So you decided to take your fitness to the next level, make a commitment, and move forward with hiring someone to hold you accountable for your fitness or sport. If you are not sure where to start to look for the right trainer or coach, then read this!
1. Experience matters. Your trainer/coach should have a strong background themselves in fitness. Even if they don't have a lot of years under their belt, you want to pick someone who knows what they are doing and is passionate about their sport. When you meet your trainer for the first time, not only are they interviewing YOU, but you are interviewing THEM.
2. What are their credentials? For personal training, the top three certifications that I know of are ACE, NASM, and ACSM. There are many out there, but these are the ones I come across most often. I would choose someone who has a WELL KNOWN certification, not an online one. Most accredited certifications require a weekend workshop with a practical exam at the end with a written test at a testing site.
3. How are their people skills? If you are going to be working closely with someone for several hours or more, then you want to make sure you have a good working relationship. It has to be someone you TRUST and feel comfortable with. Your trainer/coach needs to be a good LISTENER and clearly understand your goals. They only know what YOU tell them, so always lead with HONESTY no matter what.
4. A good trainer will share nutrition options with you. They don't have to be a dietician to give you general advice on products they use themselves or have used in the past, especially if it's a well known product such as Shakeology or Advocare. I put folks on the 21 Day Fix and Shakeology all the time because it is a PROVEN nutrition plan developed by a team of dietitians and nutritionists. Losing weight and getting fit is made up mostly of what you eat and most trainers have a go to nutrition company or plan they use.
5. A good coach will tailor your workouts to fit your needs and your schedule. If you are looking to build endurance, then most likely your coach will have you doing cardiovascular training. If you're trying to build muscle, then he or she will have you lifting more weights.
6. Goal setting- your trainer will sit down with you and talk about your SPECIFIC goals, write them down, and track your progress toward them. A good coach will want to look at your data often and see your improvements each week. Your trainer/coach should EDUCATE you and empower you by teaching you how to be an active participant in your own health and fitness.
7. Specialty- Most trainers have an area of expertise which they have more experience in. For example, I am big on FLEXIBILITY training and I use the PiYo workout for a lot of my clients. I also specialize in endurance training since I am a triathlete. Ask your coach or trainer about their area of expertise.
8. Personal Fitness- Your trainer/coach should be a "product of the product". In other words, he/she needs to be physically fit and "walking the walk". As a leader, they need to be following in their own footsteps and setting the example. I used to work at a gym where the lead personal trainer was a heavy smoker and had almost no cardiovascular fitness because of this. And he had only a few clients too.