Everyone wants to eat a good hearty meal. We are but slaves to our tongue. What we are also guiltily aware of is that our body needs taking care of and what’s always good for the tongue and mind is not always good for the body. Fitness is personal, as much as food is not. Orgasmic levels of love is exhibited for food on social media, to a point we wonder if we are a community of starving minions. Being fit and training to become your strongest and good looking self is grudgingly looked upon and as a necessary evil. It’s hard work. It’s understandable.
It is ironical that both give equal pleasure and happiness yet, most of us are stuck in a place where it’s a fine line we tread between the two.
At some point in your journey towards your goal, you will arrive at this massive wall. It’s a HUGE wall. It is intimidating and puzzling, coz none of your arsenal (read: tricks) or learning will create a dent. There is simply no way around it or through it.
Let’s Call It The Wall Of Dunce
Yes, you will feel like a complete dunce.
This is the place in your life when no matter what you do, or don’t do and what you eat or not, and how hard you pray or not, nothing happens.
Doesn’t matter what you want to happen, it just won’t. You will feel like you are anchored down with a huge rock to that place and neither are you allowed to drown and neither can you swim. Frustrating right? Yep, it is.
Are you there? Do you see it? Now, embrace it. Coz that’s when you need help. Your body has now launched a mutiny and an external force is necessary to get you out of the gridlock. That’s when you start searching for help. Someone who has answers and someone who knows body a wee bit more than all your internet googling put together.
noun: A miracle worker, whom you will hate to love as you work with them, and will love to hate every time you are with them and ultimately become best friends with them.
So how does one get to these people and how do you know who’s right for you? Not all personal trainers are cut from the same cloth. I’ve had my share of good, so-so and awesome trainers and here are some pointers that I’ve collated over time. I hope they will help you too.
1. Is the personal trainer legit?
This is usually a formality. Most are certified and especially if the trainer is belongs to a gym. Don’t take it for granted tho. Questioning along the lines of “Where did you get your certification from?”, “How long have you been certified?”, “Have you been training since then?” and a quick internet search will help you confirm.
2. Are your goals and path aligned?
This is so important!
Before you even step into the gym or have this sit-down meeting with the trainer, have a frank conversation with yourself. What is it that YOU want?
- Lose weight?
- Lose fat?
- Get fit?
- Run a marathon?
- Be quicker on your feet?
- Post-surgery and working on improving strength?
You get the drift.
Now write them down. 3 goals are plenty. Share your goals with the personal trainer. THEN ask what they specialize in. Not all can do all. Physiology and Fitness training is such a vast area of field that not everyone knows everything and frankly, they ought not. Most train into a certain area. Yoga/Strength Training/Pilates/Weights could come as a package. As would Running/Aerobic Fitness would come under a separate area of expertise.
You should be serious about wanting someone who can identify and understand your goal and claim to be an expert on it. Go ahead and ask them questions and throw scenarios and ask how and what went wrong and how they could fix it. Try not to sound like you are interviewing them, of course.
3. Their working style and experience work for you?
Watch them. Observe them working. Try not to look like you are stalking them, but watch, and see how they are with different clients. The older folks, the less fit ones, women and men and see how they interact.
Are they happy people? Do they look serious? Do they look like they are happy doing what they are doing? Are they listening? Do they watch or do they spend time on their phone? Are they the drill sergeants or are they the cheerleaders? Do they coax or are they pushovers? What do you want from them? Are they the kind that would work well with the person that you are? Are you okay being yelled at or do you want someone to gently mollycoddle you into doing those 3 extra pushups?
Watch them at work. I cannot stress this enough.
4. Can you afford the personal trainer and such?
This is as important as anything else. Nothing gets happened overnight, so you will be spending some fair amount of time with them. It’s important you work with a viable cost and figure the schedules and be clear about expectations before you start, coz if your body listens and you are seeing results, then you are in for the long haul.
Are they flexible? Do you need flexibility with respect to days and timings? Are thy solid booked, find their windows so it is easy to re-schedule if you had to. Sometimes, life happens.
5. Is the personal trainer likable?
I am serious! Do NOT LAUGH.
Plenty a time we are so focused on the professional gauging and in our zeal to get started, we forget to look at the likability factor. Think of the personal trainer as your partner. A business partner even. Someone that you will have to enjoy working with and spend time WHEN YOU ARE IN PAIN AND SWEATING AND BASICALLY WANT TO GIVE UP ON LIFE! Someone who will see you at your worst and one who will be responsible for reaching you to your goal. Someone you can trust your body (and hence mind) with. We are talking mutual (ok, more one-sided) trust, and comfort levels.
There’s a match if the personalities align.
As with any investment, always know your choices if things don’t work out. At times, schedules change, the trainer is not exactly whom you hoped would o, or you aren’t seeing results. Be upfront, speak and keep communication channels open. If nothing works, leave and find someone else. Do not waste time with someone who is not satisfying you reach your fitness goal.
Just like with all else in life, I suppose. 🙂
So there you have it, simple guidelines for finding a personal fitness trainer who will help you along your journey towards fitness and health. I am super happy with my current trainer!