6 Qualities to Look For in a Personal Trainer

Fitness is a big thing these days and I love that. I am happy that healthy living and mindfulness have risen to the top of the priority list for so many people, and even more importantly, that everyone finds their own interpretation of ‘wellness’ to suit them.

Personal training is also on the rise, as more and more people seek one-to-one training to help them improve specific aspects of their fitness and achieve particular goals. As a result, we are seeing a huge increase in the number of personal trainers out there, promoting themselves and their services on social media platforms to gain a wider reach and of course, more business. It can be quite confusing for your everyday gym-goer, or newbie to fitness to find the right personal trainer, as they are bombarded by ads, abs, and confusing industry jargon, which may make choosing a personal trainer difficult. So, here are 6 key qualities that I think you should look for in a personal trainer, and see which ones are important to you:

1. Authenticity

To act with authenticity essentially means they are true to their personality and values, without getting caught up with/ influenced by external pressures. I note this as an important quality, because we see a lot of copycat behaviour and comparison on social media in the fitness industry, and sometimes it’s not a true reflection of the person you are actually faced with in real life. An authentic person will make for a strong personal trainer, and they will build a solid clientele of people who resonate with them, based on the qualities that they exhibit and stand by.

2. Empathy

A quality you see a lot of in the fitness industry, you often find personal trainers to possess a high level of empathy, in that they have an innate ability to understand and share the feelings of another. An empathetic coach will be good at reading their clients and being able to assess their moods, their energy, and how hard to push them (or not to) depending on all of these factors. It basically means that they are good with people and empaths tend to be in this line of work because they enjoy working with people and helping others to attain their personal goals. Just FYI, this doesn’t mean they’ll be soft, this just means they’ll know how to challenge you appropriately.

3. Organisation

Is your personal trainer organised? Do they structure and plan their training sessions with you? Are they good at time-keeping? These are all very important questions to consider, because you are paying your coach to provide a certain level of service and also to create a structured training programme for you to be able to meet particular goals. Just as your personal trainer will hold you accountable for being late or for missing sessions, you should also have high expectations of them. It goes both ways.

4. Knowledge

Choose a personal trainer who specialises in the type of training that you want to work on, who you feel is best equipped to help you achieve a specific target. This is where the trainer’s USP comes in, where their marketing is focused, and where their knowledge will (or should) shine through. Just as you would go to a specialised doctor to treat a particular symptom, your trainer should be able to demonstrate a high level of knowledge and skill when they train you in that particular field. For reassurance, ask to see your trainer’s qualifications, check out their social media profile, or seek out a recommended trainer based on someone else’s experience working with them. Knowledge of their trade is imperative if you want to train safely and see results.

5. Presence

Being present. I am talking about your personal trainer’s presence and focus during your sessions. In most cases you have one hour to train with this person, so you should expect that you have their undivided attention during that session. Your trainer is there to watch how you move, to see that you train safely and to adjust you where necessary. They are there to answer any questions you may have, to provide encouragement, support, and be free of distraction (namely mobile phones) during your session.

6. Approach

What is your personal trainer’s approach? This could apply to many things, and the main thing is that you as their client, buy into their approach, essentially how they teach and coach. What style of teaching do they adopt with you? And are they able to adapt that teaching style with different clients, and with the same clients on different days (or when needed)? The strength of a good personal trainer shows in their approach to teaching and how they impart knowledge, how they break down industry jargon to understandable terms and movements to suit every client they are working with. This can also include how they approach different situations, how they handle criticism or conflict; how do they deal with gaps in their knowledge? There’s a lot to consider, and this is also why there’s no harm in working with a few different personal trainers before you find the right match.

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