There is nothing that upsets me more than seeing a personal trainer do a lousy job when working with a client. I teach personal training certification courses and I always try and impress upon them the importance of integrity, continuing education and good interpersonal skills.
If you have decided to hire a personal trainer; especially if you have any “issues” such as pelvic floor dysfunction, diastasis recti, you have just had a baby or are recovering from an injury, then, I implore you to do your due diligence and get the right one for you. Someone who has been additionally trained to work with these specific issues. I get calls from women regularly who after they had their baby realize their current trainer just doesn’t know how to help. Like any industry out there, there are good trainers and not-so-good ones. But how do you know? And sometimes people find out when it’s too late.
Here are some questions you should ask when interviewing a Personal Trainer.
- What are their credentials?
- Ask for proof of certification. You will see how long they have been certified and if they are diligent in pursuing continued education as they should be, then they will welcome the opportunity to show off all their certs.
- Are they certified in the field that you need? Being a rehab specialist or sports coach is great, but if you aren’t an athlete, their mode of training might not fit.
- What is their experience?
- You can have certifications up the ying-yang but if they haven’t actually trained anyone in the field of those certifications, what’s the point? If you are a new mom, please make sure your trainer is certified in pre & postnatal and is up on the current research, not the outdated information that still seems to be spreading like wildfire.
- Do they have references/testimonials?
- If you are in a gym environment, this may be difficult but you are about to lay down some serious cash, so if they can’t comply with a simple request; that may give you a hint of their character.
- Hear what our clients have to say
- What is their cancellation policy?
- And this goes for both of you. Believe it or not, I have heard a lot of scary stories of trainers canceling last min or no-shows. If they have a 24-hour cancellation policy for you, they need to reciprocate back. My clients know that I require 24-hour cancellation (though I am a bit of a softy on this one…). They also know that if one of my trainers, or I, mess up and don’t show, they not only get that session back but an extra one for free.
- What if you don’t mix?
- This is important! Personal training is a very “personal” thing so you have to like them. If you have different personalities, there should be an option to change to a different trainer if you don’t feel comfortable. It happens.
Obviously, a big fan of personal training because if done correctly, you can get amazing results, limit your chances of injury and reach your goals in no time. However, if you end up with someone who’s a bodybuilder and doesn’t realize you’re not, that can be a recipe for disaster.
Whether you are looking for safe postpartum exercises, pelvic floor friendly workouts, programs designed for women in menopause or high intensity interval training – your trainer should be able to design that for you in a way that works for YOU, taking into consideration any and all issues that may accompany your unique situation or set of concerns.
Working with a personal trainer should feel like your partner in crime. It’s an exciting time in your life to get healthy and fit! But be mindful of what you are doing and listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right and you question their expertise, get out of dodge and get out fast.
Best of luck and have fun!