Tips For Finding The Best Personal Trainer

We love to hear from trainers around the country who are helping the wellness-minded achieve health at high levels. Trainer Christian Elliot is the founder of TRUE Health and Wholeness in Virginia, where clients experience the multifaceted elements of fitness, diet, and wellness education. Our pieces from Christian convey paradigm shifts he’s experienced in his own journey toward optimal health that now serve his wide-spread client base. With a mission to redefine our basic ideas of health in an upward direction, TRUE Health and Wholeness has a wealth of knowledge to share…

Finding a good trainer can take some work.  Here are a few things to consider when searching for the trainer that perfectly suits you and your lifestyle. While being conveniently located, having a body that doubles as a great business card and having specialties that match your goals are important, here are four other essential questions worth answering about the person you would consider hiring:

How much experience do they really have? What have they personally accomplished in exercise? Nothing compensates for breadth of experience.  You want a trainer who knows what it feels like to be in the shoes they might put you in and who can lead you through the process.  How many hours of experience do they have vs. how many years? In a couple years or less, a full-time trainer can have thousands of hours of experience to draw upon.  In contrast, a trainer with “15 years of experience” may have only been working part-time with the same two people for 15 years.  What is the breadth (age, demographic, goals, etc.) of their clientele? Have they worked with anyone who has similar goals to you, and do they have a frame or reference to help you set new goals as the years and accomplishments accumulate?

Is their passion for what they do obvious? If not, it probably won’t be after you’ve purchased some sessions, either.  Unfortunately, even the fitness industry is not immune to having “professionals” who are bored with their work.  Any of us can feel stale if we sit on what we know for too long.  Passionate trainers are plugged into networks that keep them motivated, current with the latest research and industry trends, as well as practicing what they preach.  Passionate trainers are always looking to enrich their client’s experience.  The others just count reps and collect a paycheck.  If you hire a trainer, his or her energy (or lack of it) is part of what will fuel (or dampen) your workouts.  Find a trainer whose enthusiasm is contagious.

Do they possess a combination of Confidence and Humility?  Good trainers are confident, but not cocky.  Interviewing a trainer should give you confidence that they have tools that can change your life, but you should also see a humble side of them that recognizes they don’t know everything.  Confident trainers convey that with well-crafted routines and attention to detail – you cannot help but see results.  Humble trainers recognize that you are not a carbon copy of anyone else and that this journey of helping you be a better version of yourself will be a learning experience for both of you.

Do they understand their role as a part of “Team You”? Good trainers understand and demonstrate there is more to vitality than just a good workout.  They understand that their work with you is only a portion of what makes you whole and healthy.  Such trainers are typically plugged into a network of other health and wellness professionals who can help you accomplish your health goals and, in turn, benefit more from the wonderful world of exercise.

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