Finding The Right Personal Trainer

By Sean Keats, CSCS

(WINDSOR, ON) – The 5 steps to find a personal trainer that’s right for you. In the past few years it seems like personal trainers are popping up everywhere in Windsor. There are even ones who call themselves “experts”.

But how do you know which one is the right one?

If you’re thinking about hiring a trainer, here are five things that you need to know.

Do Your Homework

There are several certification programs out there for personal trainers.  Some are in-person and some are online.

I’ve personally completed certifications that are both done online and offline.

But what I highly recommend you to find out is whether or not the trainer you’re looking to hire has successfully graduated from a certification that was in-person.  An actual course.  And one that requires both a practical and written portion of the exam.

This ensures that the trainer has a base knowledge or how to train clients properly.

Here are some questions that I’m going to recommend that you ask:

  • Are you certified by a recognized agency?
  • What experience do you have?
  • How many years have you been a personal trainer?
  • What type of clients have you worked with in the past?
  • Do you have testimonials?

Make Sure The Trainer is Focused on You

With the influx of boot camps and group personal training in the area, actually going through a Goal Assessment has fallen to the waste side.  It seems that it’s become something that only dinosaurs in the industry do.

So, call me a dinosaur.

But it’s important for the trainer to be solely focused on the client and their goals.  This is typically done by having you answer a questionnaire and questions about your health history — usually called a PAR-Q.

Using the PAR-Q, the trainer will have a better idea on how to customize a program that is specific to your needs and wants.

Assessments are the Building Blocks to Results

Assessments are another factor of personal training that appears to have decreased in popularity in the last 5 years.  Which I have no idea why.

This ensure that you’re safe — if the trainer knows how to use an assessment to design your programming.

My personal opinion is that a true professional should be performing a Postural Screen, Movement Screen and Baseline Fitness Test with every client they encounter.

The problem with today’s fascination with groups, is that a trainer can’t perform this with every client.  This results in injury and simply stacking fitness onto dysfunctions.

Don’t Give Into The Hype

The ultimate goal of a personal trainer should be the get you the best results possible while working within your schedule and budget.

But what I’ve seen for a while now is clients being sold on programs and packages that they don’t need or are struggling to afford.  Which is a shame because with the “down economy”, trainers are more focused on increasing their bottom line and not provide a quality service.

If you tell a trainer that you can realistically only work out 2 days per week and they recommend a program that is 3 or even 4 days per week… This is highly unethical.

No matter how much they talk up that option and how great it is.

Is The Trainer Always Learning?

Okay, the trainer has met all the previous four requirements.  Their qualified, care about my goals, perform a proper and thorough assessment, and perform their services with ethics.

But are they continuing to learn and hone their craft?

Knowledge is power.  It’s been said time and time again.  This holds true in the fitness industry because it means that the trainer can provide you with cutting edge programming to get you the fastest and best results possible.

So please, don’t hire the trainer who is still making you run on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike for the first 20 minutes of a session to “maximize fat burning”.  That stuff is dated and really doesn’t work.

Find out who their mentors are and if they regularly attend events and seminars to continuing learning.

Hopefully you actually take this information and run with it the next time you hire a personal trainer to help you achieve your fitness goals.

Sean Keats is a personal fitness trainer in Windsor and has been helping clients lose weight and get in the best shape of their lives for the last 7 years.  Make sure to find Sean on Facebook to learn more.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata

Ian Shalapata is the owner and publisher of Square Media Group. He covers politics, the police beat, community events, the arts, sports, and everything in between.

His imagery and freelance contributions have appeared in select publications and for organizations in Canada and the United States.

Contact Ian with story ideas.

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