What makes a good PERSONAL TRAINER?
Updated: Dec 2, 2021
A personal trainer could be our biggest asset for a fantastic, power-packed workout session, and who does not want better workouts? Although it is not mandatory to have a personal trainer, the personalised attention we get can help us perform better, progress faster and accelerate to reach our goals. Plus, there are several other advantages of having a personal trainer by our side. There are good and bad professionals in any profession, and like there are good doctors and nasty doctors, good nurses and bad nurses, there are good trainers and bad trainers too. So, with many personal trainers around, how do we know who is up to the mark? What are the qualities of a good personal trainer? What traits or characteristics make up for an excellent personal trainer? To answer these questions, let us look at what makes a good personal trainer.
#1 Knowledge & Reasoning:
Good personal trainers are knowledgeable. They thoroughly understand kinesiology, musculoskeletal anatomy, fitness testing, health screening, nutrition, supplementation and first aid. We must ask questions to our trainers, request references, enquire about their certifications and try probing from all angles to check their knowledge and reasoning. In most cases, good trainers will post educational articles/ blogs on social media or upload the same on their website. It is not mandatory to have a certified trainer, but it certainly adds to our trust in the trainer. Good personal trainers can distinguish science from myths, demonstrate exercises, point out targeted muscles, and share reasons for doing a particular exercise. In short, good trainers have both theoretical and practical knowledge with scientific reasoning. Thus, knowledge and reasoning make it to the first place of - what makes a good personal trainer?
#2 Punctuality & Honesty:
Punctuality and honesty should be the basis of a trainer and client relationship. Good trainers never skip training sessions, are never late and never give excuses for anything. Like any other contract, trust, confidentiality, and honesty form the basis of the trainer and client relationship. Honest trainers will never lie and will at once confess if they do not know something. Next step, they will research the topic and get back without a follow-up. Thus, punctuality and honesty make it to the second place of - what makes a good personal trainer?
#3 Never Tired of Answering Questions:
Bad trainers get frustrated with questions. On the other hand, good trainers will provoke us to think in the right direction and be incredibly open to a discussion. Good trainers will educate their clients and will be delighted to answer questions. Thus, never getting tired of answering questions makes it to the third place of - what makes a good personal trainer?
#4 Passion for Fitness & Learning:
Good fitness trainers also look fit. An unfit/ obese trainer does not give a good impression. Good fitness trainers are passionate and obsessed with fitness and constantly research fitness and update their knowledge. Thus, passion for fitness and learning makes it to the fourth place of - what makes a good personal trainer?
#5 Mentor, Motivator & Guide:
Good personal trainers function as mentors, motivators, and guides. They are the ones prescribing the exercises and not the client. The client should want to treat the trainer as a coach. An excellent trainer is the one who - makes us push the last rep, ensures progress in every workout, motivates us to reach our maximum potential and guides us on the scientific path to achieve something of which we could not even dream. Thus, being a mentor, motivator, and guide makes it to the fifth place of - what makes a good personal trainer?
#6 Excellent Communicator & a Good Listener:
Being knowledgeable is one thing; disseminating the knowledge is another. A good trainer’s communication skills are top-notch, and they stick to scientific terminologies while speaking, explaining, writing, or even thinking. For example, ask your trainer - what muscle works the most in an exercise called the lat pulldown?; they should answer - latissimus dorsi and not wings. Colloquially (not scientifically), latissimus dorsi is known as wings. Good trainers are also good listeners, giving clients opportunities to talk and hear their challenges. Thus, being an excellent communicator and a good listener makes it to the sixth place of - what makes a good personal trainer?
Like all professions, the fitness industry also has ethical and non-ethical fitness trainers. Good trainers are righteous in all aspects, including charges, session requirements, health and fitness recommendations, nutrition and supplementation etc. Thus, being ethical makes it to the seventh place of - what makes a good personal trainer?
There are good trainers in the fitness industry and bad trainers like any profession.
It may not be mandatory but recommended to have a personal trainer certified by a reputed institute.
Stay away from fitness trainers who use unscientific words to answer questions.
Avoid trainers who dodge questions or are hesitant to answer.
Use your judgement and due diligence to select a personal trainer. Good personal trainers will – be knowledgeable, give scientific reasoning, be punctual and honest, provoke us to think, be open to discussions, be never tired of answering questions, have a passion for fitness and fitness education, be ethical, be a good listener and communicator and last but not the least, act as a mentor, motivator and guide.
We hope the article helped in understanding what makes a good personal trainer.