How to find the right Personal Trainer for you

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With my leaving Shanghai, I have been asked this question endlessly. Here are my 3 top tips for finding a Personal Trainer you will enjoy working with.

1. Where to start?

Personal Trainers are no longer just for the sports elite and Hollywood stars. Once you start looking, you will be surprised how many of your friends are using one. Start exactly there! Ask around to see if anyone can recommend a trainer. If you are a member of a gym or clubhouse, check there, as that will be the first stop to observe personal trainers in action and if you like the training they are doing. If all of this brings no results, Google is your next best friend! Most trainers today will have a profile website, Facebook page, or Linked In site. These are excellent sources to find out some background on them, what kind of training they do, and how they are certified. You want to look for someone who has a Personal Trainer license, an up to date first aid certification, and perhaps some bonus trainings like strength and conditioning, Pilates, sports injuries or others. Don’t be discouraged by completely new trainers though. What they may lack in experience, they often make up for with high energy and super motivation to give you the best workout possible.

2. Meet your trainer for a chat

Before you start sweating at the gym, meet your trainer for a chat. You want to establish the most important points first:

- what are your goals?

- what are your concerns or dislikes when it comes to training?

- do you have any injuries or health concerns that need to be addressed?

As you are talking, make sure you click with the trainer. Getting yourself out of bed or away from family and work is hard enough. If you don't like the person you are going to see several times a week, you will not stick to your routine; it's as simple as that. While you don't have to become best friends, feel comfortable with the trainer, and feel like you are on the same wave length when it comes to weight loss and ideas around health. Feel free to ask questions about their background and what kind of training they do with other clients who have similar goals. If you do have certain injuries to work around, make sure your trainer has some knowledge on how to work with this. While basic anatomy training is always part of a Personal Trainer certification, it helps if they also have some sports injury or rehabilitation background to deal with your specific injury.

3. Spoilt for choice?

You have met several trainers and just don't know who to choose? The hourly fee or package they are trying to sell you may make a difference here. But sometimes just that isn't important. Look into other bonuses they may provide you. Some trainers are linked to health clubs where you can get a discount or free classes. Other trainers also have some knowledge in nutrition and can help you to clean up your diet. Or perhaps they are happy for you to bring your wife or husband along so you can get fit together.

Lastly, go with your gut instinct. Someone is talking the big impressive talk but the other trainer just feels like a friend you have had forever? Go with the friend, you will look forward to your training sessions and get so much more out of them!

Happy training!