Ten Tips When Looking For A Personal Trainer

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I’ve seen tweets that some of you are going to be looking for a trainer for the new year. I absolutely love my trainer and wouldn’t trade him for any other. I’ve had trainers in the past, but Trainer Man is different than the others. I really lucked out when I found him.

Me and Trainer ManI’ve driven miles and miles to get to him. Like the mailman. Neither snow, nor rain, nor dead of night will make me miss a session with him. I’ve even driven through freak Texas blizzards to not miss a workout. If you happen to be in DFW and need a trainer, let me know and I’ll gladly pass on his info.

Here are some tips for what to look for in your own search. I’m sticking with the not so obvious tips instead of the typical ideas to check references, look for certifications, and so on. These are based on my experience so your mileage may vary. Do what’s best for you and your goals.

Hopefully some of these will save you some time and effort in your search:

  1. A trainer should customize the workout for you and not give everyone the same workout. You aren’t the same as others so your workout shouldn’t be either. Get there early and see what he’s doing with other clients.
  2. A trainer should work with you based on your needs. If you want to do all your workouts with him and none on your own, that should be as fine as twice a week with him and other workouts on your own. Or any other combination.
  3. A trainer should ask what your goals are and work towards them. Do you want to do a competition or just want to look good naked? Do you want to focus on endurance or strength? All of these have different goals and require different weights, reps, and exercise types.
  4. A trainer should be getting you results and change on a weekly basis. You should see something different in the form of fat loss, change in inches, increase in weight lifted, gain in muscle mass, and so on. If you don’t have something change during your weekly check in, your trainer should change up the workout. Disclaimer: This assumes you’ve stuck to the plan given. If you’ve cheated or not done as told, you can’t blame your trainer for that.
  5. A trainer shouldn’t always use machines. In fact, the trainers with clients that get great results focus mainly on barbells, dumbbells, and cables. Machines like the leg press and cables are OK since you control placement and movement, but machines like overhead press and bench machines shouldn’t be the norm since they limit real life movements.
  6. A trainer should be able to give you guidelines on how many calories to eat and burn when you aren’t with him. Calories in/calories out – you have to know numbers or you won’t get results. It shouldn’t just be about what you do when you’re with your trainer.
  7. A trainer should give you tough love when you need it. Your trainer shouldn’t continuously tell you “just try harder next time” if you fall off the wagon. He should tell you to “buck up if you want results.” If you miss several sessions, your trainer should call you out on it and tell you to figure out your priorities.
  8. If you ask why you’re doing something, your trainer should be able to tell you. Knowledge is everything and the more you can learn from a trainer, the better off you’ll be in the long run of life. If his reason sounds made up on the fly, be suspicious. A good trainer knows why he’s having you do something.
  9. A trainer should adjust your workouts based on the results you’re getting. Mine noticed my rear delts weren’t as developed as the rest of my shoulders, so he adjusted the workouts to correct the imbalance.
  10. A trainer should be able to work around any injuries or limitations you might have. Mine has worked with people who broke a foot, had arm surgery, with me after my chest surgery. He knew exactly how to modify the workout if needed or how to focus on other areas.

Those are my suggestions. Trainer Man does all of this and so much more. These are just the things I thought of off the top of my head. He’s also my confidence builder, my therapist, and my listener. I don’t think he’s certified in any of that stuff, but he’s darn good at it. 😉

A ton of my readers have great trainers. If you have a suggestion to add to the list, please feel free to comment so that those newer to working out can learn.

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