‘Personal trainer‘ is a buzz-word at the moment. It has become mainstream, and the industry is expanding at an astonishing rate. The majority of the trainers are well qualified and insured, with a sporting history and background – you’re in safe hands there.
However there is a growing trend for overnight personal training qualifications, serving the demand for people wanting to jump on a growing industry bandwagon. Experienced, high-calibre personal trainers can earn good money … people looking to change professions are aware of this, and want a piece of the pie. Unfortunately, this is diluting a well qualified, experienced industry, and tarnishing the reputation of personal trainers and personal training.
If you’re looking for a really good personal trainer, don’t be taken in by hype! Here are a few questions to ask when sorting the wheat from the chaff:
Is the trainer in good shape?
Probably the most overlooked aspect of the ‘fitness industry’: is your potential trainer in good shape? Is he/she lean, muscular and healthy?
What’s their experience?
I have been in the industry for 11 years, however I still have the same job title as someone who has qualified yesterday! Some qualifications can now be done in as little as 4 weeks! Think about it, would you hire a builder who has never built a house before?
What are their personal training qualifications?
Some courses are better than others Do they have sports science or strength and conditioning degrees? Who have they trained with – are they Poliquin qualified? Charles Poliquin is now THE name and an industry standard, for a trainer’s skill set and dedication to his trade.
Are they insured?
Trainers should have public liability insurance with cover of several million. Again, ask them about this.
Can they demonstrate results with their clients?
Ask about their results. Are before and after pictures real / copied / stolen / faked? Do they have testimonials, and are they convincing? Take a look at their website, for testimonials, reviews, articles. Do they talk about the industry with knowledge and authority?
Do they get the basics right?
The basics of personal training, all trainers should offer these. If they don’t, I’d be asking questions!
- Before and after pics.
- Take your weight.
- Take your body fat % with callipers (which is a skill in itself to get an accurate %!)
- Listen to your goals and create periodised programmes from this. With regular changes and tweaks to them
- Regular re-tests, making sure you’re moving in the right direction
There are some great, experienced personal trainers out there!
The industry has its faults – it’s quite un-regulated, which I believe will change in time. However if you do a bit of research through a trainer’s website, ask the right questions, you will find a very good trainer.
I’m a big believer – along with some of my most experienced colleagues – in policing our industry. That way we can keep the quality as high as possible.