Every professional athlete knows:
"A coach will take you farther, faster."
A personal trainer is like having your own personal coach.
Hiring a fitness trainer is a fantastic way to accelerate your results and reach your goals faster.
What most people don't know, though, is that not all trainers are created equal.
There is an enormous difference from one trainer to the next, and many people don't know what they should be looking for or the questions to ask.
There is more that goes into hiring someone to help you with your physical fitness than just using whoever has availability on their schedule at your local gym.
Choosing the wrong trainer can leave you frustrated, not achieving the results you're after, and worse than that, it could leave you injured.
3 Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing a Fitness Trainer
1) Limited Knowledge Base
How much does your trainer know?
Uninformed trainers don't have a basic understanding of the human body, basic anatomy, and physiology.
Understanding the human body means knowing how it's put together at its most fundamental level.
There are more than 650 muscles and 206 bones in your body. They all have a specific purpose that your trainer should understand.
Physiology is the understanding of how body parts function individually and collectively.
Everything in our bodies is intertwined, and like an assembly line, problems in one area causes disruption down the line.
For example, what's going on in your back affects what's happening in your knees. There are five nerves in the lower back that connect to the lower half of your body. Frequently, the pain that you're experiencing in your knees may be the result of something that's going on upstream, like in your hips, trunk area or shoulders.
Pain in your lower back could signal a problem in your feet, and so on throughout your entire body.
Trainers with limited knowledge don't know enough to prescribe an exercise plan that will strengthen all areas of your body. When you have a training program with gaps in it, you will end up injured.
What they don't know can hurt you.
All bodies are different. A qualified trainer begins by screening your movement patterns and uses additional testing to understand your needs. If your trainer doesn’t measure how well you move, then how can he or she possibly know what you should be doing?
The best trainers show you exercises that will benefit you in your everyday life. A combination of stability, mobility, and strength exercises round out a healthy workout plan. They will recommend a strengthening plan to work on both your anterior and posterior muscles so that your body is physically strong to support your daily activities.
A qualified trainer will also be able to explain why they recommend the exercises they are having you do. They will educate you on what to do outside of the gym as well.
Expert trainers have a long list of references of satisfied clients that they can share with you so you get a feel for the type of results you can expect. Ask your prospective trainer to see their list.
2) No Collaboration
Unqualified trainers aren't collaborative, which will leave you frustrated.
The two types of collaboration your trainer must do are with you and with others:
Collaborating with you
Your trainer needs a clear understanding of what your personal fitness goals are. Before you even begin working with a trainer, you should have a strategy session whereby your trainer assesses your movement patterns to identify mobility and stability deficiencies. Additional testing, such as body composition and aerobic fitness level measurements, will give you a complete picture of your current overall fitness level.
You can't measure results or progress if you don't have a starting point.
Many trainers don't have a process for assessing your current level of fitness. They are satisfied to ask you what you want to focus on without ever knowing where you are today. The trouble with this faulty method is that there is no way to tell if you're improving.
Qualified trainers will take your current fitness level, combined with your fitness goals, and customize a plan for you. Knowledgeable trainers will guide you in setting reasonable stretch goals to ensure that your overall health and wellness are taken into consideration.
The best-laid plans often need tweaking and adjusting along the way to ensure you will ultimately achieve your goals. If you have no way of measuring your progress, it's pointless to think you can ever reach your goals.
Collaborating with other industry experts
Sharing Best Practices
If you've spent any time in the business world, you know that the sharing of best practices is one of the key ways businesses accelerate results.
Ask your trainer about their connections and knowledge sharing. It's not enough for a trainer to rely solely on their individual knowledge. They need access to a think tank of industry professionals to provide information, advice, and ideas. No one person knows everything.
But together, they can understand most things.
The best trainers have access to industry experts, and other trainers to discuss the latest fitness trends and practices that are getting results. They also have a pool of clients they are working with, giving them a breadth of experience that benefits you. They incorporate this knowledge and expertise into your training routine, making it continuously better.
Unqualified trainers aren't abreast of the latest trends and knowledge in the fitness industry.
Things are changing all the time. As we learn more about the human body and what it needs, we get better at understanding how to train our bodies for optimal results.
Ask your trainer about current trends and the latest research in the fitness industry. Ask them what new ideas and practices they are incorporating into their prescribed work out plans. Ask them about the industry resources they use to get their information.
3) Not committed to your success or even a nice person
There's a vast difference between working with someone who cares about you and someone who's just clocking hours.
Let's face it, sticking with a training program can become hard; you need a trainer who is on your side. You need someone who will cheer you on and encourage you to give the extra effort to accelerate your results.
A nice person helps you where you're weak or lack knowledge. They never make you feel stupid, or like you're the only person on earth who struggles with something. The best trainers ensure that you leave your work-outs feeling empowered and equipped to live your life better than you have been.
You are going to spend several hours with this person and will most likely share the details of your life with them. Make sure you choose someone you like personally.
How are trainers at BPX different?
Every trainer at The Blueprint Experience starts with a knowledge base that exceeds those at the local franchise gym. But they don't stop there.
Through regular staff development meetings, each trainer is engaged in continuous learning, so they know the latest trends and ways to train you more effectively. You will get more out of your workouts to see results faster.
They watch you do every exercise to ensure you have the proper form and to challenge you to do more.
They discuss your goals and results with you before every workout. How you're feeling, what you want to focus on etc.
They encourage you; they highlight your improvements and use measurable results to show you just how far you've come since you started.
When you're falling behind your ideal, they ask the thought-provoking questions to help uncover the source. What have you been eating? How much sleep are you getting? What are the stressors in your life?
They care about you as a person and are committed to partnering with you to reach your health and fitness goals.
Don't make the same mistakes other people make by choosing the wrong fitness trainer.
Make sure your prospective trainer is knowledgeable, collaborative, nice, and committed to your results. Always ask for references to back up what they are telling you. With the right trainer, you will accelerate your results and dramatically improve your overall health.
ABOUT OUR AUTHOR:
Blueprint member Kaylene Mathews is a freelance writer specializing in health and fitness, and personal development. Learn more at www.kaylenewrites.com.