Personal training sometimes gets a bad rep.
It’s true, the information a trainer will tell you can be found absolutely free on the internet and it doesn’t help that training certifications are very easily obtained.
Thus, the personal training industry is diluted with inexperienced trainers, hinging on their own fitness experiences to teach others. Even some trainers that have more fitness knowledge aren’t exactly great teachers.
Fact is, although knowledge is important, there’s more intangible factors that great trainers possess. Factors and characteristics that you won’t find on the internet that are important for helping you reach your goals. That being said, here are the top five characteristics good trainers should possess.
#5 - Simplify instructions
Sometimes, personal trainers can get carried away with expressing too much knowledge. Knowledge is important, but if your job is to teach someone exercises or understanding nutrition, the last thing you want to do is make things too complicated.
If a trainer is busy explaining the attached origins related to the humeral joint and acromion process, then they might be more interested in stroking their ego than helping.
A good personal trainer should know how to simplify things in a language you will understand.
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#4 - Sets a realistic tone.
In today’s society, we want things done quickly. Unfortunately, fitness marketing has created unrealistic expectations for us to follow. Trainers that care more about you paying them rather than you achieving any meaningful results will often regurgitate the same, false expectations.
A true, well-meaning trainer knows how difficult it can be to get results. They won’t fabricate expectations just to keep you happy so you continue to line their pockets. A good trainer will know how to convey realistic goals, temper any concerns you might have, and help you continue treading along the right direction.
#3 - Is easy to connect with
Again, knowledge isn’t everything. Remember that teacher in school you found completely unable to relate to and boring. It was hard to pay attention and learn from that teacher even though they had fourteen different qualifications in education.
Now imagine having a trainer that you will spend at least an entire hour of your day with one-on-one while feeling like there’s a barrier of awkwardness between the two of you. It’s not going to be a good time.
A good trainer will be able to engage with your personality, and feel like they’re one of your good friends and someone you can openly talk to. Sure, there should still be a line of professionalism, but the more you can relate to your trainer, the easier it is for both of you to work together.
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#2 - Does more listening than telling
The key to success for most trainers boil down to their ability to listen to the client rather than constantly talking over them. True, you’re paying a trainer to tell you how to reach your goals. But, the only way a trainer will develop a path that is made specifically for you, instead of some cookie cutter plan, is by first listening.
Whether that’s understanding your food preferences, being aware of certain physical or psychological pains you’re dealing with, or understanding your strength and limitations, a good trainer will work within your specific means.
So, if you have a trainer that is more ears and less mouth, then you might be in good hands.
#1 – Honesty when not knowing
It might seem contradictory because how can someone be good at something if they don’t know all the answers? But the world of health and fitness is filled with so many different problems and solutions that it’s practically impossible for one person to understand the specifics of every single diet, every single cause for your imbalances, every single cause for pain, or every single hormone level in your body.
A trainer that is true to you and more importantly, true to themselves, will learn to concede and sometimes tell you, the answer to your question is, “I don’t know… but, I will do my best to find out.”
A great trainer will know how to put their ego aside, keep an open mind, avoid giving you bad answers that might do more harm than good, and strive to understand more and more each day.
Don’t trust a trainer that says they know all the answers because they simply don’t. There’s never a time where a trainer should ever stop learning.
Those are our TOP 5 things to look for in a good personal trainer.
For those seeking one now, I hope this helps you find someone that can sincerely help you with your goal.
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