Consider healthy choices in hiring a personal trainer

Paula Reece
Paula Reece

It used to be only Hollywood celebrities who attributed their fabulously fit bodies to personal trainers. Not anymore. People of all ages, fitness levels and income brackets hire personal trainers to help them meet their fitness goals.

While a healthy lifestyle has become a top priority for many people, they lack the direction and guidance they need to be successful. Here’s where a personal trainer comes in. After you’ve decided to hire a personal trainer, it’s important to find a trainer who constitutes the best fit for you. There are many factors to consider. Many trainers provide a wide variety of services and have different areas of expertise. Finding a trainer whose work schedule matches your schedule or fees that match your budget also constitute important factors.

First, identify what you want. What are your goals, not only in terms of fitness, but also your overall lifestyle? Making a change is hardly ever easy. You could only have the goal of being “healthy.” Your trainer can help you set realistic, attainable and specific goals. Communication is the most important step in selecting a trainer. You need to be able to talk openly with this person about yourself — not only telling them why you’re there and what you want to achieve, but also your medical history. By setting goals, you have a starting point from which to move forward.

Personal training certifications let you know your trainer has been educated in the field of exercise physiology, anatomy and injury prevention. Many trainers also hold a four-year college degree in a fitness-related field. The higher levels of experience and education offer additional confidence to you when making your choice. Some trainers also specialize in a certain area, such as nutrition, sports specific training, dealing with certain injuries or age-specific training. Seek out a trainer who specializes in the type of training you desire.

Another important factor is the availability and price of a trainer. You might want to work out two or three times a week during your lunch hours. Finding a trainer who fits into your schedule will help set you up for success. Price is also important.  Hiring a personal trainer is an investment in you! You have options as to the frequency of your sessions. Some trainers offer a discounted package if you buy a certain number of sessions.  You could even ask if a trainer will give you a free session to see their training style in action. Don’t hesitate to ask for references.

One alternative to the traditional, one-on-one personal training session is the concept of small group training. This type of training allows a personal trainer to train up to five clients in a class at the same time. This not only allows you a chance to meet other people and hold each other accountable in class, but in many instances reduces the cost of the sessions.

There’s also workshop-style training, another option that’s becoming increasingly popular. A small group workshop allows a trainer to focus on a specific type of training — such as functional fitness, kettle bell, sport specific, weight loss. Each session is usually six to eight weeks long.  If one of these approaches sounds appealing, find a trainer who teaches these types of sessions.

Give careful consideration to the importance of personality.  Make sure your trainer’s style fits your personality style. You might want a trainer who’s more aggressive, or perhaps your style is more relaxed and low-key.

Making the decision to hire a personal trainer can help you on your journey to a healthy lifestyle. Taking the time to carefully choose your personal trainer will motivate you; keep you on track; and make sure your workouts are safe, enjoyable and effective.  Above all, find a trainer who inspires you.