Hiring a personal trainer should not be limited to just going to the gym and accepting someone who is free at this moment. You can and should understand who you hire and why you do it. What for? Because it is your money, your body and your health! And because, being more insightful in the front end, you will increase the chances of success with those with whom you will eventually work.
I'm going to dispel a couple of the greatest myths about how to identify a good coach, discuss the qualities that make a good coach, so that you know how to identify him when you meet him, and highlight what questions you should ask any coach. before hiring them.
If you want to see how my workout style looks like in action, check out True Muscle: 9 Weeks to Elite Fitness on Bodybuilding.com All Access.
Coach with a suspender / cut / fit better?
One of the most stubborn training myths is that the biggest, strongest, or thinnest people in the gym or on social networks are the most qualified to give smart, safe, and reliable training tips. Sometimes they are, but often this is definitely not the case.
First, the idea that someone had to personally achieve a certain level of success in sports in order to be a reliable source of technical information is and has always been a false one. Look no further than professional sport for proof. Many of the best players turn out to be terrible coaches, while others who have never even played this game are first-class coaches who have helped many athletes realize their potential.
So, what did these not talented coaches who were not in star players? First, a deep knowledge of the technical and tactical aspects of the game. Secondly, the ability and desire to simplify and transfer this knowledge so that athletes can use them to their advantage. The same can be said about coaches.
Hell, none of Michael Jordan's coaches were as good as he played basketball, but they were able to help him realize his potential. Not to mention that if you are not qualified to train someone, if you do not have personal experience in the same arena, this also means that male instructors cannot effectively train female clients, and vice versa – which is not of reality.
As I wrote in the article “Strong versus toned: the truth about gender training,” these two sexes have much more than we do. You can benefit from the emotional and psychological aspects of training with someone of the same sex as you, but a competent trainer can handle the training part for both.
Secondly, the biggest, thin and strong people often achieve their results, despite what they know, and not because of it. They are gymnastic rats who organize their lives around gyms and kitchens. This can make them an excellent source of information about lifestyle and the discipline of training and diet, but this does not mean that they can write you an individual program based on your goals, abilities, and medical history.
Should I judge the coach by how his clients look?
In the usual setting in the gym there is absolutely no. The reality is that the majority of clients, with whom most instructors will work, are lovers of outdoor activities. This means that they are really pursuing weight control and general physical training; most of them are not really interested in becoming a rat trainer who organizes his whole life around gyms and kitchens. A lot of people will openly tell you that they are not at all interested in changing their eating habits, and they train for protection in order to compensate for all the foods that they like to eat.
Both of these situations will limit how coach sessions lead to so-called results, but this does not mean that the coach is not doing a good job. In other words, you cannot blame the coach for not making any radical physical changes if he works with the coach only once or twice a week and then goes home and eats like a teenager and does nothing else. time.
These people often say something like: “I don’t want to think when I work.” They want an excellent experience that challenges them, but does not harm them. They often rate their training success by how much they enjoyed each workout, how they feel at the end of the workout, and the fact that they performed a certain amount of workout per week.
And guess what: there is nothing wrong with that.
If they stick to this, these clients will gradually become healthier, feel better, and perhaps see some improvement in health outcomes. But many competent professionals in the field of fitness (including you) have regular customers who are not very different from each other or do not have an impressive increase in recovery compared to the beginning.
Should I choose a coach who will push me to serious results?
Many personal trainers have this elitist idea that you basically spend your time in the gym if you do not train with a particular focus on physical data or performance indicators. However, this ignores the many obvious physical and mental health benefits associated with regular exercise and strength training.
- Mood enhancement
- Sleep improvement
- Preservation of bone mass
- Improved sense of energy and well-being
Many confused trainers look down on people who are engaged in fitness and health, saying that these people are happy that they are "mediocre." This means that people who are not interested in organizing their whole life around sports halls and food are inferior, and those who are obsessed with these things are superior in one way or another.
I can confidently tell you that neither is true.
The same trainers continue to be disappointed, wondering why some people “don’t understand it” or don’t seem to care as much as they do, and ultimately don’t care. But usually it’s not that these people care, but that they don’t care what the coach wants them to take care of. These coaches are those who simply do not understand this.
These personal trainers do not understand that for most people, “getting results” from training doesn’t boil down to achieving impressive traction indicators or building the back door of a barn – these are goals for rats. For many, this simply means staying active, overcoming physical difficulties and enjoying each workout.
These are respectable and reasonable goals that personal trainers should encourage and be proud to contribute to.
What makes a good personal trainer?
Given what I have just completed, you can expect that I will argue that the greatest responsibility of a personal trainer is to give people motivation and inspiration for the lessons. In the end, you will not become too personal a trainer, if people do not like being close to you, you do not communicate, communicate well, and they like the environment and experience that you provide.
However, just having the right person is only a small part of what makes a good personal trainer. Ultimately, this work is not only about how you motivate people, but also about what you motivate them to do in the first place.
