We are coming up to that time of year where a lot of people look at getting into fitness as their New Year Resolution, and what better way to fast track results and keep motivation alive than getting a personal trainer. But wait…how do you know if they are any good? Unfortuantely living in New Zealand I can tell you that there are so many ‘trainers’ and ‘gym instructors’ out there who have never qualified from a course, that have never become registered personal trainers. How do I know this? Because of the time I have spent in the fitness industry. I have turned down jobs because in my interview I was told that I would be the only qualified trainer on the gym floor and therefore I would have to check every single program before it was given to a member (uh that is not happening!!!), I know people who were in the same program with me and never finished yet they are out there working in gym or running their own fitness business, I have also worked in my fair share of gyms and do you know how many of them ask to see my qualifications or contact my education provider to ask about me….ONLY ONE! In my eyes this is absolute shit!!!!
It was only yesterday that I meant with one of the founders of the Personal Training College I went to and we spoke about this. She even bought up that half of her students never finished the course but she knows they are out there training people. One of these days it is going to lead to someone getting seriously hurt, as much as I pray this doesn’t happen, it will. So how do you find a good personal trainer, a qualified personal trainer???
Here are a few of my tips, and what I would look for before hiring someone to train me…be aware you need to be prepared to ask lots of questions.
- Ask to see their qualifications: I don’t know why this isn’t the case but you would think any good gym would have these on display. I know I do! If you haven’t seen their qualifications in the gym don’t be afraid to ask. Every single person who has graduated will have a certificate and they should be more than happy to show you.
- Quiz them: Ask them why they are giving you an exercise, what benefits does that exercise give you specifically. Yes, a trainer would’ve learnt all this in college, but most of the time they never look back over it. If they can’t tell you why they are making you do a specific exercise, then why the f*** are they making you do it?
- Ask, ask, and ask away: Literally any question you want to know about health and fitness ask them! Now this is where I am going to tell you that trainers won’t be able to answer 100% of your questions, there will be some things we would need to research (especially if we have never come across them before), so see how they react to all these questions. I have heard someone respond with ‘I’m the trainer so just do what I tell you’ and I have also heard ‘Sorry I’m not 100% sure of that right now, please give me 48 hours so I can look into it more and then I will get back to you’. I know the option you should definitely be choosing.
- Are you comfortable with them: Don’t be afriad to ask for a trial session, any good trainer will back themselves every single time to make you fall in love with them on the first date….I mean training session. You don’t want to be training with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable, or who doesn’t get your sense of humor – believe me this makes the session seem to drag on – not just for you, but also the trainer, and if it is dragging for them they won’t be giving you their all.
- Last but not least: Where is their attention focused? Is it focused on you and your goals? Are they looking at the clock or their watch every couple of seconds? Do they have their phone out (using it for something other than a timer)? If their attention isn’t on you, then what are you doing there? A good trainer loves watching you smash goals, therefore a good trainer will be giving you their all and wanting to help you every way they can.
I hope this helps you on your fitness journey, and I hope you all find an amazing personal trainer. Here’s to smashing some serious goals in 2017!