Tips when Hiring a Great Fitness Coach or Personal trainer …and when to Head for the Hills

Spring has officially sprung, and with it, the tidal wave of people looking to get back into shape just in time for summer.   

And this winter was even more difficult since we were all stuck inside during the COVID quarantine.   If you didn’t have a home gym, working out regularly was definitely a challenge.  So, now that it’s warming up, and people are getting out, where should you start and what should you look for when deciding on an exercise program or a personal trainer?

First, let’s talk about what to watch out for.

Free online workouts – they’re everywhere.  But how do you know if they’re any good?  Before you begin following a free workout online, make sure to research the instructor.  I tend to steer clear of the scantily clad coach.  You look great, I get it, but the instructor who is more concerned with showing off their own abs on camera may not be too concerned with your needs. I prefer to work with someone who is dressed to professionally and doesn’t distract from what they are teaching.

Quick Fix Promises – Lose ten pounds in ten days?  These types of false promises sound tempting, but they aren’t backed by science.  Whenever someone claims to have an easy weight loss or get in shape quick fix, it’s going to be a losing gamble.  Studies show
that achieving lasting good health and weight loss is a slow but steady process grounded in safe practices.  If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.

So now that you know what to watch out for, here’s what you should be looking for.

Certifications – Only hire someone after you’ve checked out their certifications.  Reputable personal trainers are certified by NASM, the National Academy of Sports Medicine.  And depending on what kind of workout you’re interested in, make sure your coach holds up to date, appropriate certifications.  I am always happy to share my certifications with my clients. You can check them out on my website. 

Social Media – Another great way to research a potential fitness coach or personal trainer is to take a look at their social media.  Who are they connected to?  A reputable professional will be “friends” with physical therapists, health educators, etc.  If you don’t see these kinds of professional connections, I would move on.   Join my facebook group (link to fb group) and receive all kinds of fitness tips and support in your fitness journey.

Listening and Responsiveness – The most effective fitness instructors and personal trainers take the time to really listen to their clients and proactively respond to their concerns, questions and reactions.  If a coach or trainer is pushing you too hard, don’t be afraid to speak up.  The old saying “no pain, no gain” doesn’t apply anymore.

And more importantly, it’s not a safe way to exercise.   Open communication between trainer and client is crucial for a successful , results-based fitness routine.