You know what you want to achieve with your health and fitness goal and now you’re looking for a personal trainer to help you execute. You want that appointment booked in and you want to know that for that 1-Hour you’re maximising every bit of your time training for your goals. You want expertise AND confidence because anything less is a waste of your time and you won’t get return on your investment. The worst thing you can do is start with a trainer and 1 session in, know that your trainer isn’t right for you.
I’m going to tell you what to look out for so you don’t make that mistake.
After having my fair share of personal trainers to help me with my own health and fitness transformation; I’ve come across excellent ones and bad ones. Luckily for me I came across my good ones early which helped me quickly realise when I had come across bad ones that weren’t up to standard. Working with a good trainer early is great because it makes you less likely to make hiring mistakes in the future.
Hiring trainers for my own fitness and body transformation also helped me in developing the hiring process for Athletic Studio trainers where our trainers go through a rigorous induction process which I know our clients are very thankful for.
This is what you should know:
1. Sport & Exercise Science Degrees Don’t Matter
Some of our trainers at Athletic Studio will get triggered by this but it’s the honest truth. Degrees don’t matter as there are good doctors and bad doctors, good lawyers and bad lawyers. In any industry, there’s the best and worst performers. Ray Dalio the ex hedge fund manager and founder of Bridgewater Associates meets with 3 medical specialists before deciding if he needs to have surgery or not. He doesn’t take the first medical specialist’s advice just because they’ve got a Degree and they’re supposed to know what they’re talking about.
So just because a Personal Trainer has a Degree listed on their profile, doesn’t mean that they’re good. There’s no point in your personal trainer having a degree in Sports or Exercise Science if they don’t apply what they’ve learnt to themselves or others.
What you want to look for instead is if your personal trainer practises what they preach. Do they look the part? It’s more motivating for you if your trainer is in good shape. I’ve had many executive clients tell me specifically that they’d never train with an out of shape trainer. A personal trainer’s job is also mainly kinesthetic and they’re going to be more helpful to you when you’re training if they physically train themselves. The harder they push themselves, the better it is for you too. Nothing changes inside of your comfort zone. They’ll better understand how to execute the movements and what you’re going through.
This means better form for you, more motivation and security in knowing that what you’re going through with exercise, nutrition and lifestyle changes, your trainer has gone through that process or is already there.
If they have a Degree behind that, that’s great.
2. They Have Relevant Before & After Photos & Testimonials
The more relevant it is to you the better. If you’re a 30+ or 40+ founder, business owner or C-suite executive with family, a busy lifestyle and you want to get shredded, there’s little relevance for you in a trainer if they’re only able to demonstrate results for fresh out of uni students who have all the time in the world to exercise and deal with less stress.
The approaches to training, nutrition and coaching are completely different.
Do you want to be spoken to in a high pitched voice and be asked if that “feels” ok after each set and rep? I didn’t think so.
Find a trainer that has proven results or a trainer that is working in a personal training company that has proven results specific to your current situation. Do they and have they worked with people similar to you? The more relevant it is to you the better.
3. You Want A 1-On-1 Specialist & Not A Group Training Generalist
If a personal trainer offers in person 1-on-1, online training, group training and sells protein powder on the side, that’s a red flag. If they were a good 1-on-1 personal trainer, that’s all they’d be doing.
Athletic Studio has been and is built on specialising in only 1-on-1 personal training.
A generalist personal trainer offering anything and everything takes away their focus on you. If your 1-on-1 PT session is scheduled after their 10 member bootcamp, how much energy do you think they’re going to have left for you? Not much. Also their online clients will be DM’ing and messaging them all throughout your PT session.
A specialist 1-on-1 personal trainer will know how to tailor their coaching to you. There’s not a one size fits all approach and specialist trainers understand that some clients need more support and other clients require accountability so the client gets the results they want. For this, the trainer should always be at the top of their game.
4. They’re Continuously Learning In These Key Areas
Self paid courses in nutrition, strength and conditioning, rehab, psychology (or the art of coaching) or internships with other results proven personal training companies is what you should be looking for in their profile.
These are the key areas to getting you fitter, faster and stronger in a safe way. If a trainer is knowledgeable in these subjects they’ll confidently be able to progress you from A-B so you’re not performing any exercises that make you feel uncomfortable, they’ll teach you the correct warm ups specific to you, provide you with the right nutrition guidance and push you to that next level exactly when you’re ready for it.
It’s important to see if these courses are self paid or require a financial investment without government assistance (E.g. HECS in Australia) because where money goes, energy flows. Trainers will be more likely to apply what they’ve learnt because they have skin in the game. When we hire trainers at Athletic Studio and they’ve invested to have a personal trainer for themselves, they’re always more advanced and care more than a trainer who doesn’t get hired. If they’re self invested they see it as a career and not as a job.
You don’t want a trainer who’s looking to clock in and clock off.
The best trainers will give you breakthroughs when it comes to your technique, nutrition and training guidance, even if you’ve had a trainer before.
Note: In the results focused personal training industry, successful personal training companies sell their internships as courses, and they range anywhere between $2,000 for a 3-4 Day Intensive up to $25,000 for a year’s worth of mentoring. The personal trainer will pay for this themselves out of pocket with no government assistance besides an education tax write off come tax time. This is the creme-dela-creme of what you should be looking for in their profile or business as the trainer has been taught by world class proven experts in the key PT learning areas.
At Athletic Studio you can see our expertise and self invested courses here.
Another reason why Degrees don’t matter, as university and government incentivised course lecturers aren’t full-time successful personal trainers themselves. Successful personal trainers work as trainers or have their own PT business, they aren’t going to give their methods, systems and IP away for free either, that’s why there’s a barrier to entry and by entering, the trainer gains a wealth of knowledge that gets passed onto you.
5. They’ll Provide Support & They’re Not Afraid To Hold You Accountable When Required
A top PT will make you feel comfortable and confident in a new environment, especially if you’ve never done resistance or strength and conditioning training before, specific to improving your fitness and body composition. Instead of giving you a nutrition and training plan to follow and leaving it with you to execute, a top trainer will ensure that they’ve explained the “Why” and reasoning behind your nutrition and training plan, giving you more confidence that your plan is relevant and specific to your goal.
More importantly a top personal trainer will hold you accountable to your nutrition, training and results in situations and circumstances where you know you could have done better. Did you say to your trainer you weren’t going to have a tub of ice cream this weekend but you did anyway? A trainer that won’t get you results will tell you that’s ok because they’re scared that if they hold you to account, they’ll lose you as a client. A good trainer won’t care, your results is their priority and they’ll hold you to account and say “Didn’t you say you were going to be more on plan this weekend? What happened? What can we do better next time?”
A good personal trainer will continually work with you to seek solutions or implement systems and strategies so you get to your results more effortlessly.
If you’d like to work with one of our specialist 1-on-1 PT’s at Athletic Studio to help with your training goal contact us today.