6 Things You NEED to Know BEFORE Hiring a Personal Trainer

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Throughout my 10 years as a personal trainer, I’ve worked with children, grandparents, and everyone in between, and just when I think I’ve seen or heard it all, something crazy seems to pop up. Whether that’s an impossible circumstance due to an injury or illness or mental blocks, following these steps will help you hone in on what you and your trainer can accomplish together! Here are 6 things you need to do BEFORE hiring a personal trainer!

1) Figure out exactly what you need.

Trainers can tell you what you need to do. But you need to figure out what you need from the trainer. Why are you hiring a trainer? For accountability? Do you need a trainer that texts you every day? Do you need a trainer that pushes you aggressively or lets you work at your own pace? The only person that can answer those questions is you.  If you want to be successful when you hire a trainer, you MUST know what YOU NEED from the trainer.

2) Set these two goals.

The first, to exercise a certain number of times per week and the second, to decrease body fat percentage. Simply put, “my goal is to exercise 3 days per week and lose 5% body fat.” Firstly, setting a goal to work out 3 to 4 days a week is 100% attainable by everyone and builds a crucial habit – actually exercising. Secondly, what everyone who wants to look better, be fitter, or feel better really wants is to decrease their body fat percentage – that is a combination of adding muscle and reducing fat. Your “weight” in this case is basically meaningless. I’ve seen many people get fitter, look better, and quit because they weren’t losing weight.

3) You get what you pay for… sort of.

Your goal is to find a trainer in the “Goldilocks Zone” – a qualified trainer, that is a good fit, at a decent price. Depending on your area you should be looking to spend between $60 and $90 per hour on a trainer. I’ve found that this is a significant enough monetary commitment to keep people honest, but not enough so that you’re getting hosed. When you start looking for a trainer, make sure you have budgeted appropriately and they fit your budget!

4) Once you know what you need and what your goals are, ask for recommendations for a trainer from friends/family members.

Some of the best trainers near you are hiding just underneath your nose. Ask around and find someone that is a good fit for you based on people who know you – otherwise you might bounce from trainer to trainer until you find someone you like.

5) Location, location, location.

Carefully figure out your plan to meet your trainer. If you can afford it you can pay a little extra to have your trainer come to you. I’ve seen many people quit because their commute to the gym was too long or inconvenient. The most successful clients make sure meeting their trainer is simple and easy: on the way to/from work, or very near their home. When things get tough, it’s just one less excuse they can use.

6) Schedule a phone consultation.

Ask for a phone consultation with your potential trainer, which of course, should be free. Then, tell them everything. I mean literally everything. Tell them EXACTLY what you need – text reminders, nutrition advice, regular follow up, boot camp style workouts, patience, and see if they can give it to you. If they can, great. Now, tell them exactly what your goals are and get on a schedule to meet them. Then, go get your first training session in!

There we have it! Keep these 6 things in mind when hiring a personal trainer, and you will be well on your way to hiring the right trainer and meeting your goals!



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Parkside CrossFit formed in 2007 in the biggest facility of all: the great outdoors. WODs took place at parks and playgrounds, and all the equipment fit in the bed of founder Randy Mulkey’s truck. Today the CrossFit community has grown to more than 13,000 affiliates worldwide.

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