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How to pick the perfect personal trainer?

FITNESS: It's easy to become a qualified personal trainer, says Racquel Sinclair

HOW DO you know if you have acquired a notable trainer and not just someone who's fallen off the generic fitness coach conveyor belt?

In my opinion, it's so easy to become a qualified personal trainer with minimal effort and knowledge. The necessary requirements are minimal in order to begin trading your services at a local gym, health club chain or in a local park. With access to Instagram and YouTube, it is extremely easy to take ideas off the internet at your convenience without having to do much work at all.

So how do we know if we are merely getting ourselves a copycat or a highly experienced personal trainer?

Now let's not be mistaken, we've all had to start somewhere – but it's how you start that matters. Take note, a success-driven and growing personal trainer seeks and pertains knowledge not entirely for themselves but for their clients and their business. Most trainers emphasise and highlight their expertise in weight loss and muscle mass, but who are their niche clientele?

It is hugely important to understand and acknowledge your prospective trainer’s comprehension and experience. You would not employ a lawyer just because they have a certificate, you want to have complete confidence in their ability to represent you. A personal trainer does the equivalent by being held accountable for 50 per cent of the final representation of you. The other 50 per cent is down to you!

We are taught to ask questions, so ask. You have particular training needs and goals that you want to be met, hence it is a requirement that the trainer you seek can achieve this.

My belief is that there are three key areas that should be enforced by a personal trainer. First is the ability to produce a well-planned training programme. You should see where your trainer expects to take you over the next 2-4 weeks. You left your needs analysis and goals in their capable hands so find out what their method is to achieving your goal.

The second is nutrition. Your trainer needs to offer you support in this area on a regular basis either by offering a nutrition guide to follow or regular updates providing you with support with macros – including food and water tracking. The third is the importance of rest. Rest is vital for reasons such as recovery, injury prevention, muscle growth, mental health and more. Your trainer should make this an important factor if they wish to get the best out of you and you out of yourself.

Today, personal trainers are mass-produced, don't let what you see fool or mislead you. Ask to see their qualifications if this makes you feel better before parting with your funds. Get feedback from their other clients. Are they always on time? Do they communicate well? Do they know what they are talking about?

From my experience, roughly three in 10 personal trainers continue chasing the knowledge while the rest just chase the money. As we are in a social media-driven world, don't be swayed by someone having 100,000 followers. This doesn’t mean they are a good personal trainer, it's most likely that they are a good Instagram or YouTube curator. There are many trainers and therapists who don't have time for social media because they are too busy dealing with what’s in front of them – you!

We all want to have and lead a healthier lifestyle and it helps when we have a coach or personal trainer to guide us, just be sure that you weigh up all your options, do your research and make the right choice. After all, this is a contract between you and them. Know what you are getting, have it written down, understand what they expect from you. If they are unable to deliver then appoint someone else who can.

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