Is it time to hire a personal trainer?

Right about now you may be thinking of investing in a personal trainer to help you reach your 2017 goals.

Most go at it alone in the beginning and then realize they need some extra help.  So, right about now I start getting the phone calls/texts/emails saying “Help me Kathy!”

If you’re in the market for a personal trainer to help you, great! Here are some things you should look for and EXPECT when you hire a certified personal trainer.

Education and Certification:
I’m not saying that years of experience as an athlete or hanging out at a gym can’t add some benefit to your training, but let’s face it- you are paying for a level of expertise above and beyond what you can research on the Internet.  

Your trainer should be certified or have a 4 year degree in the field of physical fitness. This shows a level of professionalism above others who claim to know it all,  but haven’t shown the level of dedication to get certified.

Ask for a consultation first.
If you and your trainer do not know each other, ask for a consultation.  I meet with every client first so we can discuss expectations, ask questions, etc.  I want my client to feel comfortable with me and the gym.  As well, I want an opportunity to visit with the client and have a better understanding of their goals.

Do not hire a trainer without a free 15-30 minute consult first. Ask lots of questions – the only dumb question is the one not asked.  Let me be clear, this is not a workout but a “get to know” session.  Actual gym time is charged.

 Look around and ask for referrals.
If you belong to a corporate gym (24 Hour Fitness, Lifetime Fitness, etc) then take some time to watch the other trainers as they are working- you will get an idea of who is competent and who is not.  Ask your friends and family for a referral.

Sessions begin on time.
Your trainer should always be on time.  Even if you’re not on time, your trainer should be on time.  You are paying for the session so when you show up is your business, but trainer tardiness is inexcusable.

Professionalism in the gym.
If your trainer is walking around with their cell phone and not paying attention to you, this is a big problem.  I do have to handle a text every now and then but my phone is not part of my training equipment.

Visiting with others in the gym is also a big No-No.  I enjoy the camaraderie with members and other trainers but I don’t abandon my clients in order to visit with a non- paying client.

Be smart with your training time.
Do not let a trainer watch you warm up on the treadmill as you’re paying him/her to do their own thing.  I ask all my clients to arrive early so they can be ready when it’s THEIR time. Unless the client and I have decided mutually that cardio will be part of their workout, I do not have a client pay me while I watch him/her run on a treadmill.

Giving every client the same workout.
Does your trainer understand your goals?  Does your trainer have your best interest at heart?  If you belong to a gym and have an opportunity to watch some trainers, make sure they are keeping it fresh for everyone.

Do not give up a huge amount of money up front.
Do not pay for a huge package of sessions up front without trying out the trainer. I’ve heard of trainers selling themselves by offering huge discounts but the catch is you have to buy a large number of sessions up front. If it sounds to good to be true, it usually is.

Make sure you can get a copy of your workout.
You have a right to a “hard copy” of your workout.  If you are working out with a trainer who isn’t keeping track of your workouts or writing anything down, then you might be getting the same workout as the client before you and the client after you.

If you are following body part splits or certain programs for increasing weight/sets/reps then I understand.  But, at any point in time, your trainer should be able to give you a hard copy of your workout if asked.  Be clear on the policy before you commit to a package.

Be wary of trainers that push their own supplement sales.
It’s one thing to suggest supplements but it’s another to be pushy and claim that results will not be met unless you buy them – and buy them from the trainer.  This is totally unprofessional.  

Ahhhh– but guess what….your trainer also has expectations of you as well.  I’m known to be a tough love trainer but my clients know from the beginning what to expect of me. 

Take responsibility for yourself.
I’m not responsible for you 24 hours/day.  What you do when you leave me is your choice.  I give you my full attention when you are with me but if you leave and make poor decisions , that’s on you.

Don’t slack during your workouts.
Don’t be upset by the results you get if you aren’t putting in the work.  Be committed to your workouts and your trainer.  

Be committed to your schedule.
Your trainer has reserved days and times each week – be respectful of their schedule and if you have to cancel, do it in timely manner or expect to be charged the full amount of the session.

One workout doesn’t make you a fitness model.

Good quality results take time.  Have realistic expectations and give the process a chance.

You can’t out-train a bad diet.
80% of your fitness success depends on a good meal plan.  If you are busting your butt in the gym but not following a quality meal plan the other 23 hours/day, you can forget seeing results. Period.

As always, feel free to email me with questions or comments.

Thanks for reading and cheers to your health and fitness!

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