In your lifetime you have met, hung out with, married, seen, or spoken with a trainer at some point. We come in all shapes, sizes, mindsets, and backgrounds. We are not all created equal and that’s okay!
If you are in search of a trainer, here are my keys to knowing a trainer is right for you:
1. They are realistic with you.
You are not always going to agree with your trainer, and that’s normal. BUT, they should be willing to work with you, your schedule, your unique dietary needs etc. This doesn’t mean that they let you get away with murder, and let you take advantage of their time. This means that they tell you what they think will work for you, and will be willing to work with you in order to help you meet your goals.
For example, if I know one of my clients is going to be out of town for the next two weekends, I give them tips and tricks about how to stay on track with their diet while they’re gone, what to do for exercises if they don’t have a gym, and give them confidence in knowing that they will probably make bad dietary choices because they’re on vacation; but instilling enough knowledge in them to get right back on track!
2. They push your limits, while also staying positive.
A good trainer is going to push your limits physically. It’s bound to happen, that’s our job. BUT, a great trainer will push your limits and you will actually enjoy it at the end of the day. Working out should be fun, pushing yourself above and beyond what you thought you could should be empowering and fun (mostly after the workout is over).
Life begins at the end of our comfort zones, as the saying goes. This is the same for training. Your trainer should be able to push you beyond your boundaries, and you should feel comfortable that they have your back, and will be there whether you have the strength to push through, or decide to try again another day.
3. They are consistent, but willing to alter things here and there.
Consistency is the key for breaking through both diet and exercise barriers. BUT, you should never have a trainer that is unwilling to change the course of your diet or exercise program. For example, I had a client who was a long distance runner, who was looking to train with me to make sure she stayed injury free. We had a lot of work to do on her ankle strength, and her hamstring strength, which we hammered home every week. One week she came to me all bandaged and bruised up, explaining that she had hit a rough patch of dirt road on a run, stepped on an unsteady rock and took a tumble down a pretty severe hill.
She is a rockstar and I knew she would push through any injury to get her workout in. But in knowing that about her I dialed everything back a few notches for the next few weeks in order for her to heal. We did primarily upper body and core, along with the rower to keep her heart rate up. I did that because I knew she would never rest, and consequently her injury wouldn’t get better in the time frame she wanted.
If your trainer is constantly pushing you through injuries, or pain, they might not be the trainer for you.”No pain, no gain” can be a great motto when it doesn’t pertain to an ongoing, or acute injury.
4. You can have some fun with them.
At the end of the day I have built incredible relationships with my clients. I will attend their son’s/daughter’s athletic events, I get invited to their weddings, I sit in on big events in their lives, and I will text them on their birthdays. If you do this right your trainer can become a friend. But if you feel like they don’t push you to your limits, you are not seeing the results you want, and you aren’t having any fun, what’s the point?!
Working out, and seeing your body change SHOULD BE FUN! There is no rule that says working with a trainer should suck all the time. I’m a firm believer that I can kick your butt, and you can still smile and laugh through it.
There are no concrete rules in finding your trainer. There are no guidelines or clues that are going to shine a light on the right trainer for you.
So give one a call, talk to them for awhile, ask them where they got their start, and why they are a trainer. If you can’t imagine spending an hour with that person, they may not be the trainer for you!
At the end of the day, personal training is about the CLIENT. Period. It’s about us assisting you in your journey to health and wellness. Good luck in your pick, and I can always lend a hand : )
As always, keep working hard!
Megan Williams Training