Are You Interested In Hiring A Personal Trainer But Not Sure What To Ask Them? Do You Want To Hire The Best Trainer In Town But Not Sure What You Should Be Looking For?
The trick to hiring a personal trainer is in knowing what questions to ask them! Personal training is a booming industry, there are so many around these days from online coaches, gym gurus, quasi nutrition experts, rehab specialists etc…
But do they really know what they are talking about? Are they actually any good? Do they have any really evidence to support their claims to being a expert in their field?
What I see so often as a trained professional with over 40,000 hours of personal training myself is an industry that lacks professionalism, that lacks care-factor and that lacks a client-centric approach. With the internet these days anyone now can claim to be an expert by getting 10,000 followers!
So what should you ask them then to find out if this personal trainer is the right one for you?
Often, the first question someone looking for a personal trainer would ask is “How much do you charge?” When in fact this should be the LAST question you ask!
Before you take the massive step of faith on hiring a fitness “professional” to guide you through the complex and often daunting task of navigating your way to better health and fitness through exercises and nutrition interventions, read this article and discover the Miyagi top 10 questions you should ask a personal trainer before you hire them!
“How will you keep me accountable, inspire me to be the BEST version of me and motivate me through the hard times!?”
Firstly, they should look the part! I’m sorry if this offends some people, but you will understand the logic behind this first point shortly. As bad as it might sound out loud, we’re a judgemental society. It is often said that as a personal trainer their body is their business card and their best marketing tool!
If they cant keep themselves in shape, how are they going to help you?
Honestly, would you trust your financial future to a planner that was broke? Or would you trust your diet to a dietician that was greatly overweight and in terrible shape? I should hope not!
The physical condition or presentation of a personal training actually says a lot about them, how they live their life, what they actually know about getting in great physical shape and how they approach life!
Some of the main reasons people hire personal trainers are:
- Inspiration – We all draw on the energy of different people in our lives for different things. When it comes to our health and fitness we often will look to the personal trainer. If the personal trainer at best looks like someone that works at the local burger shop, how will this personal trainer inspire you to greater levels of health & fitness when the going gets tough?
- Accountability – Why would you hire a personal trainer that cannot keep themselves accountable to their own health and fitness goals? If they lack the discipline to get themselves there, I would greatly question their ability to get me there!
- Motivation – The main reason we need personal trainers is for motivation. You can have the best plan in the universe, but without the will and motivation to carry it through consistently you will struggle to ever attain your goals. Through the journey to the perfect you, you will hit hard times, in those times you will need a strong and motivated personal trainer that motivates you not only with their words and actions but also motivates you by virtue of what they stand for and live by!
“What are your qualifications and specialities?”
Knowing about their academic background is important. If your prospective personal trainer claims to be a nutrition expert but has no real formal training, this is a red flag! This fitness industry is rife with personal trainers stepping outside of their scope of practice and areas of expertise. If they are going to be giving advice on a subject they are legally meant to be formally qualified in that specific area.
Some other questions you could ask are:
- What industry courses are you currently studying?
- What are you currently reading?
- What are you currently doing in the area of personal development?”
These questions will tell you if they have a philosophy of ongoing education. Now, i’m not about to say hear that your personal trainer should have a PHD or only hire them if they have a masters degree. I have seen many personal trainers with honours degrees from universities that I wouldn’t trust them to train my dog!
In addition, I wouldn’t hire an arrogant adonis or fitness model that is a self absorbed moron either!
So, the two areas they should be educating in are: industry relevant studies and personal development studies.
What I am saying here is that your personal trainer should be a perpetual student, constantly up-skilling with relevant industry related courses, reading books and articles on the latest industry research and that they should have a GENUINE PASSION to continually learn and study the latest research available to help their clients fast track their fitness results.
In addition to relevant industry related study, it’s true that personal training is “personal” and that you will inevitably spend a substantial amount of time with this person. Ensure that they are also heavily driven in the area of personal development and that they are more than a meat head or a pair of hot legs.
“What’s your website URL? And do you have a closed V.I.P. Facebook group for clients?”
Having a website and a social media presence allows you to verify their claims and to look for social proof. Why is this important you ask? Well it basically indicates immediately if this personal trainer is a part-timer or if they are a serious professional that is properly set-up for business.
Basically it is a good indication if they will have all the tools and skills necessary to help you along your quest for your version of physical perfection.
A website normally would mean that they are writing blogs and that they would have lots of testimonials from previous clients etc…
The social media part like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube also generally will mean that they are posting up extra motivational material, training videos and more for the benefit of their clients.
