How to Find the Best Personal Trainer

If you’re going to invest your time, money and trust in a person to guide you in your fitness routine, there are more than a few factors you need to consider

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Finding a personal trainer should not be taken lightly

Exercising with an expert will elevate your fitness level, provide discipline and create personal accountability. Trainers can teach you how to use gym equipment, design customized workout programs and help set up goals and strategies. They may also offer nutrition and diet suggestions, while others can help prepare you for a challenging race or competition.

The fact is that there are many trainers out there to choose from, but if you’re going to invest your time, money and trust in a person to guide you in the right direction, there are a few other factors to consider before making your final choice.

Before selecting your coach, Lucy Ulmer, a Vancouver fitness professional and master instructor at Spin Society, advises that you ask yourself the following five questions.

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What’s their education and experience?

You will want to work with someone who has been certified by an established and respected organization. Take the time to research where your potential trainer received their certifications as well as what they have done to continue learning more about the industry and their particular fitness field.

Also, find out how long a trainer has been working in the fitness industry as well as whom they have personally trained with to better their game. Look for a trainer who is experienced in the type of activity you are interested in and consider your goals and objectives. For example, if you are looking to develop cycling skills, find a trainer with relevant certifications and experience. On the other hand, if you want to progress your yoga practice, look for a teacher who has completed the appropriate training and continuing education courses.

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How do they handle injuries?

Avoid frustration by asking in advance how a trainer would handle working out with recurring or sudden injuries. Your trainer should know how to effectively adjust exercises to best suit individual needs. Also, if you have a pre-existing injury, find out if they have experience in modifying workouts to accomodate your limitations.

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What is their training style?

Trainer compatibility on a personal level is important and has the potential to create an engaging relationship. Ask yourself: how do I like to be coached? Do I prefer a boot camp military style or more of a motivational coach? Your trainer should be able to guide you using techniques that work to personally motivate you. Ask for references and success stories to gain a better understanding of how the trainer coaches others and what to expect.

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What is the cost?

The old saying of you ‘get what you pay’ for applies to selecting a great trainer. After researching average rates in your city, check with trainers for semi-private sessions or small group training to help your fitness budget stay at a reasonable rate. Also, check for a discount when buying multiple sessions up front. Inquire what the trainer’s schedule is to set up mutually convenient times to meet and what the cancellation policy entails so that you could potentially make up missed sessions.

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How do they track progress?

You want to select a trainer who helps you determine your personal goals and where you would like to see yourself physically and mentally over time. Being able to track your progress allows you to know if your training is paying offwhether that means improving your running times, swimming for a longer period of time or holding a handstand away from the wall.

Most importantly, select a trainer who is honest and provides effective communication at a personal and professional level. In the end, your trainer is there to elevate your fitness level through thought-provoking guidance while giving you a lifetime of tools for success.