Today I wanted to talk to you a bit about finding the best Personal Trainer for you. Finding the perfect personal trainer for you can be like tossing a coin and letting chance be your guide. On the other hand, you can take a little time on the front end and you’ll come out ahead of lady luck every time.
In this post I will share 10 of the Ps associated with finding the one for you. The most obvious one is, of course, Personal. The others I’ll address with you today are positive, patient, powerful, persistent, practical, potential, people, pride, and professional. Each of these P words describe the attributes of a good Personal Trainer.
Let’s start with the most obvious one that I already mentioned, “personal”. A good personal trainer makes your training very personal. They work with you very specifically to design a program tailored to your needs and goals. This is a time-consuming process as it takes time to get to know an individual, but a good trainer asks you many questions and takes the time to listen to your responses. They develop a program and then continually refine that program based on things that work or don’t work for you. As you make progress, the plan frequently changes to adapt to your improvements. So pay attention to how much they listen to you, or talk about themselves.
We are surrounded by people every day with differing personalities, differing views and some are just not fun to be around. We tend to spend time with people who share our views on our free time, but work and family can dictate our relationships and immerse us in environments that are frankly, not enjoyable. They’re negative views of the world and woe is me mental states can be toxic.
What’s different about a really good personal trainer is they arrive with a positive mental attitude. They exude confidence in themselves and their clients. They help you see the positive in yourself, building you up then helping you believe that not only are you better than you may have thought, you are AWESOME and can do so much more than you thought you could.
This positive mental attitude bleeds into other areas of your life, your relationships, your work and your outlook on life. Find one that gives off good positive vibes.
Learning new things can be difficult and time consuming. Most people struggle at least a little with new movements, especially if they’re older and have to relearn some improper mechanics. It takes patience to not only help someone learn, but to learn how they best learn. Personal trainers that take the time to figure out what will work best and not just demand a particular movement be done. Good ones will be patient with you and teach you to become patient with the process.
Now I’m not talking about them being super strong in the sense that they can lift 400 lbs. over their head, although that would be impressive. Powerful in the ability push you to a place you thought you couldn’t go. Powerful in their approach with confidence mixed with a little humility. Powerful in their awareness of what you really need when it comes to getting you from where you currently are to where you would like to go (within reason). Their words are powerful and meaningful as a champion for you and a coach to cheer you on.
Why would it be necessary for a personal trainer to be persistent? What do you think? Are you stubborn? Have you tried things and failed and therefore believe this is a waste of time and you’ll fail again? A persistent personal trainer will not give up on you as easy as you’ll give up on yourself. They will try to figure out what is causing you to give up, address that with you in a compassionate way and help guide you through the muck and mud and into clearer thinking.
What comes to mind when you think of the word practical? When it comes to personal training, it has everything to do with setting practical goals. We often call them SMART goals - Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. A newer version of that is SMARTER goals - Specific, Meaningful, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound, Evaluate, Readjust. Understanding and addressing with you the fact that losing 25 lbs in a month is unrealistic and could actually cause more harm than good is the sign of a good trainer. Helping guide you through the steps of SMARTER goals is the sign of a great trainer.
When a trainer can see your potential, meet you where you are in your journey, and help guide you, coach you and motivate you in a way that you begin to see the potential in yourself, you know you’ve found an exceptional trainer. They see the potential because they know that each of us is very different and unique. They know we are all starting at different levels, but we all have the potential to be better versions of ourselves.
This is so apparent in so many trainers. I see it all the time. They are people people. They love to serve people. They love interacting with people and one of their greatest joys is to see other people succeed, but even more so, to be a part of helping others succeed. If your trainer is not a people person. If they don’t arrive at your appointment with enthusiasm that spills over into your workout because they don’t really enjoy being around people (there are a few out there), then they’re not in it for you, they’re in it for them. This is not the trainer for you (or anyone for that matter).
Pride can be perceived in different ways. Pride is often referred to in the Bible in a negative light, but pride in your work, pride in the achievements of others, and pride in things done well and done right is good pride. Personal trainers that display pride in their appearance, in their performance, in your accomplishments and your improvements is good pride. Look for a trainer that takes pride in what he/she does.
Last but absolutely, not least is professionalism. I’m talking timeliness, personal appearance, what they say, do, and how they make you feel in their presence. Are you the center of attention during the training session? If not, that’s a red flag. Are they certified through a nationally recognized organization? Do they hold a CPR/AED certification? What about insurance? References? These are all important considerations when selecting a professional personal trainer that is perfect for you.