How to Hire a Trainer

So Memorial Day is fast approaching and you still aren’t ready to put on your bathing suit.  You are probably looking into various diets, exercise programs, and possibly thinking about hiring a personal trainer.  This article deals with the last option, hiring a trainer.  More accurately, it deals with the process of finding the right trainer for you, not just the first person that picks up the phone when you call the gym.

Many people look to hire a personal trainer if they need to accomplish significant results in a short amount of time.  Unfortunately, many people hire trainers that are far from professional and many of them fail to deliver any significant results for their clients.  Choosing the right trainer will help you accomplish your goals faster, and will be much more satisfying than exercising for hours on end, without any results to show for it.

The first thing to look for in a trainer is a personal connection.  It is called personal training for a reason.  Your trainer needs to listen to what your goals are and understand why you want to achieve them.  If they start assuming they already know your goals, that is a big warning sign.  An example of this happened to a friend of mine.  He owned a gym in South Florida and one of his trainers was talking to a rather large woman.  The woman never joined and he invited her to share why.  Her response was that the trainer only talked about what would help her lose weight, he never bothered to ask what she wanted to achieve.  The woman in question happened to be a Plus-Size Model, she absolutely did not want to lose weight.  She was there because she was concerned about her daughter’s health and wanted to know how they could help her.  The point is, your trainer needs to help you meet your goals, not theirs.

Next, you need to use a trainer that has a system to get you to your goal.  Too many times, trainers will ask their clients what they want to do that day.  A typical response is, “Thighs and arms,” or some other combination of body parts.  In my opinion, this is the sign of a trainer that will never get their client the results they are looking for.  If the client knew exactly what to do, then why would they hire the trainer?  A personal trainer should be an expert in the field of exercise and should have superior knowledge, concerning the human body, than the client.  This does not mean that trainers should simply tell clients what to do and ignore what they like to do, it simply means that the trainer should walk into the session with a plan in place.  Think about it, if you need to go to a city you have never been to, do you just hop in the car or do you look at a map first?  Your trainer should be navigating you toward your desired outcome, not just handing you the keys and sending you on your way.

The final thing
Jared Carter to consider is the setting.  Do you want to work out at a large gym, in a small exercise studio, or in your own home?  For many people, the setting that they exercise in can make a big difference.  If you are the type of person that feels uncomfortable going to a fitness center, then a studio or home setting is ideal.  If you enjoy the energy of other people working out, then a big gym is for you.  Once you decide where you would like to work out, be sure to convey that to your potential trainer.    One piece of advice, do not take an independent trainer to a gym that already has a personal training staff.  Most gyms have rules preventing this and you could lose your membership as a result.

If you are trying to make a last minute effort to get your beach body, a trainer may be just the tool you need.  Just remember that they need to listen to your goals, and not impose their own.  Do not work with a trainer that asks every client what they want to do that day.  You should have input, but the trainer should be in the driver seat with your program.  Finally, let your trainer know where you would like to work out.  It may not be feasible for the trainer to meet there, and it is important to get that out in the open quickly.  Trainers can be a great help if you have been struggling with getting results from your exercise routine, or just cannot seem to get to the gym.  Having someone to hold you accountable always improves results, but be sure to hire a trainer that is qualified and has your best interest at heart.

© 2013, Jared Carter

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