I don’t know if you’ve noticed this but personal trainers are EVERYWHERE these days especially around here in North Finchley. Everyone is a personal trainer! What used to be a service for the rich and famous is now virtually a commodity.
Personal training is one of the easiest qualifications to get your hands on so, the mere fact that someone is a personal trainer doesn’t necessarily mean they will be any good.
Having been in the industry for over 10 years I know how to sift out the good from the bad and even spot the occasional gold nugget in the form of a great trainer. The things I look for when looking for a great trainer may not be the things you’d expect. I’ll tell you everything right now.
Hire An Expert To Get The Job Done Faster
If you want your financial accounts done thoroughly and quicker than what you could do, you would hire an accountant. Let’s say you were building a house, you’d hire an architect. If you were in trouble with the law you’d hire a lawyer.
It is of course possible that you could do all of these roles yourself if you had the time to study it all in enough detail. But it would take you 100 times longer than if you hired an expert. The same is true with your health, fitness or your body shape. If you want to get in better shape you should hire a personal trainer; or even better, a coach.
What’s the difference?
In my eyes, personal trainers are everywhere and they train people. Personal trainers take their clients through a workout, possibly correcting technique if they are half decent.
A coach on the other hand coaches their clients; they educate their clients, explaining why they are doing what they are doing and they empower their clients so that they can go into a gym on their own and know EXACTLY what to do.
Coaches are hard to find, and like any rare animal in the wild you need to observe them in action to find them.
For the sake of this article I will only continue using the term “personal trainer”.
But the most important thing to remember here is that you are HIRING an expert to get you to achieve a RESULT. You’re not hiring someone to be your friend and have a talking session with.
What To Look For In A Personal Trainer
Now without further ado let me jump straight to the point and tell you what you should be looking for and what you’re not looking for.
If you are looking to hire a personal trainer you first of all need to make sure they are suitable for your goals. Have a look at our personal training page to see what we offer.
If I was looking to hire a personal trainer I would take my time to observe and compare all my options. Now if you’re in a large commercial gym then it is easy to watch each personal trainer at work. However there are many trainer who don’t work in large gyms that could also be viable options and the chances are you won’t be able to watch them. So what can you do? Well don’t worry I’ll discuss that below too.
Is The Trainer Friendly And Approachable?
When you walk into a gym it feels nice to be greeted by the staff with a smile and a simple “hello”. When walking through the gym pay attention to the trainers who give you eye contact, smiles or say “hello”. Now obviously if a trainer is in the middle of a session they may not even notice you and that’s fine. But if they walk past you consistently and don’t acknowledge you then that’s not a good start.
If you’re looking into a private facility and you walk in through the front door to be greeted by a trainer, are they welcoming? Do they say hello or ask you if they can help you with anything?
Is This Personal Trainer Willing To Help You?
If you walk up to a personal trainer in a gym when they’re not busy, ask them a question or ask them to show you how to use a machine or what exercise you can do to work a certain body part. These are great ways to see how the trainer responds. At this point a good trainer should offer to explain something to you or show you what to do, possibly even offer to watch you do a set of an exercise to make sure it’s OK.
A poor trainer will barely lift his eyes to make eye contact.
If you’re investigating a private personal trainer you may phone them to speak on the phone. You could ask them a question on the phone and see how they respond. Do they give you value for free or trying to push you towards a sale?
Does The Trainer Look The Part
Now many trainers out there look phenomenal; not an ounce of fat on them and abs you could wash your clothes on! Others look athletic, strong, toned and healthy which is great. But every now and then you’ll come across a trainer who looks like they could do with a bit of personal training themselves. They may be slightly (or a lot in some cases) overweight, or they may be stick thin.
But it comes down to what your goal is. If you want to build muscle you may not want to train with a trainer who looks like they run marathons for a living, and visa versa, if you want to run marathons you may not want to hire a body builder.
But it also helps to know the trainer’s back story. If the person you see in front of you is overweight they may have lost 30kg and therefore if you too want to lose weight they would understand your struggles and would be able to relate to you.
On the flip-side an ultra lean shredded trainer may not be able to empathise with you because they can survive on the blandest of food so why can’t you?
In my opinion a trainer needs to look like they can do what they are getting their clients to do. They don’t necessarily need to be shredded and in my experience the ones who are super lean and shredded are not always the best trainers because they can be too focused on themselves and not their client.
What Is Their Attention To Detail Like?
When you watch a trainer, are they watching their client doing the exercise? Can you see them making small tweaks and changes to the way their client executes an exercise?
It is this attention to detail that differentiates a good trainer to a great trainer.
Is the Personal Trainer Focused or Distracted?
This one is a huge bug bear of mine. As you watch the personal trainers in the gym are they paying attention to their client or are they busy looking at their phone, talking to other members or chatting up the cute girls?
A good trainer will be paying attention to their client 100% of the time! Ok, on occasions people may come up and try to initiate a conversation or ask them something and that is fine. But does the trainer politely end the conversation to get back to their client?
If a trainer is on their phone don’t judge them too quickly; they may be using a stop-watch or timer, or they may be filming their client or something else that adds value. But you can quickly tell based on their body language what they are doing.
Are They Trying The Hard Sell?
All trainers are in business and need to have clients in order to live and make money. So it is expected that there will be an element of salesmanship to every trainer.
But be very careful of the ones who try to push personal training on to you. Just because they are being forceful with trying to make a sale doesn’t mean they are right for you.
You are the one making the hiring decision. You need to feel comfortable with the trainer you choose and be prepared to make an investment. What I’m saying is that if you’re working out on a piece of equipment and a trainer comes up to you and tries to sell personal training to you then and there, just tell them where to go.
A Personal Trainer’s Social Media Says A Lot About Them
Lastly, a good way to find out a lot about a trainer is to look them up on social media.
Many trainers, especially the ones in fantastic shape, post up pictures mainly of themselves. This is fine, but what value does that add to you as a potential client? Have a look in the caption below, have they written anything there that adds value to you?
Most of the time they don’t add value to you, it’s just an ego boost for them and a way to show off to the world.
In my opinion the better trainers are the ones who are showing fewer pictures of themselves and more of their clients or pictures that add some value. Quotes by the way are not adding value to you.
The best trainers are the ones who are trying to educate you. They are posting pictures or videos that you can learn from and then in the captions below they are explaining something or adding some sort of value to you. Even pictures or videos of them training can be useful if they take the time to explain what’s going on, rather than just hash-tagging #fitfam or #beastmode. Please!
That’s what you need to look for. Dig deeper than just the pictures, look for the trainers who are providing value for free.
I honestly hope that has helped you in some way and if you’re looking for a personal trainer in North Finchley there are plenty of options available to you. If you apply why I’ve written here then you should at least be able to find a decent personal trainer. At the very least I hope this information will prevent you from getting stuck with a bad trainer.
If you would like any further help or advice or some recommendations for a good personal trainer around North Finchley or you would like to discuss working with one of our personal trainers then just send us a message and we’d be very happy to help.