9 Things Every Good Personal Trainer Should Do
Updated: May 19
9 Things Every Good Personal Trainer Should Do
Finding a personal trainer is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. Navigating this fragmented market can be exhausting. So how can you find a good personal trainer, and what are some things you can expect from a more experienced personal trainer?
How to find a good personal trainer
Let’s first identify what would make a personal trainer “good” in your opinion. Are they experienced personal trainers in Long Beach, or are they a recently certified personal trainer in Long Beach CA? Run a Google search or two and see what options come back. (Replace “Long Beach” with whatever city you are searching in).
What will a good personal trainer do?
Here is a list of some of the services that an experienced personal trainer in Long Beach, or anywhere else should provide you. You can decide which of the following matter the most to you:
1. Initial Consultation - Before you get started, your personal trainer needs to know more about your goals, limitations, and how you prefer to be trained (Do you like to be pushed? How hard/easy?) This will help your fitness trainer customize your experience. This is a great time to ask questions and have dialogue about any other ways they can personalize your experience (i.e., problem areas, if you like music playing while you work out, etc). If you don’t bring it up, chances are your personal trainer will not know.
2. Fitness Assessment – Some personal trainers like to use some part (or all) of their first session with you to conduct a fitness assessment. Don’t worry, none of us are good at everything, and this will help pave the way toward your progression. More importantly, this will give your trainer an idea of any movements you may need to work on. Here is where it’s important to remember that the word “training” means to develop a skill. Sometimes that is as simple as strengthening a few smaller, supporting muscles.
3. Set goals (short and long term) - This is the “what” part of the plan. What are you trying to accomplish? This is in the input which your personal trainer will consider when providing you with their output, the workout, and their program. Yes, most people say, “Lose weight and tone up”, but be more specific than that. Make sure to include any aches and pains you may be experiencing. Taking care of these will not only help minimize pain in the short term but also help prevent injury in the long term.
4. Make a plan - Now onto the “how” part of the plan, this is the output your fitness trainer will provide you after discussing your goals. Tune into this part so you can know what to expect. Since your plan is an ever-evolving program, every so often your personal trainer should check back in with you about what stage your training is in.
5. Training sessions - Now that you have created your plan, it’s time to get to work! Most trainers use a set format for their sessions. It’s not a bad thing if this rarely gets changed up. What matters most is that the exercises you do within that format evolve as you do. If your level of variety entails using a completely different format between workouts, then hiring multiple experienced and certified personal trainers every so often might be your best bet. Just make sure you communicate how you are feeling between sessions since they will be meeting with you less often.
6. Prepare workout ahead of time - Perhaps the biggest perk to hiring a personal trainer is that they prepare your workout for you. So, all you must do is show up. This is where communicating your goals and needs at the beginning pays dividends. Since your plan is constantly evolving (like you) it should adjust to you as well. A good personal trainer can make tweaks session-to-session, and even within the session based on your feedback and what they observe.
7. Bring equipment (if necessary) - You might already have equipment, which your trainer can utilize. If not, your trainer will bring everything you need for the workout. This is the figurative “cherry on top” of them preparing your workouts ahead of time.
8. Help you practice proper form - No matter how good your form is, there is always room for improvement. Looking at ourselves in the mirror can only do so much, and most of us aren’t sure exactly what proper form is or feels like. We can look online, or at a YouTube video, but all bodies move differently. Your range of motion may not be the same as the person you're watching, which is why having another person giving you real-time feedback beats just watching an exercise video or doing it off memory.
9. Motivation and Engagement - How often do we get caught up on our phones in between sets or intervals? While our phone may be the most tempting distraction, there are still several things that can sideline a good workout. An experienced trainer will help you keep those at bay, while also motivating you through the drudges of the workout. Additionally, they will keep you diligent about the usage of your time, focused on the exercise you are doing and the proper muscles to engage. While it may be tough to focus your attention, no less on something you may not enjoy, practicing being present can have both physical and mental benefits.
A good personal trainer will deliver more than just a good workout. They will help you achieve both your micro and your macro goals. When you find a good personal trainer, all you have to do is show up. Although, since there is a bit of preparation and personalization on your trainer's part, it is best that you are clear about what your expectations are, so they can deliver you a personalized workout.
This might still be a lot of information to take in. If so, feel free to reach out to me HERE, I am a certified personal trainer located in Long Beach, CA. I would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have about health, fitness, and personal training. I am also available for hire as a personal trainer in Long Beach CA, and a personal trainer in Lakewood CA, and the surrounding cities.
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