For beginner who just joined a gym, one of the easier ways to kick start the workout is to engage a personal trainer, provided if you can afford. Getting a good personal trainer is crucial. In this article, let me share with you the top 8 tips to help you selecting a good solid personal trainer.
1) Has the trainer been certified?
It is true that some trainers learn from their experience, but you should give priority to a licensed instructor than someone who is uncertified. A qualified trainer will not only help you to achieve your fitness goals, but he will make sure your workout are conducted is safe and effective.
Certification means the trainer has proven his knowledge in the areas of exercise science including anatomy, basic nutrition and instructional methods as well as in emergency procedures and basic first aid.
Unfortunately, there are many personal trainers who are not qualified. For your safety, you should find out the instructor’s certification status before embarking on an exercise program with that person.
I am not saying certification is everything. In fact, I dare not say that certified trainer is definitely better than those who is not. My point is, if you are new and if you do not know the trainer’s background, a better bet will be on his certification. In fact, in this case, go for those who have industry widely recognized certification than those with in-house certification by the gym.
2) How long has the trainer been doing personal training?
Where did they learn their practical skills? The longer the trainer is in the industry, the more experience he has.
Some started just like you and I, working out for health. Then, they became part-time trainers before pursuing it as full time career. They are actually better personal trainers because they have gone through different stages and have a better understanding in what a students wants.
3) Do you get along well with the trainer?
You should feel comfortable with and be able to communicate openly with your personal trainer. Is he or she professional, yet personable? Is he or she non-competitive, fun and genuinely interested in helping you?
Some female gym goers prefer female personal trainers because of the close physical contact they may have. Nothing wrong with that. As long as you are comfortable, choose whoever you want.
4) Does the personal trainer keep on insisting you to buy supplement from him?
It is common for the trainer to recommend supplement if they believe that you need it. However, be wary of any personal trainer who pushes supplements or even things like steroid without any solid reasons. They most likely want to make quick money from you.
5) What are the trainer’s rates?
Rates vary depending on the trainer’s experience, length of session, and geographic location. In Malaysia, it is about RM85 to RM120 for a Personal Training (PT) session (USD25 to USD35 with exchange rate of USD1 to RM3.4). For example, it is about RM2,100 for 25 sessions.
As a layman, for comparison purpose, I knew:
- One-to-one home tuition for secondary school kid is about RM30 to RM50 per session in Klang Valley
- One-to-one driving lesson is about RM40 to RM60 per session
- One-to-one golf teaching is about RM80 to RM150 per session
Looking at the figures, it looks as if the charge for personal training is only slightly cheaper than learning golf.
I have no doubt on the effectiveness of having a personal trainer to guide you and motivate you. But, personally, I think that the package is pretty expensive for Malaysia standard. It should not be more than RM60 per session.
The main reason the rate is high because the gyms get a cut from the package. I was told that, it takes as much as 50% from the money. Assuming you pay RM100 for 1-hour session, RM50 goes to the instructor and RM50 goes to the gym. Therefore, if you get a freelance certified personal instructor and not from the gym, you know how much you can negotiate.
To see results, you probably need about 15 to 20 sessions. Assuming you go to gym 3 times a week, 20 sessions will only last you for less than two months. So, make sure you consider that before you decide your budget.
6) Can the trainer accommodate your schedule?
Some people like to exercise in the morning, while others prefer evenings. An inflexible or unavailable trainer can lower your motivation level. The more flexible he is, the more likely you are to exercise.
7) Does the trainer have experience working with clients in your age group, or with individuals who have specific needs or circumstances similar to your own?
For example, if you suffer from back problem or pregnant or have never exercised, you want a trainer experienced in appropriate exercise programming for these concerns.
These trainers should come out with a different programs to suit your needs. Only experienced trainers will be able to do so. Others will just have one program fits all approach.
8) Will the trainer give you the other clients’ name as references?
You should contact references for any trainer you are considering hiring. Find out if the clients were pleased with their workouts. Were their individual needs and concerns addressed? Was the trainer on time, neatly groomed and well prepared before each session?
The above list is not fool proof, but I hope that it will help.
Remember, personal training contributes about 20 percent of the success – whether you want to build up muscles, slim down or to tone your muscles. The remaining 80 percent depend on you.
If you choose not to go to gym often, not to take the right diet, not to learn more about the correct way of using the machines, even if you have Arnold or Stallone as your personal trainer, you are still going no where.
It is your money and it is your body. Just make sure you will not regret if you do use personal trainer’s service.
Category: Gym Going
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