With the fitness industry ever evolving and the need for a personal trainer becoming so fashionable, as well as the state of the populations health on the decline, here is my take on what you should be looking for in regards to hiring a ‘fitness professional!’
In my experience of being in the fitness world for over a decade, it has become apparent that fitness education companies are offering life-changing career promises to the general population in terms of salary and lifestyle benefits. ‘Work less and earn more!’ ‘Manage your own diary!’ Sounds ideal right? If only people qualify as professionals with said education schemes and the marketing clichés suggesting ‘become a personal trainer and qualify in as little as 6 weeks.’ These crash courses tend to last between 6 weeks to 3 months with the companies churning out thousands of newly qualified professionals on a weekly if not daily basis. It is crystal clear that these companies are making a fortune in qualifying the vast amount of trainers that they do. Its typically, the quicker the course, the more expensive the fee. Sounds a little like that 12-week transformation package you were sold at your gym last week by a personal trainer offering you the world doesn’t it? You see the fitness industry is the king of the quick fix promises, “take these extremely well marketed supplements and ‘have the body of your dreams!’” Yeah Right! No shortcuts in this world, believe me I have tried it all!
I myself started out on one of these education schemes and if I was to tell you how easy the qualification process was you’d be frightened at the chance of having your health managed by such inexperience. I am not for one minute suggesting this is a totally bad thing as this opportunity can be taken in the best way if the individual strives for more. What is not apparent to the gym goer however, is this inexperience can be well hidden by an amazingly branded commercial gym setting. Once again, false pretenses with the finest Personal Training services being shoved upon you by top their professionals giving quick fix solutions. It is common to see education providers teaming up with commercial gyms to provide them with newly qualified trainers. A great model for the gym again, allowing them to sell personal training sessions at peak prices at point of sale and pay their newly qualified trainers a small percentage of the fee. Well done to them for working it this way, its great for their profits, not so much yours. You see the fitness industry is one big money making scheme for the bigger companies and unfortunately the consumer pays the price.
So what to look for?
Personal trainers fall in to three categories in my opinion. Those that newly qualify and are happy cruising through clients in their bubble of a commercial gym setting where no rent is paid and a steady salary is a given. The client base is almost certain if you have a smiley face and look the part. Then you have the personal trainers who try to strive for a little bit more but don’t quite make the step out of their bubble that is the commercial gym environment. They pay a rent for the use of a commercial facility but still have a base of members to market themselves towards. Finally, you have Personal Trainers that run their private businesses from small training studios, either their own or leased with no members within the environment. These individuals have to run a successful customer service, first and foremost whilst attaining a level of results to bring in the new customers through referral-based schemes. They also tend to be a little savvier when it comes to marketing as outreach now falls in to their hands, rather than the security of the commercial environment. The down fall here however, is that some marketing background individuals can now become personal trainers quite easily because training providers make it so efficient to qualify and these individuals excel with their sales funnels making them unbelievably busy even though their knowledge of their trade is highly questionable. Hey, it’s the 21st century and with the Internet booming, keyboard trainers are becoming the in thing. Be aware I have just told you.
When I look for a coach these are the things I look out for and I highly suggest you do to:
Does the trainer have extensive knowledge in the area of fitness or health I am after? Do they understand my goals and have they the results to prove it? This for me would be the priority. I pay a trainer to help me achieve what I’m setting out to accomplish. For me, this is an investment and my money needs to be safe. This is top of my priority list and quite frankly it should be top of yours too. Nobody likes a time waster, let alone a money waster.
Can the trainer provide me with measurable data to help me understand the processes I am going through in order to reach my results? Education! Can the trainer help me understand what it is that is required of me to achieve my goals? There must be a process and I must fully understand it. That way I have full confidence in what it is I’m doing and the likely hood is that I will go and apply myself better. Trust is built this way and what better motivator than seeing measurable results over time.
Is the trainer after self-improvement, constantly improving their skill set and coach’s toolbox? I would like to see what the trainers’ background is, what they enjoy and how they like to develop upon themselves. This is important to me because I am after self-improvement myself. To pay someone I’d expect the trainer to rub off on me in a positive way and keep my mindset every improving. Results completely start from mindset.
What qualifications and experiences can the trainer share and can I relate to that individual so that they can get the best out of me? Building a coach and client relationship is important and being able to relate to a trainers background experiences as well as respect the trainers expertise can hugely impact your trust in each other. Working with someone is a two-way streak. You have to respect your coach.
It is in my experience that personal trainers can be some of the most unreliable of people at the best of times. I have come across many, with it often being the case that they have tremendous amounts of insecurities and doubts in their own ability as the magnitude of conflicting blogs tend to confuse the hell out of people. This is why it is important to fine tune your search and find a trainer who has done the in-depth study and had a level of experience with their clientele whilst continuing to do so, to make your experience successful. It is my advice to you all to do your research and to utilize good reputation or recommendations.
Good Luck in your searches.