Fitness advice: What to look for in a personal trainer, from education to a adaptability

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A program that works really well for one person, may be terrible for another, and a trainer needs to quickly identify this, and come up with solutions. I have one client who flat-out refuses to go on the rower, so I adapt his regime to suit that. A trainer is there to help the client, not torture them!

Getting Results

People usually hire a trainer to achieve something specific. Only about a third of clients will actually hit these targets, however, which is pretty abysmal. When I’m interviewing new trainers, one of my first questions is: show me proof you can get results. A good trainer will have before and after pictures of clients they have worked with. They will have breakdowns of weight-loss, strength gains, improvements in sleep and concentration. Results are key, and the more evidence they can show you, the more trust you can put in them.

Caring and connecting

The best trainers care about their clients. They enjoy making a difference in people’s lives. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your PT – four or five hours a week if you’re doing an intense transformation – so you have to make sure you can put up with them for that amount of time. A trainer can have all the knowledge in the world, have the best looking body, but if they don’t show any interest in you, you’ll find your motivation drops rapidly. Look out for things like your trainer sending a text during the week to see how you’re getting on with your training, or congratulating you on an achievement.

There needs to be a level of trust so clients will admit when they’ve had drinks, or over eaten or not trained. People shy away from this because they feel they’re letting the trainer down, but you can only come up with solutions if you have all the facts.

Good personal trainers play a much bigger part in a client’s life than just telling them to do some push-ups. They need to set an example, which can include their appearance, social media usage, lifestyle and education. I can’t stress the latter enough: there’s so much research out there to process and apply, especially when it comes to nutrition.

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