Estimated reading time: 3 minutes.
With the turn of the new year, a lot of people are going to be looking to start or restart their fitness journeys to try and achieve their health and fitness goals.
One of the most efficient ways to do that is to hire a coach or personal trainer. You don’t have to go trawling online to learn how to do everything, you just pay them and they tell you! Easy peasy right?
Sadly not, much like any profession, the skill and professionalism (and cost) of PTs vary wildly, and it’s not always clear who would be the best fit for you so here are some tips for what to look for before hiring a coach.
Qualifications. Do they have a valid level 3 personal training qualification from a reputable service provider, do they have valid professional insurance? Typically people will display their qualifications on their website (not having a formal website and only having a social media page is a bit of a red flag).
How experienced are they? Have they been working in the industry for a long time? Most people will cite their industry experience, and if they don’t, it usually means they haven’t been going long. This is fine, everyone starts somewhere, but the less professional experience should be somewhat reflected in the price.
Personality. This is where social media can come in very clutch. Realistically you’re going to be spending a fair amount of time with this person, and if their personality doesn’t gel with you it isn’t going to be an enjoyable process, and will likely hinder your motivation to go to sessions as well as your enjoyment of them. It’s worth following people’s socials for a bit and seeing whether they’d be a good fit for you.
Professionalism. Personally, this one hits home the most, since everything to do with it takes literally no talent. Are they punctual, arriving early? Are they organised, do they get paperwork and programs to you ahead/of time? Are they reliable, do they give you plenty of notice for any schedule changes, or payment deadlines/processes? This one you really only get from references or once you’re already working with someone, but I strongly advise not sticking around if they struggle with stuff.
Specialisation. If you have a specific health condition or are training for a specific sport, or level of sport, you may wish to investigate to see if they can facilitate your needs. Not everyone will be a specialist and that’s fine, it doesn’t mean they aren’t great coaches, but if you are concerned that you may require specialist/bespoke help, I’d do a lot of looking around and asking questions to find the right person.
References. Ask them for references, or find former clients and get a vibe check for them. I particularly advise people who no longer work with them for this purpose, as they’re not under any great pressure to sugarcoat anything, so you’ll get an honest take.
Price. As I alluded to earlier, the price for PT varies wildly, from the sceptically cheap to the eye-watering/celebrity-level price tags. Realistically the actual difference in service between the two isn’t as big as the price would suggest, certainly at the top end. It’s also a good idea to clarify ahead of formal sign-up the full payment option you are selecting, just so you’re aware of any additional fees or contractual obligations like cancellation policies or fees.
That’s my list for helping you find a coach or personal trainer, I hope you found some of those tips helpful and if you’re looking for a PT in 2023, consider getting in touch with us! @atsapproved on all social media, and visit our website for our introductory offer that’s frankly ridiculous value.