With the new year upon us, many people look to hire a personal trainer to help kick their physical health in gear. I interviewed Colleen Orton, MS, NASM CPT, CHES, to ask her what are some things you should look for when seeking out a personal trainer and other advice. You can view the key points from the video below.
Q: What is the first thing you should look for when finding a personal trainer?
A: You should have a good idea for what your goals are and make sure they align with the expertise of the personal trainer. If you are unsure of your goals, then that is the first thing a trainer should bring up with you.
Q: Why does personal training seem to be so expensive?
A: You aren’t just paying the personal trainer for the time you see them face-to-face, they are still working to put a program together, matching your abilities with exercises to meet your goals. There are also other costs like travel, overhead, and even corporate fees like a fitness club partnership. Education and keeping certificates up to date are also expensive.
Q: What are some ways I can still get the benefits of a personal trainer but also keep the costs a bit lower?
A: In a gym setting, you can do partner or small group personal training. You can also look into online training. You can even spread out the frequency of when you meet with your personal trainer as you become more confident with your exercise routine and abilities.
Q: What should I be doing between the times I meet with my personal trainer?
A: They should be able to give you homework to work on between sessions. You can always focus on cardio vascular exercises, even just walking.
Q: What do I do when I have a health-related question, but it isn’t exactly related to exercise?
A: Ask any question that you have. A personal trainer can give you some advice but also should refer you to another health expert when the subject is out of their scope. For example, a personal trainer can give you general nutrition advice, but should not be creating a specific nutrition plan for you without consulting a registered dietitian or referring you to one.
Q: Can you tell us more about online personal training and who might benefit from it?
A: Online personal training is an option to help keep the costs of a trainer down, however, there are challenges and limits to what an online trainer can do. It does take a little bit of the personal out of personal training. There are challenges when trying to spot and correct improper movement patterns with a client. Periodic video meetings can help with that slightly.
Q: What should I be doing towards the end of my training package that I purchased?
A: It’s a good time to revisit those goals that you set with your personal trainer. Have you met your goals? Have your goals changed? This should be an educational experience for you. If not, then it would be a good time to look for a different personal trainer.