1. They always finish on a pampering note: It doesn’t matter what torture you’ve just been put through, if you finish with something you love, you will walk out feeling great! For most people, a partner assisted stretch does the trick, where you just lie there like a sack of potatoes and they do the stretching. Some simple massage or myofascial release can be heaven after what you just went through. Your trainer should always leave 5-10mins at the end for a little treat.
2. They listen to what you want: This can be tough because a trainer knows what you need, and may want to tell you how it is going to be. But unfortunately you know your body even better than your trainer does and they need to listen to your needs. Some women just hate lifting weights even if they know it’s good for them. Others cannot stand boxing even if they will lose weight doing it. Exercise can be fun so make sure your trainer listens to what you want and maybe it will be! Of course they may do what I call ‘mixing the peas in with the potatoes’ (the only way my mother ever got me eating peas), meaning there will be some exercises that you hate but must do. Just grin and bear those ones! But on the whole make sure you feel like your voice is heard.
3. They present really well: We are lucky in the fitness industry that we can wear comfortable tracksuits every day, however sometimes it is used as an excuse to look like a slob! Trainers are a walking advertisement and if little effort is put into their looks then I would question the effort put into their sessions. Body odour is another major gripe in many gyms. Often the trainers are only issued 2 shirts which can cause a problem to those who don’t have help in the washing department! No matter how lovely your trainer is, poor hygiene should not be tolerated. I like the line ‘Hey Johnny I think your deodorant has stopped working!’ Try it!
4. They take notes: Does your trainer record what you do every session? They should. Do they take regular measurements and tests? Do they follow through with what they said they would do last session? Although variety is the key in effective training, there should still be a structure and plan to it.
5. They never stop learning: Education can be a scary thing. Sometimes we get caught in our own rut and close our minds to learning more. Trainers get like this too. They should be up to speed on the latest trends, know what works and what doesn’t. They shouldn’t be dismissive of everything except their own methods, and should be encouraging of you to try new things. In my experience, a trainer with a closed mind is afraid of something, maybe afraid of what they don’t know. Is your trainer a reservoir of information?
6. They have a good fan base: Chiropractors physiotherapists, massage therapists etc: Effective trainers have a solid network of other professionals to assist in client needs. This shows a level of credibility because the other therapists trust your trainer with their clients and your trainer trusts the therapists. Your trainer will be able to assess pretty quickly how effective a therapist is so trust who your trainer recommends.
7. They get inside your head. If you aren’t confident to talk psychologically they will find another way: Most trainers aren’t equipped to play Doctor Phil, nor would you want them to, however we all know that there are often psychological reasons why clients don’t get results and these need to be addressed somehow. A good trainer may direct you down the path of a life coach, or simply give you an article to read. Don’t expect them to solve all your life problems, but they should be helping you to think deeper about your relationship to your results.
7.5 They love what they do! Let me ask you, who is more excited about your training session, you or your trainer?A trainer needs to be motivating, this doesn’t have to be Richard Simmons in your face style, but it needs to be motivating. Personal training can be draining at times and if your trainer hasn’t balanced their schedule you might feel the drop in energy of your sessions. A good trainer knows how to plan their day so that they will give the best to every client. Make sure your trainer loves what they do or you never will!
Does your trainer adopt most of these habits in your sessions? Maybe they have some other gems you’d like to share. The most important thing is that you enjoy your training sessions. It’s not just about the results, but also about keeping your body active and moving. Remember the best clients are clients who really want to be there so make a commitment to you and your trainer to give 100% in your sessions and I bet they do too!