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Choosing The Right Trainer

by Sandi Rennie

Sandi RennieThe client/trainer relationship is a pretty special one. As someone who has sat on both sides of the fence, I know firsthand how important it is to work with someone you mesh well with. There has to be a level of comfort and trust. Your trainer should be someone who will not only get you achieve your physical goals, but someone with whom you can open up to, be honest with, and feel you can trust. Being a client can make a person feel very vulnerable, so it’s paramount to work with someone who makes you feel at ease. In addition to that, you want to make sure you are working with someone who is knowledgeable, experienced, certified, and who, most importantly (in my opinion anyway) maintains their own healthy and balanced lifestyle. In other words, they don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk.

I recently “lost” my trainer. After working together for a few months, I broke my wrist and had to take some time off. When it was time to go back, scheduling conflicts made it difficult to resume my sessions. As a result, I find myself without a trainer and needing to decide if I will look to train with someone else. It’s a daunting task. My trainer served me well during the time we worked together and I was getting great results. When I chose him, I based it on a few things – his certifications, his reputation, and his experience. I also felt that, after our initial meeting, we’d get along quite well on a personal level and that that would make training with him even easier.

After a few sessions, I felt confident I’d made the right choice. It’s unfortunate that circumstances beyond our control now mean I have to find someone else to work with, but that does happen often – clients move on. Trainers move on. The timing isn’t right, schedules conflict. Regardless of the reasons why though, it doesn’t change the fact that a new search must begin. So whether you are replacing a previous trainer, or looking for one for the very first time, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Here are a few things you should look for in a trainer:

Look for a trainer with recognized credentials – Make sure your trainer is certified. Ask prospective trainers the following questions.

• Are you certified by a recognized agency?
• What experience do you have?
• How many years have you been a personal trainer?
• What types of clients have you worked with in the past?
• Do you have references?
• Can I contact any of your current clients for a reference?

Compatibility counts – A trainer’s philosophy about fitness should fit with your own. You want to have a good rapport with him or her, and to know they are able to relate to your thoughts and ideas of fitness and well-being. You may even want to consider a trainer who is the same sex and a similar age as you are so he or she understands your stresses.

CPR – Your trainer should have an updated certification in CPR and/or first aid.

Specifics – If you have a specific medical problem, injury or condition (such as being pregnant, heart problems, diabetes, etc.) make sure your trainer has education in these areas and will work with your doctor.

A good listener – A good trainer will listen closely to what you say and make sure they understand your goals. They should pay close attention to you and focus only on YOU during your sessions.

Tracking progress – A good trainer will regularly assess your progress and change things if necessary.

Remember, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable with your trainer. You want to feel at ease knowing that person is educated, experienced and there to help YOU live a healthier, fitter, more balanced life. Do not hesitate to search out a new trainer if the one you currently have is not meeting your needs. It’s your time, your money, your life, your health. Does your research, talk to people, try a trainer on for size – and make a commitment to ensuring you find the best person for you. It’s really the only way you’re going to stick with it and see the results you’re seeking. And isn’t that the point?

Happy training!

Filed under: Fitness

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