I did a lot of searching on the subject of whether or not to get a personal trainer, and what to do find the right one. I have a lot of things buzzing in my mind, and before I forget, I thought I’d summarize what I learnt for future reference, if nothing else.
So here’s a few tips to choose the right personal trainer, AND to smooth things out as you work with your trainer.
- There are a whole bunch of certifications for trainers – don’t go by the certifications alone – talk to your trainer and judge him/her by how they can convey themselves, and the plan they present you. NASM and ACE certifications seem to be the more credible ones, just in case.
- Always question your trainer’s decisions on exercises to do – you don’t have to be confrontational, but learn the benefits that are expected, so you can measure progress
- Most personal trainers offer a free, or half-price session, so ask for one.
- Find out how much the trainer knows about nutrition – ask him/her directly and judge them based on their response – of course – you should go home and look up their suggestions to see if they work – there is no alternative to doing your research
- Ask the trainers if he/she can provide information about drugs and supplements – this is an easy way to avoid steroid junkies – you know you don’t want to abuse medicines for sure.
- Be wary of contracts you sign at the gym – some rip-offs ask to charge you credit card, and have you sign a paper that has no dollar amount on it – later they tack on charges to the card – your signature was basically to ensure that the charges will be processed. This is anecdotal, but watch out in any case.
- Make sure the trainer has liability insurance – again – ask him/her!
- There is a reason why I have so many “ask him/her” – the most frequent recommendation seems to be to pick a trainer who can answer all your questions comfortably, and explain things logically – without that you won’t trust your trainer, or benefit a lot, really
Of the pages I found, this one about finding a personal trainer from WebMD is worth a visit later. This self-help site has a lot of useful articles too, including tips for choosing equipment, physicians etc. Metafilter has some useful info too, if you search for the right terms.