So you’re looking for a personal trainer?

I’m sure everyone has someone on their social media feeds posting their workouts, food, etc.  I know I do.  The recent boom in health and fitness is AWESOME! I love seeing people make their health a priority.  So the purpose of this blog is not to bash anyone posting their fit tips and workouts.  It is to educate people based on my own opinions about choosing a personal trainer.

There are SO many people starting their fitness journey (which is so great), but just don’t know where to begin. I’ll admit, when I was younger I did tae kwon do for 13 years without ever stepping foot into a gym.  I moved in straight to crossfit, which is no where near the traditional gym.  When i took a 9 month break from crossfit, I decided to give the gym a shot.  It was VERY intimidating going into a place with so many different machines that I had no idea how to use, and the instructional pictures didn’t help either.  So trust me, I understand the frustration of new gym goers.  Because of this, many people are turning to personal trainers to whip their behinds into shape.  Being a certified personal trainer myself, I have 10 quick pieces of advice to give anyone who is looking for a personal trainer.

1.  Is the trainer in shape?  Far too many times I’ve seen trainers that are more overweight than the clients they are training.  If you’re potential trainer is overweight because they can’t even practice what they preach, that’s a big red flag.  On the other hand, kudos to the trainers who have lost weight and are still actively pursuing their own fitness journey the healthy way.

2.  Can they tell you why they are making you do the exercises they are giving you?  If they can’t even tell you why you are doing what you are doing, how can you expect them to know how they are going to help you with YOUR goals?

3.  Can they perform the same exercises or workouts that they are making you do?  Anytime I ever work anyone or a group of people out, I either test run the workout if it is something I have never done myself, or pull from old exercises I have done.  Why am I going to tell someone to do something I can’t even do? A good trainer should lead by example.

4.  Are they telling you to “eat clean” but shoving their face with pizza and cookies any chance they get?  The same way a trainer should lead by example with the workouts you are given, they should follow the exact advice they are giving you; fitness and nutrition related.  Now, if you’re a trainer who is blessed and can eat whatever he/she wants and still keep your 6 pack, good for you.  Just don’t start giving nutritional advice.

5. Number 5 probably should be number 1, but is your trainer even certified? If so, in what? How long ago were they certified? Are they reading, attending lectures, or seminars to stay up to date with latest trends or fitness discoveries?  Too many times I see people getting trained by people who aren’t even certified! So what if they have a abs, what works for them may not work for you, and they may not be educated enough to know that.

6.  Are they worth the price they set?  Do they have experience? Degrees? Certifications? Awards? Anything to back up their fees.  Someone who just got certified should not be charging the same as someone with a PFT certification that also has multiple other certs or someone who has a bachelors, masters, or pHD in exercise physiology.

7.  There is a fine line between a trainer who knows how to push someone to achieve their best performance and a trainer who pushes someone into an injury.  If you are complaining of pain that is not the general huffing and puffing or burn, but a legitimate pain,  your trainer should not tell you to ignore it.  It could very much lead to a more serious injury.  If you’re just being lazy, then yes, you should get yelled at. I heard a story about someone who went in on back to back days to train.  On the first day, she went in and by the end of the workout felt an unusual pain in her shoulders, she told the trainer, and her trainer said to ignore it.  On the very next day, she came in saying her shoulder was hurting and the trainer insisted on training upper body? uhm, HELLO?! First of all, you are paying him to train what YOU want to train.  Second of all, you have legs that can be worked out without exacerbating the pain in your shoulders.  Major red flag.

8.  Are they touching you only when it’s necessary?  If you are doing something that needs correcting, a trainer should ask permission if it’s in an “iffy” spot.  Are you doing something right and still getting touched in inappropriate places.  Leave and don’t come back.  You should NEVER feel uncomfortable around your trainer.

9. Are they making sure you are warmed up before going into a workout?  You should never go into a workout full throttle cold turkey.  Get your heart rate up and warm up your muscles first.

10.  Are they making sure you cool down and stretch after every session?  Not doing so can lead to injury.

Again, everything here is my own personal opinion.  You are free to agree or disagree.  I do hope that This post was able to help someone find a good personal trainer.

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