A Personal Trainer Should…
When evaluating your potential coaches or personal trainers here’s some things to look for.
A personal trainer should;
Listen – Really listen. Part of a trainer’s job is to help you progress at a pace and tempo you feel comfortable with. If you are trying to tell your coach something and you don’t feel heard, it’s not a good fit.
Accommodate – If your trainer ever says anything like, “all my clients have to do this.” I’d be very cautious. A personal trainer should make a personal experience for you. Sometimes that means throwing away exercises or nutrition approaches they are used to, to find something better suited for YOU. Quick example: If you hate an exercise, I mean really hate it, nine times out of ten your trainer can find another option.
Not know everything – Make sure you know what your trainer is good at and what their expertise is. It is easy as a coach to feel a need to give an answer to every question. Sometimes the answer should be “it depends,” “I don’t know,” “what I’ve seen work before is…“
Always be asking questions – How do you feel today? How’s your stress? What’s your week look like? How did that exercise feel? Why do you think you have bad knees? What does it feel like when you feel unstable in a movement? The job is constant information gathering, from a personal level, to a stress level, to a programming level.
Stay in their lane – When I am training other trainers, one of the things I feel most strongly that they need to understand is their scope of practice. Personal trainers are not doctors, dietitians, physical therapists, etc. If a trainer starts diagnosing you, stay away from that person, as they probably don’t have your best interest at heart and are not qualified to give that advice. Trainers should help you enjoy exercise safely, make a connection with you that helps you on your journey towards whatever results you are looking for.
Have a why – Ask your personal trainer why you are doing an exercise. Sometimes something like, “we want to build strength in your quads to help your squat strength” is an answer. Sometimes, “because it’s a fun variation and I thought you’d like it.” Or even, “it’s really somewhat random exercise at this point, I just wanted to get your heartrate up with something that didn’t require too much concentration.”
Educate – My goal is to teach my clients the knowledge and skills to do their training on their own. But my hope that they won’t want to go it alone because they value the relationship and having a coach so much