Finding the Right Personal Trainer

Q. Nick, I am having a hard time finding a trainer. I have met with over 5 fitness specialist this past month and they all had different recommendations.

Cardio is what you need, carbs are the reason you cannot lose fat, lack of weight training is what you are missing.

What makes good trainer and how do I go about selecting one?

A. Great question and I would be happy to give my two cents.

The fitness industry is saturated with bad training and sub par recommendations. Everyone is an expert and most of the time the internet is the worse source of information.

Here are my top ten tips on how to pick a personal trainer.

1. Ask them what they are currently learning and what kind of credentials/continuing education they are doing. Most trainers have egos and think they know everything. Instead of investing in a quality credential, they get a cheap blue heron or ACE certification so they can start making money asap.

It’s sad, to many trainers do not realize that the more you learn, the more you will earn. They should be completing at least 4 continuing education courses/seminars yearly.

2. Look at what they are charging. If they are good at what they do, they can charge more. If they are only charging $5-$30 per training session, odds are this is because they are behind the curve.

3. Are they getting results and do they have a full schedule. Success breeds success and if they have a full dance card of clients to train, you know they provide a quality service.

4. They have to know their anatomy. Without knowing origin and insertion, fiber type of muscle being worked, or even what muscle the exercise is training creates injuries and muscle imbalances.

5. They give credit where credit is due. Its important that the trainer gives credit to where he has learned his information. To many are stealing and trying to take credit for others work. I wouldn’t trust a thief with my health.

6. Check them out on social media. Are they surrounding themselves with people that promote their passion. Are they being a role model? Trainers are leaders not followers.

7. Are they practicing what they preach and do they look the part. If you want to give dietary and exercise advice, you should be able to comfortably present the information with your shirt off. A trainer must stay connected with their clients through regular training, or program design suffers.

8. Measure, measure, measure. Ask what the trainer intends to measure to gauge progress. A good one will take detailed body measurements calculating lean mass, fat mass, tape measurements, and weight.

Training sessions should be measured carefully not only by recording reps and sets, but measuring total volume and tonnage lifted and programming deloads into the training cycle. Proper training and nutrition periodization and setting short and long term goals are among other that should be measured.

9. Do they specialize in anything? You cannot be a jack of all trade. To be fully great at something you must narrow down your focus and get really good at 1 or 2 things. 10. Are they passionate and love what they do? Do they wake up and look forward to going to work, or are they only going through the motions.

Passion is contagious and I would want a trainer that excites me to train and follow his advice.
Try out our training modules and select a program that fits your goals, I promise you will not be disappointed. If you are from grand rapids and are looking for quality training, I encourage you to check out Body By Choice Training. Great staff and phenomenal facility for private training.

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