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How to Pick a Personal Trainer

Trainer assisting disabled active senior woman to exercise in exercise equipmentYour personal athletic trainer is your partner in reaching your fitness goals. You want to be able to trust in their expertise, feel safe following their exercise plans and feel motivated by their help. 

If you are looking to find a new personal trainer to take your athletic performance to the next level, follow these tips:

Know Your Goals

Even before you set foot in a gym, you need to know your goals. Are you looking to increase speed or improve footwork on the soccer field? Do you want to increase your endurance on the basketball court? 

Having specific goals, not just general hopes of “playing better,” can help you find an athletic trainer who understands how to meet those goals. When you do find a trainer, it will also help you communicate better to know your specific needs.

Know Your Trainers

At any gym or sports performance clinic, there are likely multiple personal trainers. You may be able to find trainer bios on their websites or you can simply ask at the gym. You may want a trainer who specializes in your sport or the skills you are looking to gain. You may want a trainer who has years of experience or can also offer nutrition guidance.  

No matter what you are looking for in a trainer, you should always be sure they have proper certification and education in athletic training and any special skills. Some common certification among athletic trainers include:

  • Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
  • USA Weightlifting (USAW)
  • Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD)
  • Functional Movement Systems (FMS)
  • Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES)
  • CrossFit (CF)

Your trainer should also have completed a Bachelor’s degree in a field related to personal training, such as exercise science.

Communicate Clearly

Before you start exercising with your new personal trainer, you may want to first set up a consultation. Talk to them about their training style, their background and what a workout with them might look like. 

You should also communicate your own needs. If you don’t like to be yelled at, you shouldn’t choose a trainer who uses yelling to psych up his clients. If you like hands-on help, don’t pick a trainer who stands back and critiques from afar. None of these training styles is wrong; it just depends on what works for you as an individual. If the trainer you are talking to doesn’t match your style, they may be able to refer you to someone they know who will.

Once you do start working out with your new trainer, give clear feedback on what is working for you and what isn’t. Ask questions when you are concerned. Constant, two-way feedback and communication is what makes a great trainer-athlete relationship and helps you work toward your goals. 

At Bon Secours In Motion Sports Performance, our team of certified trainers works with athletes from all sports, of all ages and all genders. We design customized workout plans to help you achieve your goals and improve your performance. Contact us today for a personalized training plan.