Hey Angels and Alphas!
Today, we’re here to talk a little bit more about the personal training industry, and how you can be sure that your current personal trainer is the right choice for you.
Now, I’ve already done a post explaining how to find the right fitness coach based on your goals.
That had mostly to do with you – how your mission, philosophy, and comfort level relate to those of your fitness coach.
But today, I want to talk about the five biggest signs that your fitness trainer is indeed the perfect fit for you!
If you’ve had a trainer before, or you have one now, you either enjoy the experience as a whole, or you don’t. Right now, you’re going to learn valuable insights straight from the psyche of professional trainers that has more to do with how they perform instead of how they brand themselves.
Their goals, their philosophy, and their approach to you and fitness as a whole – these things will not only define them as a trainer, but they’ll define your results in the long-run.
Without further ado, here are the five biggest signs that your trainer is the real deal.
Number one… They’ve got a plan!
You’re either going to a trainer because you’re completely new to the gym, or because you’re too advanced and need another professional to help you take your abilities to the next level.
Regardless if you’re the first or the second, the right trainer will already have a plan for you.
During your first talk or training session, they’ll most likely ask you about your goals and abilities. Then, they’ll channel all of their personal trainer magic into creating an actionable, useful, and practical plan to help you achieve those goals.
But they won’t just have a plan for the gym! A great trainer will let you know what to do even on the days when you’re not in the gym.
Not only that, but they won’t just cover training. Professional trainers know that merely working out won’t get you to your goals. That’s why they’ll most likely create a meal plan (or at least a set of nutrition tips) for you to follow on the regular.
Number two… They won’t push you. They’ll help you push yourself.
One of the most famous trainer archetypes is the loud, screaming, all-out trainer that pushes you to your limits and doesn’t let you give up.
In reality, that’s just not practical. Trust me; you don’t want a “no pain, no gain” type of trainer, especially if you’re a complete beginner.
If your trainer is indeed awesome, they’ll know that the secret to getting a trainee to do something isn’t by telling them to do it.
What they do is they set an example for you, and then raise you to that standard by motivating you, reminding you of your goals, and never allowing you to give up on yourself.
Number three… they’ll keep you safe!
A great trainer will never allow you (let alone encourage you) to do something that’s out of your capabilities.
Once they get a feel for how your body works and progresses, they’re going to give you just the right level of challenge when it comes to working out.
If you feel like your trainer isn’t fully listening to you, or that they’re always on their phone, acting like training you is a chore… that’s a sign that they’re not fully paying attention to your safety.
A great trainer will keep you safe by standing behind you every set of the day, every step of the way.
Number four… they’re going to educate you.
A real personal trainer won’t try to make your progress dependent on them.
They’ll constantly be trying to learn new things about you, and by applying their knowledge and experience, they’ll return that knowledge to you. They’ll always be teaching you things about yourself that you didn’t even know.
If your coach keeps recommending you classes, activities, courses, even sends you fun blog posts…
If they’re teaching you how to become your best self and do everything by yourself…
This is a clear sign that your trainer cares about you and your progress.
Number five… They’re going to give you homework.
As I said earlier, a real trainer knows progress doesn’t happen only in the gym.
A coach who wants to see you succeed will give you a LOT of things to work on at home!
If your trainer isn’t giving you any work outside of your training sessions, they don’t know what they’re doing.
In your hour-long sessions, you should be doing way more than just training. By the end of a workout, you should be so full of information, and you just can’t wait to get home, do your homework, and in turn, learn more about yourself and your body.
Number six… They’re going to put a lot of emphasis on nutrition.
If you’re working with someone on achieving your fitness goals, and they don’t know squat about food, you’re done for!
Is your trainer constantly going on and on about training sessions, but only giving you a vague idea of what you need to be eating and doing outside the gym… this could mean that they’re only trying to get the most hours out of you, and they’re not entirely dedicated to seeing you grow.
Great trainers recognize the need for a flawless diet when chasing your goal, and unless you plan on doing cardio every day, they’ll surely let you know.
You should be spending most of your time working out actually talking about nutrition. Your trainer should provide you with at least a basic, realistic meal plan, as well as an approach to your overall diet. And if they can’t do that, they’re going to reach out to someone who can, like a nutritionist.
Number seven… they’re focused on rest and slow progression.
After you complete your first few training sessions, you’ll notice a tendency.
If your trainer is awesome, he/she will always ask how you’re recovering, how your days look, and how much rest you’re getting lately. Recovery is a vital component of reaching your fitness goal, and a great trainer knows that.
Every time you see each other, they’ll be adding to their assessment of you. This assessment will help them determine how your body functions, how much rest you need, and how much effort you need to be committing daily in order to progress at your desired pace.
Naturally, they’ll be pushing you to your healthy limits, and all those efforts are going to stress your body. A great trainer will emphasize your rest days, not limit them so that they can get more hours in with you.
Number eight… They manage, structure, and track everything.
Is your trainer tracking your results more than you are?
Great coaches understand the meaning of “everyone is different.” They know all of the various ways people respond to different stimulus, and they use that when they track your progress.
If they’re always walking around with a pen and paper around, you know that trainer is doing a good job. Just by the fact that they realize your individuality, they already help you a ton! Most coaches just use the same formulated approach for everyone they work with.
And while that’s not a crime by any means, a coach who cares about your results will be writing down every little detail of your journey so they can help you get to your goal faster.
If they’re using the same approach as they do for everyone else, it’s not really “personal” training, is it?
A good training mentor will be customizing, planning, and evaluating every next step of your journey, essentially allowing you to min-max your results and learn an incredible amount of information about yourself.
If your trainer is indeed awesome, they’re going to be always commending you for your efforts, measuring your progress, keeping track of your strength and endurance, and while you’re working out, they’ll be busy either helping you or taking notes.
Number nine… their client list is full of happy, fit people.
Don’t get me wrong – I know a lot of trainers who were incredible as soon as they started coaching people. I slightly touched on this topic in my “How to Choose the Right Fitness Coach” post, but it was more related to the question of reputation rather than experience.
Great trainers are naturally extremely confident at what they do. They have a list of dozens, hundreds, some even thousands, of clients that they have helped achieve real results.
Want to put your trainer to the test? Ask them who their proudest transformation is. Ask them to show you a client they’ve worked with that had the same goals as you and achieved tremendous results by working with them. This way, you can be almost certain that your trainer is the real deal.
And the tenth, final, and most important sign… They’re bringing you results!
Quite frankly, some of you might say that this is the only sign that matters.
And while I do agree to some extent, I believe that we can’t just put up with someone who we don’t enjoy being around just because they bring us results.
Hiring a personal trainer is an experience. Not a transaction. This is a person you are going to have to listen to, learn from, and grow with.
If you start working out with a trainer, give them two weeks to prove that they genuinely care about your progress.
Use the things you’ve learned in this blog post to spot the difference between a good and a great trainer.
A good trainer will help you get results…
But an awesome trainer will help you achieve those results while making the entire experience simple, pleasurable, and most importantly, educational!