Now I have been around the fitness industry for around 10 years – training in gyms for 3 years (1 year having my own PT and 2 training going solo) before becoming a PT myself – which I have been for the last 7 years – which makes me a dinosaur now but you will see that in the next paragraph.
Did you know that the average career life of a Personal Trainer (in Australia) is 18 months to 2 years? (See 7 years is a hell of a long time). There are heaps of reasons for this – the long hours, working weekends, the stress of running your own business etc. I am not going to whinge about that because I love what I do!
What I want to do here is if you haven’t already got one or are considering getting a Personal Trainer – share some things that you should look at before you sign up for one:
1. Know what you want! Different people have different needs and expectations of their Personal Trainer – if you have an injury or special need the newest trainer on the block isn’t necessary going to have the skills required to help you achieve your goal.
2. Ask for a Test Drive (Comp Session) – watching someone train their client is ok – but you wouldn’t buy a car without taking a test drive would you? When you employ a personal trainer you are asking them to look after your body which is worth a lot more than a car!
3. Make sure you get am assessment – If your trainer doesn’t assess you – run, leave, get the hell out of there. An assessment is vital before any exercise can be performed – if they don’t assess they are guessing and that is just irresponsible and dangerous. A postural assessment, core function test and movement analysis show the trainer your skill level and therefore what exercises are going to best benefit you! The individual – not one size fits all, one program for all works – sorry!!! Also too how are you track progress?
4. Correcting Form and Technique – poor form equals poor results. I have seen trainers closely observing the worst technique in the world and never muttered a single word – no wait actually he said “5 more!” Poor form can and probably will lead to injury or imbalance – if you are not getting feedback or cues ask “how is my form?” or find another trainer.
5. This could and should be number 1 – they should practise what they preach. They should train themselves, they should watch what they eat – we don’t have to go over the top but one thing is for sure – they cannot deliver you what they have not got themselves.
Now I can go on and on here but at the end of the day, I believe that each individual is responsible for themselves. Choosing a personal trainer can be tough – breaking up with a trainer can be tougher – but at the end of the day you have to be get what you want, get your money’s worth and get results.