A certified trainer with the right qualities will take you from zero to hero with realistic exercise-related goals as well as a personalized eating plan. Regardless of your fitness levels, abilities or limitations, a good trainer will keep you motivated and on the right track.
Whether you’re a personal trainer or you’re looking to use one to reach your personal fitness goals, there are 10 essentials any trainer worth their weight should possess. Whichever side of the training fence you’re on, you need to have these skills as a personal trainer or look for a trainer that has them.
If you’re already working with someone but aren’t 100% convinced, there are a few red flags to look out for. In this case, you might need to reevaluate the relationship, and if necessary, end it.
The Top 10 Qualities a Good Personal Trainer Should Have
It goes without saying that a good personal trainer will have a certificate to prove that he or she is certified. But not all certifications are created equal. Some websites offer online certifications, and there are sites that sell fake ones. When looking for a qualified person make sure they’re registered with recognized associations like the European Fitness Association, the Fitness Industry Association or the Register of Exercise Professionals.
A good trainer should have a bachelor’s degree in exercise or sports science as well as hands-on training and experience. A formal education with an understanding of kinesiology, anatomy, psychology, and physiology is crucial. A trainer with this kind of qualification will understand injuries and will have the expertise to do the different tests, like body fat analysis.
Degrees and certificates are one thing, but a good personal trainer is someone who can motivate you to keep going. Without it, the programme becomes too challenging for the client, and the end result is them dropping out. Someone that can motivate will also understand what a client needs and wants and will walk them through the entire process. It’s here that a psychology degree is useful too.
Communication is key and one of the most important qualities. A good personal trainer will take the time to listen to your goals, and understand them. If he or she has the right communications skills, they should be able to talk you through an exercise blindfolded. Also, psychology comes into it, and a trainer that knows how to communicate will know what’s being said without you saying it. A good communicator doesn’t spend the entire session communicating with them.
The lines can quickly blur when it comes to a trainer/client relationship. Sharing a space with someone when they’re at their most vulnerable can take a professional relationship with a trainer to something else very quickly. It’s easy for a trainer and client to become friends but it’s still a business relationship, that should be treated as such. The qualities a professional trainer include being presentable, having the right demeanor and punctuality.
Patience isn’t a virtue for a personal trainer, it’s a necessity. A good trainer will want to push you to try something new but you might not be ready or feel you’re able to. It takes a trainer with patience who push you to do something you can’t do. All the other essentials play a role too: communication, psychology, an understanding of physiology and professionalism.
A personal trainer that understands safety is key. Whether it’s with using the equipment or knowing which exercises you can and can’t do, a good trainer will know what’s safe and what isn’t. All exercises should be suitable for you to do, without any risks that could land you in ER or at physio for six weeks. Safety also applies to the right eating plan that suits your age, height, weight, and lifestyle. Any trainer that pushes you to a point where you feel it’s dangerous isn’t a good one.
Exercise programmes are not a one-size-fits-all. Your programme should be personalized to you based on a physical assessment and a fitness evaluation. It should also be done with your specifics in mind, including your age, height, weight, previous injuries, and goals. If you see your trainer working with another client, their programme should be different to yours. If it isn’t, get a new trainer.
Walks the Walk
A qualified fitness trainer or personal trainer shouldn’t only look the part, they should follow the same lifestyle guidelines they’re trying to get you to adopt. You wouldn’t get a plumber to do brain surgery, nor would you pay a doctor to fix your car. An essential characteristic of a good personal trainer is someone who will take you through an exercise programme efficiently and safely, knowing how to do various exercises because they’ve done them, unlike someone who’s working off a sheet or their phone.
You want a personal trainer that has experience working with different types of people, with different needs and challenges. There’s nothing wrong using someone that’s new to the industry, how else will they gain the experience, but remember, to have qualified they would have to have some hands-on experience.
It’s also a good idea to find a personal trainer whose experience is similar to yours. Whether they were once overweight, battled with the right diet, suffered a similar sports injury, or have the same physical challenges, someone who’s been in the same boat will know how to row it with you.
A personal trainer’s job is about improving the lives of others and helping them reach their desired goals. It’s about sticking with them through the good, the bad and the ugly. If you are a trainer or plan on making it your career, ensure you have these essentials to be the best.
If you’re looking to work with a trainer, our advice is not to sign up with the first person you bump into at the gym. Do your homework, watch trainers with clients and ask for recommendations. There are also online resources that’ll help you find good, qualified fitness professionals in your area.
About The Author:
Sal and Becs created Salecca understanding the difficulty that comes with managing a professional office based life with that of healthy living – it’s not easy! Both Sal & Becs are body transformation specialists based in Moorgate, London.