How to find the best personal trainer for you

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Personal training is just that, it’s personal. Here are 10 things to consider when selecting the best trainer for you…

1. Are they qualified?

Personal Trainers (PT’s) should have relevant qualifications such as a Certificate III and IV in Fitness, or have a relevant degree such as Exercise Science. It is also good practice to be registered with a recognised industry association such as Fitness Australia or Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA). All PT’s at SUSF are well-qualified. One advantage is that they work alongside other professionals such as Exercise Physiologists, so there is a strong network of expertise.

2. How long have they been doing it?

PT’s who have been in the industry for a while are more likely to be experienced at giving the correct cues for exercises and help work around different injuries.

3. Do they keep up-to-date with new research and fitness trends?

They may have been doing it for a long time but make sure they are still keeping up-to-date with industry trends and research. It is a requirement that all PT’s do a certain amount of professional learning to maintain their qualifications but not everyone does, so it is essential to know whether the trainer is up-to-date.

4. What do they specialise in?

Is the trainer used to training people like you? There are many different types of training including; postnatal, sport-specific or hypertrophy. Also consider lifestyle factors such as your age, interests and what you are training for. SUSF has a team of  over 12 PT’s who have different interests and specialties such as; Carmel – soccer, Paulo – body-building, Jeremy – athletics, Hilary – calisthenics and Pete – triathlon.

5. What is their style?

Think about how you like to learn things. Some people like to have lots of reassurance, others like to be pushed hard, or be shouted at drill-sergeant-style! Choose someone who is the best fit for your personality.

6. What is their fee structure or cost?

Know what you are financially committed to, as far as number of sessions and flexibility. SUSF charges its student members $80 per session or $700 for a pack of 10. How about training with a friend? It is a good way to motivate each other and you can split the cost: $85 session or $800 for a pack of 10.

7. Do they look at your medical history?

Your PT should assess you before you start training to understand your medical history, medication and injuries. In this way they can build a suitable, safe exercise plan for you so you can get the most out of your training. At SUSF this is covered in your initial assessment.

8. Do they track your progress?

Once you have started training, your PT should track your progress to see how you are doing and modify your exercise plan accordingly – you do have to keep to your end of the bargain too and you can’t do this by sitting on the couch! At SUSF you will have an initial assessment before you start your PT program and then periodic fitness assessments every 3-4 months to track your progress. These include measuring your weight, BMI (Body Mass Index), body fat percentage, blood pressure, strength, flexibility, body measurements and  submaximal VO2 (a fancy test for measuring cardio fitness!)

9. Do they listen?

Personal training is about you, not the trainer. They should listen to what you want, so that they can articulate and create a plan which can help you reach your goals.

10. Do you like them?

Last but not least, do you like them? If not, there won’t be much incentive to go to the gym when you are feeling demotivated. Having a trainer who you have a good rapport with is a really important factor when finding someone who is going to bring out the best in you.

Personal training is personal. Trainers share a small part of your life when you meet for training – they see you for an hour in the whirlwind of your day, whether you are happy, sad, stressed or busy. They help you focus in the eye of the storm and to train at your best. But the real magic happens when you learn how to work as a team.