How to fit with a personal trainer

A personal fitness trainer can make the difference between wasting countless hours at the gym (and achieving few results) and smashing through your fitness goals.

But when it comes to finding a trainer, where do you start? There are so many out there promising to get you to your fitness goals faster, that it is hard to separate the good from the bad. Here’s a look at five things you should look for when hiring a trainer.

Don’t go for cheap

While money is no guarantee of quality, it is also true that good trainers know they are good–and they will charge accordingly! While a trainer who is offering an unbelievably low price may sound tempting, just keep in mind that there is likely a reason they are priced so low. It’s better to spend a little extra on a trainer who can do their job rather than waste money on one who over promises and under delivers.

Check for certifications

As with cost, certifications are also no guarantee that you’re getting a quality trainer, but they are a good place to start your search from. There are many different certifications, with some of the most popular being the ACE, AFAA, NSCA, NASM, and Crossfit. Also, your trainer should absolutely know CPR. Good personal trainers are also aware that education is a lifelong process, so ask them how they are continuing that education.

Set goals

The only way you will know what to look for in a trainer is if you first know what you want to get out of your exercise program. Are you looking to gain muscle mass? Perhaps you have weight loss goals or you may be looking to increase your endurance in preparation for a marathon. Whatever your goal is, make sure you find a trainer who has a history of helping other people achieve similar goals.

Watch for nutritional guidance

Most exercise goals are achieved not in the gym, but in the kitchen. You can go to the most grueling fitness boot camp imaginable, but it will only produce lackluster results if you aren’t eating properly. That’s why your trainer also needs to be your nutrition coach. Look for one who will go through the effort of coming up with a detailed nutrition plan for you, one that respects your dietary needs and that will help you achieve your goals faster.

Avoid trainers who don’t listen

There are a lot of trainers out there who claim to have found the “secret formula” for achieving any exercise goal, whether it be for weight loss, body building, endurance, and so on. Those trainers should be avoided because the truth is that there is no “secret formula” that works for everyone. Everybody is different and you will need a training and nutritional strategy that is geared to your needs.

That’s why a good trainer won’t try to impose their training regiment on you, but rather they will listen to you, understand what your goals are, why you slipped up in the past, and what your timeline is. With that information in hand, they will then devise a strategy that is uniquely tailored to you.

Finding a great trainer takes time and for a lot of people it is necessary to try out a few before they find one that they like. But if you know what to look for beforehand then you are more likely to find the fitness trainer who can help you achieve your fitness goals quickly.