Last updated on March 1st, 2022 at 06:59 PM
Employing the services of a personal trainer can be a smart investment as you work toward your health and fitness goals. A good trainer will keep you on track and guide you in proper exercises technique.
A great trainer will do much more than that. They’ll infuse you with passion, motivate you to achieve new goals, and provide variety and creativity to keep you enthused.
You deserve to have not a good, but a great trainer. In this article, we’ll identify half a dozen traits of an awesome personal fitness trainer.
Adjusts To Your Motivation Style
Not all of us are motivated by the same things when it comes to working out. Some people react positively to the in-your-face sergeant-major type of boot camp style encouragement. Others don’t. For them, a quiet, ‘You’ve got this’ is all that’s needed to bring out their best. A great trainer will know the difference and adjust accordingly.
A great trainer will quickly be able to identify what does and what doesn’t motivate you. They’ll also quickly discern the level of conversation that is appropriate around the workout.
If you’re a person who gets laser-focused on the workout and shuts out anything that will divert your focus, you don’t want a trainer who’s going to waffle on about their weekend during the warm-up.
On the other hand, that sort of social interaction may be right up your alley. A great trainer will know when to talk and when to keep quiet.
Refines Your Goals
You have your training goals when you take on a personal trainer. Often, though, those goals are quite general – you want to lose weight or gain muscle. A top-level trainer will help you to define your goals so that they are very specific.
A great trainer will also help you to set realistic goals. Often, we set goals that are simply not achievable. Very few people, for example, will be able to gain a six-pack in a few months – or even a year. A trainer who tells you otherwise is simply setting you up for failure.
Awesome trainers will not only set achievable long-term goals, such as getting to 15 percent body fat, but they’ll break them down so that you have stepping stone goals to keep you motivated along the way. In fact, they should provide you with daily goals that are focused on actions, like eating clean for the day, rather than outcomes.
A good trainer may help you to set goals but a great one will guide you all the way to their achievement.
Many mediocre trainers will go through the motions of helping the client set a goal and then do their best not to mention it again. That is because it makes them accountable; if you don’t achieve the goal, you might conclude that their services are not worth the expense.
Awesome trainers don’t think like that. They are committed to making your goal a reality. Because of that, they will regularly assess you to see if you’re making progress. If not, they’ll make changes to either your training program or your nutrition program.
Provides Nutritional Guidance
A great trainer will acknowledge that working out is just one part of the equation when it comes to achieving their clients’ goals. And it’s not even the most important part.
Nutrition is the most important part.
Most personal trainers are not nutritionists or dietitians. As a result, they are not able to recommend any specific diets or meal plans. Many trainers will, accordingly, completely avoid the issue of nutrition. But that is a huge disservice to the client.
Personal trainers can and should provide general nutritional guidance, giving their clients goals around eating and holding them accountable for what goes in their mouths.
They should also provide tips around shopping and eating, realizing the vital importance of nutrition to the achievement of the client’s goals.
An awesome trainer will also recommend a good nutritionist to give the client more specific dietary advice.
Actively Adjusts Your Movements
A good personal trainer will demonstrate how to do an exercise. A great one will intently follow your exercise movement and make adjustments accordingly to correct your form.
They will never lose focus throughout the entire session. They will know the slight nuances and ergonomic changes you can make to accommodate for your unique body to prevent injury and optimize the training effect of the movement.
Knows When to Stop
A great trainer will be able to steer their clients toward a healthy lifestyle while preventing them from becoming obsessed and potentially falling into a state of overtraining.
He will be well aware of the dangers of too much exercise and too little recovery and will have the interpersonal skills to guide their clients away from that situation. Trainers who can’t do this can be likened to a bartender who keeps filling the glass of an alcoholic!
To help clients to avoid overtraining, an awesome trainer will do the following:
- Provide instruction on the difference between a healthy and an obsessive fitness lifestyle
- Schedule not just training, but also rest and active recovery days.
- Inject variety into the training program
- Elicit feedback from the client, including how they are feeling emotionally about their routine.
Leads by Example
A great personal trainer is a model of living a healthy lifestyle. They should work out, eat and recover the way they recommend that you do so.
They should also be a model of professionalism, not just in their dress and grooming, but also in the way they interact with others. A quality trainer will never disparage others, including other trainers or gyms.
There are a lot of good personal trainers around. To find a great one, though, you need to do a little digging. Use the 6 points here as your checklist as you research trainers in your area.
Check online reviews and, if possible, talk to current clients. Then, when you decide on a trainer, pay for a couple of stand-alone sessions before signing up for a package deal. If the trainer gels with you and meets all of our criteria, then you are onto a winner.
Sam is a functional movement coach, ex-collegiate rower, and writer at Start Rowing, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. She has a passion for health and exercise and loves being able to help others move more freely.