led to your interest in starting work with a personal trainer, it’s important that you do some thinking before you begin training. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
This is a great question to ask yourself because, depending on your answer, it may affect how well you gel with your prospective trainer. For instance:
As different trainers can have vastly different training approaches, it’s good to have answers to these questions when meeting with potential trainers.
Are you looking for a weight-lifting coach to help you muscle up? Or are you trying to run a marathon and want help building up your strength & conditioning?
Whatever you’re looking for, the more forthcoming you are about your preferences the better chance you’ll have of finding a good fit.
But that does mean you should have a clear idea of the kind of training you’re looking for. So, before you sign up for a training session, have a good think about what your goals are training-wise.
Most reputable trainers will have you clearly identify your goals in your introductory conversations, but having a clear idea of what you want is helpful for finding the right trainer in the first place.
Are you new to working out or are you looking to jump into multiple training sessions per week right away? Trainers can have different personalities suited to different intensities, so be clear about your comfort level and how fast or slow you want to take things.
Besides the convenience and physical proximity factor, this question is important because different types of gyms can provide different types of personal training experiences.
Big-box gyms usually offer multiple locations, lots of different equipment, class options, and other great amenities. But these larger gyms can also be overcrowded during peak hours, and if they do offer personal training there’s no guarantee that it will feel like a private one-on-one experience.
On the other hand, smaller studios or privately owned local gyms offer more intimacy, a greater sense of community, and the option of getting to know the staff. There can of course be downsides to these small businesses, such as limited equipment, personal trainers, and group classes.
And if you don’t want to go anywhere to train, there’s an app for that too. Apps like Body Love, Adaptiv, and the Tone It Up Studio app offer workouts and virtual personal trainers so you can get a good sweat in without having to leave the house.
That preliminary research is only half the battle. To really get to know a personal trainer, you’ll have to meet with him or her face to face. Consultations typically last around 15 to 20 minutes and are usually free.
You should book one with a coach who sounds like a good fit and ask them questions about how they would go about training you. Some good questions include:
Trainers should have a real passion for their job, and if it’s not their go-to way of making an income, you may not be getting your money’s worth. Put differently, passion is infectious and it can spread to you too. After all, you wouldn’t want your kid’s school teacher to treat his or her job like a part-time way to make a buck, so why should a trainer be any different?
A knowledgeable trainer knows a lot of strategies and approaches for any one client. Your training should be as you-centered as possible, and your trainer’s goal should always be to help you achieve your specific goal. They should put real thought behind the training regimen that will help you reach your target goal, and not just start you on whatever is convenient or trendy.
This is hugely important. You should be sure that the trainer prescribing the workout puts their money where their mouth is and also does the workout themselves. If a trainer can’t or doesn’t do the workout themselves, then they can’t vouch for its quality, safety, or efficacy. For instance, if you want to start deadlifting but you’re with a trainer who doesn’t deadlift himself, then you have a problem.
Another good approach is to attend a handful of different group classes at a gym, see which trainer’s personality and coaching style you like, and then ask that trainer if they’d be willing to take you on as a client. This can be a great way to conduct research, and you’ll get a good workout to boot.
Of course, personal recommendations or referrals are always best, so be sure to ask your friends, family, and co-workers if they know of anyone.
When you’re starting your search, you can check the ACSM or NSCA databases of certified trainers. If a trainer has either of these credentials, you can be sure that they’ve passed a series of science and research-based tests, so they’ll know what they’re talking about. Also, don’t be afraid to ask a prospective trainer if they have either of these credentials. If they don’t, they may not be the right person for the job.
After you’ve found a personal trainer, you should work together to set realistic, measurable goals so that you can evaluate if the training is working. Of course, there will be both productive and unproductive days on your training journey, but if you aren’t enjoying the sessions or feel like they aren’t in line with the goals you discussed, you should let your trainer know.
Not getting the results you wanted? Have you communicated this to your personal trainer, tried changing up the workouts, and are still not making good headway on your goals? Well, it might be time to end your personal training relationship, then. Some personalities just don’t gel, so there really shouldn’t be any hard feelings. And remember: the customer is always right, and you are the customer.
Here’s one final tip: if you’re in Chicago, CrossTown Fitness is hands down the best spot for working with a personal trainer.
We offer one-on-one 30-minute training sessions designed to fulfill your precise fitness needs and can pencil you in for 4 training sessions per month.
Our professional personal trainers help you stay committed to your goals and the plan they specifically designed for you. They are some of the most qualified, experienced, and successful in Chicago, you can be sure that you’re working with the best in the business.
With three locations in the city, there’s bound to be a studio that’s convenient for you and your schedule. So, if you’re looking to work with a personal trainer and reach your fitness goals, come on down to CrossTown Fitness, and let’s get to work!