In addition to helping you choose the right training equipment (from the right outfit to the right training accessories), sports coaches are valuable assets to accompany you in your training program. But how do you choose the right coach for your goals? That’s what we’re going to look at in this article with the best tips for choosing your personal trainer.
The advantages of using a personal trainer
Using a personal trainer for your training is the best way to achieve your goals safely and effectively, and to make sure you get the most out of your sports equipment. Safety, versatility, variety and expertise are just some of the key benefits of working with a professional personal trainer.
Investing in a personal trainer is an investment in your health and fitness. The best coaches meet you where you are in your sport and help you to become the best you can be through well-designed and adapted workouts. In addition, coaches empower you, optimize your time through effective workouts, can help you achieve specific training goals and (most importantly) motivate you.
In addition to teaching proper movement execution to reduce injury or even just fatigue, a coach will get to know your athletic personality. In fact, for the same movement or machine, there are different training methods or approaches for each person. A long-lasting relationship with a sports coach will allow him or her to make you do judicious exercises and to teach you the techniques to reach your goals.
What should I consider when choosing a sports coach?
First define your personal goals, whether they are related to health or well-being or to a more specific need (muscle building, muscle strengthening), then start looking for a coach according to your criteria.
Also, to avoid injuries, make sure you choose a coach who has the expertise to modify the intensity of your workouts according to your fitness level. This can help prevent many inconveniences such as overtraining, injuries, etc. A good trainer will also explain and show you how to modify the exercises to best suit your abilities.
It is not forbidden to test several coaches and to do a trial session. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in order to understand their philosophy, their personality and the actions you will take together to achieve your goals. Important questions and discussion topics that an experienced coach should ask are: Do you need variety? What types of training do you enjoy? Do you have injuries? Have you had a negative experience with a previous coach? If so, knowing these difficulties can help a professional coach adapt his or her approach to establish a lasting relationship.
In addition to these criteria, it is of course advisable to do some practice checks. Here are the most important ones:
What training and certification do they have?
A sports coach or fitness trainer must be able to provide information about his or her qualifications. To obtain a diploma, personal coaches must pass an exam at accredited organizations. Using a professional is important not only to ensure their knowledge, but also their own safety. Asking the bodybuilder in your gym for advice is probably a bad idea.
What other credentials do they have?
It is entirely appropriate to ask questions about the health and fitness related credentials a coach may have.
There are a multitude of diplomas for particular sports. Examples include CrossFit and Pilates among others. Some coaches may have a dual qualification with a diploma in dietetic nutrition or kinesiology. Generally, reputable coaches highlight this information on their website or on their business cards.
How long have they been in this field?
Find out about their experience. What are their preferred methods of working? Don’t be shy, this person will work to help you achieve your fitness goals, you want to make sure they’ve already been successful in helping others.
What is its area of expertise?
Each coach has its own specificities. Find out if they specialize in training for rehabilitation, marathon or weight loss. You want to make sure you are matched with a coach who is passionate about your goals.
What style of training do they offer?
Will you work in a shop-sized studio with fitness equipment or outdoors in a park with fitness accessories and free weights?
While not a determining factor, they will make the difference between enjoying or dreading your workout. If your joints can’t handle running outdoors and 50% of your workout is running on the street, it’s probably not a good thing.
You want to look for someone who has qualifications that will help you do what you want to do (for example, rehabilitation from injury). Just because a coach is good, doesn’t mean his or her style of coaching will suit you. Personality is also important. What motivates you? How do you approach training? Do you need a cheerleader to motivate you mentally or do you need a kick in the butt? Coaching philosophies play an important role in your success with a coach.
What would be her availability?
Do they have enough time to focus on you with their other clients? How often do you plan to meet with them? If you want to make sure your schedules match, the worst thing you can do is to find a coach you like and then realize that your availabilities are not compatible.
What is their fee schedule?
Is this a realistic option for your current financial situation? Do they offer discounts for bulk package purchases or do they only charge an hourly rate? Don’t get involved with a sports coach without budgeting accordingly. Starting a program and then having to stop it for financial reasons can ruin your progress. There are different solutions for different budgets. In many cases, it is possible to do two or three workouts or group classes to reduce your costs.