Simply put, a fitness professional (should be) is a recipe exercise expert. Let's unpack this a bit.
Many people, including many fitness professionals, think that simply knowing a wide variety of exercise variations and how to properly perform / train them is what makes an excellent personal trainer. These elements are certainly part of the job, but if this is all you bring to the table as a professional, then nothing distinguishes you from the daily exercise enthusiast who remembers how to do a lot of exercises from videos, websites, magazines, etc. D. books.
You must have a lot of experience if you want to provide real value. You must be confident and capable of:
- Individualization of exercises
- Exercise application
- Organization and prioritization of exercises
In other words, what distinguishes a great coach from a not very great coach or a great coach from an exercise enthusiast:
- Knowledge of what exercises should not be performed, based on the individual abilities of the client, physiological features, medical profile, etc.
- Knowledge of how to use, prioritize and organize exercises (for example, program design) to create training incentives for achieving specific adaptations
This is something you can learn only after long hours of analyzing exercises, training principles and biomechanics. Then longer hours try them in the gym and with customers. Then there are still many hours analyzing what worked and what did not, and what you saw.
Learning trends come and go like dress styles, but today a good personal trainer will have most of the same qualities as an excellent trainer in 10, 20, 50 and 100 years. What for? Because the body and its biomechanics never become obsolete.
How do I know if my coach is an expert?
Easy: ask them the right questions! But before we do that, let's discuss what it means to be an expert. In short, this training is not how much they know, but how committed they are to continuing education.
Specialists in the field of fitness are usually divided into three levels depending on their interest and efforts to obtain continuing education. Each level represents a much smaller group of fitness professionals who meet the relevant criteria than the one that precedes it.
Level 1: This level contains the largest population of trainers. They get most of their information from predominantly traditional sources, such as professional athletes and fitness celebrities, who are known to be unreliable sources and prone to spreading pseudoscience.
Teachers in this circle often find the fastest and easiest way to acquire CEC / CEU to maintain the relevance of their certification. They also tend to dig new, trending exercises and workout ideas that they can use to “push” their clients.
Level 1 also employs fitness professionals who spend most of their training time and money learning concepts and teaching methods that correspond exclusively to their own learning goals, rather than prioritizing more effective and efficient ways to help clients achieve their goals.
In action, this may seem to the client as if the coach is doing something with him, and not doing something for him. There is a big difference.
Level 2: Trainers in this category spend more time, energy and resources on their continuing education than in the previous category. Because of this, they tend to have a much better idea of what is relevant in their field, and they know reliable sources of scientifically-based educational information.
These trainers often attend live events and buy information products – when they can afford it – exclusively for the education provided, and not just for the CEC. In their free time, they often read a variety of study books, articles, blogs, and research.
Level 3: These are rare trainers who are not just passionate about and devote themselves to regular continuing education, they are obsessed with it.
They spend almost all their free time and consumables on their continuing education; constantly read articles and research, buy books and video courses / products and attend as many live events as they can afford. Despite the fact that they are associated with work, for the instructors in this circle, participation in their continuing education is enjoyable and exciting for them.
This is the type of coach you want to hire! Unfortunately, this category covers a much smaller part of the population of coaches than in the previous categories. A staff of 20 or more coaches may not have any coaches in this category, and if there is one, it is usually one or two. On the other hand, there are several smaller, more private educational institutions, the entire staff of which teachers fall into this category. These places are special!
It is important to note that in many cases, level 3 coaches are not the strongest, fittest or skinny people at the gym. Although they certainly work, these leading coaches spend much more time focusing on the technical and educational aspects of training. They want to be qualified to give reliable advice to other people, and not just to look qualified.
What questions should I ask my personal trainer before hiring them?
Almost everyone who teaches clients shares a passion for helping people, but this passion alone does not make them a qualified trainer. This skill comes from continuing education and dedication to the improvement and improvement of their craft.
When you are looking for a coach, ask these questions before agreeing to work with them. No, none of them have a “right” answer; they are really more to start a conversation.
Ask questions, pay attention to their answers, and you can tell how seriously they take their role as a professional in the field of fitness.
10 questions to ask before hiring a trainer
- Where do you get most of your physical fitness and health information?
- How often do you continue learning?
- How many hours a week do you spend learning or thinking about programming for your clients?
- What did you last do to continue your education?
- What do you plan to do next to continue your education?
- Here is my goal. What is the best way to achieve this?
- Why is your method better than other fitness training methods to help me achieve my goal?
- Do you use the same basic learning method for everyone you work with? Why or why not?
- Have you ever worked with people like me (similar age, gender, body type, medical history, etc.), who pursued the same goals?
- If so, can I tell them about their experience with you and find out what to expect?
Maybe feel free to ask such personal questions. It's good. Start your relationship with a coach on equal terms of respect and openness, and both sides will benefit. You will learn from them, they will also learn from you – this is true, they will – and both of you will find yourself in a better place than you used to be.
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