Being a first time gym goer can be quite terrifying! Once you have broken that initial barrier you may find yourself surrounded by masses of gym equipment which you have no idea how to use! You may have been attending the gym for months and are not seeing any results. Or you may need that additional push or an input of knowledge and expertise. Whatever it may be that you are after a personal trainer (PT) can certainly be extremely beneficial.

But finding the right PT can be a challenge in itself. There are many things to think about before you choose who will support and guide you on your fitness journey. Hopefully this guide will clue you up on the types of questions and thoughts you may need to consider on your quest to finding your perfect PT.

If you are using MotivatePT then of course we will be doing most of this thinking for you!

Questions to ask your new new Personal Trainer

  • Lunges with a Personal TrainerWhat certifications do you have? – This is a great question to make sure you trainer is fully qualified. It can also be very interesting to learn about your potential trainer and to see if they are qualified in any classes or sports that you might be interested in trying yourself.
  • How many days a week should I exercise? – The answer will depend on your specific goal. If you have a marathon coming up, then they may suggest 4 times a week. Or if you want to maintain your weight and physique you may only need to train twice a week. Your personal trainer should be guiding you and will advise you on a suitable frequency.
  • What should I eat before/after a workout? – Your trainer should give you guidance and support on nutrition. It is important to remember that what goes into your body is extremely important. You could be working out for an hour a day but the other 23 hours is what will have the most impact. For that reason it is best to understand what is best for you to eat Before or After a Workout.
  • Should I stretch before and after my workout? How? – It’s very useful to ask your trainer for exercises and stretches for you to do at home and independently in order to reach your desired goals. Stretching before and after can help prevent Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
  • How frequently should we meet? – A trainer who suggests that you train 7 times a week is just in it for the money! Here at MotivatePT we recommend at least twice a week to our clients in order for them to see results. On average our PT’s visit our clients 2-3 times a week, but this is dependent on an individual’s goals and availability. We will also assign you short workouts to do at home by yourself (upon request).
  • How quickly should I see results? – Trainers who give never ending and idealistic promise are the ones to avoid! Understand working out is not a quick fix, it is a slow process and with manageable goals anything is achievable. We actually don’t focus on numbers based results e.g. what the scales say. Our focus is on how you are feeling and performing in sessions; do you have more energy? Are you planking more? Are we beginning to notice less flab and more muscle? We want the answers to these questions to be a resounding yes!

Is a Personal Trainer right for me?

Firstly, it is important to know what you want and what you are looking to achieve. If you are a female and are looking to become lean and slender, then you may not want to be going with a personal trainer who specialises in bodybuilding. It is important to find a trainer who has expertise in the area you are looking for. If you have tight hamstrings or want to improve your flexibility it may be useful to ask for PT’s who have knowledge and experience in yoga. Another important area for you to think about is what style and approach you are looking for. Would you like a trainer who is hands on and can offer a lot of support and guidance? Or do you need some tough love, a trainer who will push you to your limits? Alternatively you may want to avoid the military style approach and look for someone who can cheer you on and will offer soft encouragement.

Is it a match?

Now that you have carefully asked your trainer relevant questions and know and understand who and which type of trainer you are looking for, it’s now time to see if it’s a match! At first it is hard to tell as everything is based upon first impressions. I would always trust your gut feeling, initial instinct is always well almost always) right! It is important that you and your trainer are compatible. After all, you may be spending up to 4 hours a week with this individual. You should always be looking forward to meeting with your trainer, and for them to excite and motivate you to train at your highest level.

Characteristics of a good Personal Trainer

  • Physical Fitness SuccessYour trainer SHOULD always ask you before a session (especially the first) if you have any injuries or not.
  • Your trainer SHOULD be actively listening and seem engaged. This is a very telling trait as you can see if a trainer is actually involved with your session and is working with you to help you to reach your goals. If they are not listening and are not taking on board your likes and dislikes then this trainer will not be good for you.
  • Your trainer SHOULD always offer advice and guidance for nutrition. But please remember they are qualified Personal Trainers and are not Nutritionists, so therefore, they are only able to give advice and guidance in accordance with the National Government Guidelines. However, this information is still extremely useful for you as their client and they may even have meal recipes and ideas for you to try.
  • Your trainer SHOULD be inspiring to you. They should practice what they preach! You need someone who can stimulate and energise you to become the best possible you.
  • Your trainer SHOULD always be paying particular attention to you whilst you are training. This is very important to ensure that when you are completing an exercise you are performing with the correct technique and form to avoid causing injury. If your trainer is busy elsewhere e.g. on their phone and texting, then this could potentially be putting you in danger.

Things you can do to help

  • Firstly, avoid excuses! – It is very important to take accountability for your own actions. If you are eating extremely unhealthy throughout the week and are not seeing results, it is very easy to blame your trainer. However, you know deep down that this is not the case. Be responsible and take responsibility for your results.
  • Give feedback – Personal Trainers are not mind readers. If there is an aspect within your training programme that you are not enjoying then it is important to inform your trainer of this. That way they can change/modify it for you.
  • Compromise – If your trainer has asked you to walk to the train station every day instead of getting the bus, or asked you to cut out all refined sugar within your diet then there will be a good reason for this. Some clients choose to completely ignore these helpful suggestions. Remember these changes are for your benefit. If you are not willing to put 100% effort in, then compromise is important. Walk to the train station 5 times a week, or eat your favourite muffin for breakfast only once a week.
  • Be Honest – If you are not enjoying your sessions with your PT then being honest and upfront is better for both of you. Not all relationships work! If they ask you what they could have done better then you know that they are a good PT and are not just in it for the number of sessions. If this unfortunately was to happen, you now know exactly what you are looking for!

Good luck with finding your perfect PT, and progressing throughout your fitness journey! Hopefully,  by using MotivatePT, we can source your perfect London Personal Trainer for you and save you some of this headache.