You just hired a personal trainer. How do you know if they have a clue what they’re doing?

Unless you are very knowledgeable in a particular field, it’s hard to recognize the phonies from the real deal.

If you answer YES to the questions in the checklist below it will give you an idea of how good your trainer is–or isn’t…

  • Do they ask questions about your medical history and training history, pain, injuries, etc before your first training session?

  • Do they assess the way you move before/during your first training session?

  • Can they pinpoint specific issues you might have (weaknesses, imbalances, postural issues) during your assessment?

  • Can they explain WHY you are doing the exercises you are doing and how those exercises are benefiting you and preparing you to progress to other exercises/movements?

    National Personal Training Institute Vienna, VA
  • Do they ask you how you feel during the workout?  Do they ask you how you feel doing certain exercises (i.e. “Does that feel OK?  Do you have any pain doing that?  Can you feel a stretch in your hamstrings when you hinge back like that?”)

  • Can they modify an exercise on the fly if you: aren’t able to do it, aren’t using the correct muscles groups to do the movement, the movement is too hard, the movement is too easy, or the movement causes pain?

  • Do they cue and correct you when you are doing movements incorrectly or sub-optimally?

  • Do they continue to challenge you and give you more difficult progressions as you get better?

  • Do they modify your workout based on how you are feeling that day?

  • Can they answer your questions in a way that you can understand them as opposed to trying to sound really complicated in order to mask the fact that they don’t know they answer?

  • Do you feel better after working out with them for a while? (i.e. less pain, better sleep, improved posture, more energy, feeling stronger, less winded, etc)

  • Do you look better after training with them for a while? (i.e. less body fat, more muscle, better posture, etc)

While the list above is not an exhaustive list, it’s a pretty good starting point for most people when looking for a great trainer. This post was re-blogged from Molly Galbraith’s A Guide to Fitness & Health. 

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