Let’s face it. 2020 has kicked our butts.
Endless quarantines and lockdowns have led to too many of us sitting about watching too much Netflix, avoiding exercise, and steadily getting bigger.
Now that 2021 is just around the corner, like more than 40% of Americans, many will have resolutions like improving health at the top of their New Year’s Eve resolutions list.
You may have even decided to get that extra help and hire a specialist to motivate and advise you. But, how to find a personal trainer that works with you and helps you reach your goals?
Read this guide on how to find the best personal trainer for your needs and make 2021 a great year for fitness.
Be Realistic and Commit
Before you start on this journey you need to be honest with yourself. A personal trainer is not going to magically make your fitness goals come true. They will guide you but the work must come from you.
Nutrition will be as important as the amount of time you put in at the gym. Look at your diet and commit to making changes. Whichever personal trainer you choose will be able to advise you on this.
Set Your Goals
What do you want to achieve when you hire a personal trainer? You will need to choose a trainer who agrees to help you achieve these goals.
Do you want to:
- Lose weight?
- Lose body fat percentage?
- Develop strength and muscle?
- Run long distance?
- Go to the gym more frequently for health benefits?
Whatever your goals you need to find a trainer who can help you succeed in them. You need a personal trainer who is specialized in what you want and is sufficiently experienced in this area.
Set Your Budget
Good personal trainers do not come cheap. If they do, you need to question their qualifications and experience. Most offer services from between $30-$50 per hour.
Look at your budget and decided how much you want to be spending on a weekly basis. Do you need two, three or more sessions each week?
Make sure you have identified how much you have to spend before you arrange for your first session.
Create a Schedule
There is no point in planning a program with a personal trainer if you simply will not have the time to complete it. Again, decide how many weekly sessions you will need and then make time for them in your diary now.
Do you need one hour or more? This will depend on your personal goals.
Also, think about what will happen at the end of your cycle with your trainer. If you arrange to have a six-week program what will you do when it finishes?
Think about whether you will:
- Start a new program – with the same or a different trainer.
- Go it alone.
- Stop altogether as your goal will have been achieved.
Talk about this with your personal trainer during your consultation. Plan for an endpoint as it is unlikely you will continue with your trainer indefinitely. This date should be defined by your goals.
Where to Hire a Personal Trainer
So you have your plan in hand. Your goals are set. You know your budget and availability. What next? Where to find a personal trainer that will meet your needs?
At the Gym
There are several places you can begin your search. The first being at your local gym. Many personal trainers will also work in a gym. They may even advertise their services there. Check with reception or on bulletin boards.
In a Group Class
Do you have a favorite group exercise class? One where you get on really well with the instructor? Ask them! It’s a great place to start your search. They may offer training.
This is particularly true in small private studios. Lots of personal trainers take on extra group work at studios. They may even provide group personal training for a discount.
On the Internet
Most professional personal trainers will have their own website dedicated to their business. This should outline their skills, availability and of course their prices per hour. Be wary if they do not.
A simple local google search should show up some trainers in your area. Try searching for ‘personal trainers near me’ and take a look at the local map results.
Make sure you check any online reviews for these trainers as well. Google will often have reviews left by other clients for local businesses. If lots of people (rather than just one or two) are leaving lots of negative reviews you need to look elsewhere.
Choosing the Right Personal Trainer for You
Once you have found a few personal trainers that you like, it is time to whittle down the list. What sort of things should you look at first?
There are a few key indicators that will tell you a good instructor from someone who claims to be able to train you for a great price, of course!
Professional Qualifications & Insurance
What qualifications does your personal trainer hold? A proficient trainer will also have a professional qualification. They may have additionally studied for a sports science degree at university.
A qualification from the International Sports Sciences Association or similar indicates that your trainer has invested their time and money in becoming the best in their field.
If the trainer can not show their qualifications this is a red flag and you need to walk away.
In addition, your personal trainer has a duty of care to you when you are with them. They need to have some kind of personal trainer insurance which will protect both you and them in the case of an accident.
Have a Consultation
Once you have found a trainer you think may be a good fit, check to see if they offer a free consultation. They should do this as standard. It may be anything up to an hour, and they should discuss your goals, budget and dietary needs with you.
This is also your opportunity to see if you gel with them on a personal level. Are they going to encourage you enough? Will they drive you on when you really need it? Talk to them and find out if they have what you need.
If you don’t have the right chemistry, don’t feel pressured to go any further. A good personal trainer will understand that this is important and let you find the right person for you.
By now, if you have followed this guide, you should have a good idea of how to find a personal trainer who is going to help you achieve your fitness goals in 2021.
The next step is the hard part, putting in the work! The great thing is that now you will have someone with you to support you on your health journey. Good luck!
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