If you are a complete novice in the gym, or even have experience, but want to take your results to the next level, hiring a qualified and quality personal trainer is a smart move to make.
However, as simple as it sounds, it is not always an easy task, since many important elements are necessary when entering into this relationship. It is not always enough to find someone who is just educated and experienced, because as individuals we each have our own specific needs and traits.
Thus, you must make sure that the trainer you choose to work with long term can check all of your boxes, or you will never achieve the results you desire.
Below are 7 ways that ensure you have made a good choice.
Your trainer never looks at his/her cell phone during a session
Any coach that texts, browses the Web, or takes calls (unless its an emergency) while working with you is not worth your time (because apparently you are not worth theirs’).
Their attention should be placed squarely upon you during every rep of every set, just as a surgeon would be on a patient while operating. So, if your trainer leaves his/her phone alone, you are likely in good hands.
Your trainer knows exactly how to motivate you
Just as different types of music inspire each of us, we also respond best to a certain type of verbal motivation. Some people like a more aggressive approach, while others prefer their trainer to be more subtle. Negative reinforcement works great for some trainees, but for others feels demeaning and/or disrespectful.
So if your trainer always seems to know exactly what to say, and how to say it, when the going gets tough, you may have found a real gem.
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Your trainer does not just count reps, but keeps a close eye on your technique
Time and again I have witnessed trainers in the gym do nothing more than assign an exercise and count the reps. However, this is only one small aspect of the job.
A good coach will also make sure you are utilizing proper technique, a productive rep tempo, and remaining focused throughout each set.
So if your trainer is watching you closely, constantly stressing proper form, and reminding you to stretch and squeeze, you know he/she is interested in getting you maximum results.
Your trainer demonstrates each exercise and explains exactly what muscles are affected
Even if you have some experience in the gym, your trainer should demonstrate every movement (before you perform it) just in case you have been doing it wrong, or missing out on some subtleties that can enhance results. In addition, it is vital that you are aware of precisely what muscle (or muscles), are being targeted so that you can make a deep connection on every rep.
So, if your trainer is getting his/her hands dirty and leading by example, you can definitely check off another box.
Your trainer asks you pertinent questions throughout the workout
While quite often it is true that silence is golden, there are definitely times when your coach should be running his/her mouth.
Questions such as, “How are you feeling,” “Is the weight too light or heavy,” and “Are you feeling the exercise where you should be,” must be asked many times during a session to make sure all is on track.
Feedback from a client is essential to any trainer worth his her/salt, so if those and other similar queries are being posed, then the quality-coach meter is rising.
Your trainer makes the workout interesting at each session, constantly providing new challenges
When a trainer has you doing the same workouts over and over again, this is likely a sign of laziness, poor imagination, and/or lack of experience or education. There is no reason your workouts should not be fun, interesting and unique at every session. Your coach should want you to not only feel challenged, but to also enjoy the process. A client that loathes his/her workouts is one that will quit shortly after starting.
So if you find yourself looking forward each day to what your trainer has in store for you, make sure you keep him/her close.
Your trainer is punctual and engaged entirely with you from beginning to end of every workout
Just as a trainer hates when his/her client is constantly late, you must always remember that respect is a two-way street. If you find yourself constantly waiting for your coach to arrive, and perhaps even having your sessions cut short, this is completely unacceptable. Additionally, while any of us can be distracted by our own personal problems, a solid coach will put that aside during a session and make sure all his/her attention is firmly on you.
So, if your trainer is always ready for you upon your arrival, and gives you his/her full attention and focus from the first to last rep, you may need look no further.