The EXCELLENT personal trainers will even have a private V.I.P. closed group for their clients to socialise on and to access extra training videos and blogs exclusive to their clients. At Miyagi, all our V.I.P. clients get access to our V.I.P. Miyagi Group, it’s an excellent platform for motivation, education and inspiration!
“Can you show me people like myself that you have successfully helped before?”
This is a BIG one! Any personal trainer that is a seasoned professional should have a plethora of client testimonials to show new clients PROOF that they have successfully helped others before and that they actually know how to do it!
This kind of proof would normally be posted on their website, social media, in initial client interview presentations etc… Ask to see it! You should expect to see: quality images of before and after photos; a brief written or filmed verbal testimonial from them; their full name and contact number. This will ensure it is a REAL person and that you can do a reference check.
“What is the process by which we will work out if we are a good fit for each other? What is your recommendation for me?”
A professional personal trainer will NOT just take on any client. A professional will invite you for an obligation FREE consultation to first and foremost establish if you and the trainer will be a GOOD fit for each other.
In other words, it will be a two way interview process.
A good process will entail a medical evaluation; a lifestyle assessment; a series of nutrition questions; a detailed training history profiling; an in depth goal setting exercise etc…
All this process is so that the personal trainer can then begin to do what they will eventually get paid to do, that is to create a plan and strategy that is TAILORED to you, your needs and your wants!
They then should provide you with recommendations that are based on what you NEED to do to achieve those outcomes and not based on how many session you WANT to do or how many sessions they WANT to add to their business for the week!
“How will you go about assessing me and clearing me for training?”
A professional will NOT take you onto the gym floor without FIRST taking you through the following
- A movement analysis – This is to look at how you move, what areas of your body are tight and any potential red flags / restrictions in your body that will effect what you can do on the gym floor.
- A strength assessment – This is to assess your current strength capacity to then tailor a strength program that is SPECIFIC to you.
- A cardiovascular assessment – This is to determine current aerobic capacity to then tailor a cardiovascular or conditioning program that is RIGHT for you.
Ask them about the process that they will take you through to get you ready to lift weights.
“How do you do your programming for clients? And how often will I receive an updated program?”
A professional will have a structured and methodical process that they follow to get people from beginner status to gym legend status. As you would know, you must first walk before you can run!
If your personal trainer throws you straight into the deep end with the BIG gym exercises like High Bar Back Squats, Conventional Dead Lifts, Bench Press etc without some kind of general preparation phases, then run for the hills as they are an amateur!
In addition to that, you SHOULD have a physical program! Something that is on paper or some kind of digital pdf etc. This would tell me that there is a method to their madness…
Every 4 weeks you should also have a new program that takes you through the next month or phase of training. This ensures that you stay challenged, interested and on track to becoming the BEST version of you.
“Do you provide nutrition coaching as well?”
Now, personal trainers are not technically qualified to provide you with nutrition advice unless they have formally studied and qualified with some kind of degree, diploma or certification in nutrition.
If they have qualified with some nutrition studies, they will be able to provide you with some ultra important but basic guidelines regarding nutrition that are ESSENTIAL to helping you achieve your goals.
Exercise alone WILL NOT get you there, you will need a training and nutrition program as one compliments the other.
“Do you currently work with any allied health care professionals?”
As previously stated, personal trainers are limited to the advice they can give based on their level of education, this is called “scope of practice”. No personal trainer should step outside of their level or area of education. Ever.
In areas that they are NOT qualified to provide advice or diagnose conditions, the personal trainer SHOULD have a expert team of allied health care professionals such as sports physiotherapists, sports & remedial massage therapists, osteopaths, dieticians, exercise physiologists and GP’s etc…
The personal trainer should have a list of EXPERTS that they deal with on a regular basis and that they could refer you out to quickly should it be deemed necessary to get a professionals opinion or a diagnosis on something relevant to your health & fitness.
“Do you offer a money back guarantee of any kind?”
A GREAT sign of an EXPERT, is confidence. Not a fake confidence, a humble but honest confidence that guarantees that you will get:
- Excellent service every time
- Their attention every time
- A service that is second to none every time
- A money BACK guarantee should you not be 100% satisfied with any session you do with them over the life of your training relationship with them!
At Miyagi, we provide a 100% no charge, money back guarantee to our clients should they feel that they have NOT received the BEST service from their personal trainer in that session.
Now that you know what to ask a personal trainer, we INVITE you to try us out but APPLYING today by clicking on this link http://miyagi.fitness/apply/
We look forward to meeting you and helping you become THE BEST VERSION of you!