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Sports Performance | Personal Training

How to Choose the Right Personal Trainer

February 2nd, 2022 | 4 min. read

How to Choose the Right Personal Trainer
Jesse Douglas

Jesse Douglas

Director of EW FIT // Motion Specialist // Certified Fitness Specialist // EW Motion Therapy Homewood

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Consider the process of choosing a preschool for your child, whether you have one right now or not. There are many things to think about as you tour facilities - the school’s location, the curriculum, and the class size, to name a few. But one of your primary concerns is probably how the teachers interact with the children. You know better than anyone the teaching style your child needs to thrive, and you will not send them to a school that does not help them learn and grow. 


Choosing a personal trainer for yourself is a similar process when boiled down to its essential steps. You need someone encouraging, nonjudgmental, and consistent. You know the kind of environment you need to grow and thrive, so why would you pay for anything less? 


At EW Motion Therapy, our trainers want to be both cheerleaders and coaches as you work toward your fitness goals, laying out a roadmap and giving you direction to get where you want to go. Even if you choose not to train with us, we still want to provide some advice on finding a trainer that can best help you reach your goals.


This article will discuss certifications and personal qualities to look for as you search for a personal trainer. With this information, you can continue your search, knowing you can find a trainer who will help you achieve your personal fitness goals. 


Click here for our Personal Training Assessment!


Professional qualifications 

When looking at personal trainers in your area, it is important to look for someone with both years of experience and nationally recognized certifications. Newer trainers might not yet have the breadth of knowledge to work with your particular needs, even if they have many certifications. Also, some credentials can only come with a certain number of years of experience or educational level (bachelor’s, master’s, etc.). 


Many organizations across the country offer personal training certification programs. Namely, the ACSM, NASM, NSCA, and ACE all have programs that provide a solid foundation of knowledge for any aspiring trainer. Additionally, trainers can earn many specialty certifications, including kettlebell, spin class, and more. If you are interested in pursuing a certain kind of exercise, it might be beneficial to find a trainer in your area who specializes in that exercise. 


Personal qualities 

As far as personality is concerned, a great trainer will make your sessions entirely about you. They will leave their ego, preconceived notions, and expectations at the door and focus solely on your desires and goals. They should be motivating, positive, and empathetic. They should communicate clearly, helping you stick to your roadmap and navigate toward your goals. If you feel lost during your session, then your trainer is not paying enough attention to you. A great trainer will also be friendly and encouraging - no one needs a drill sergeant in the gym but a friend who can gently push you toward the end goal. 


A trainer should be just as empathetic in a group session as they are in a one-on-one. In a group session, a trainer may have to pump up their energy level to get all participants having fun and keep everyone on the same page during the workout. In a one-on-one, a trainer can be more of a guide and a friend and go at whatever pace works best for your training. 


What if I don’t like my trainer?

It is perfectly normal in life not to mesh well with certain personalities. If you find this happening with your trainer, the best course is to be honest with your trainer and yourself. Your training sessions are all about you, and a great trainer will look at the situation as a wake-up call and an opportunity to learn and improve. 


A personal trainer runs a business like anyone else, and any company loses customers. Does your mechanic feel hurt when you decide to see a different mechanic? Don’t worry about feeling awkward, even if you choose a different trainer in the same gym. There should be plenty of good vibes to go around. 


How can I find a trainer in my area? 

Now you know more about choosing a great personal trainer for your workouts. Google is always a great solution to get started with your research, but you can also ask around your friends and family for recommendations. You should keep your goals and your specific needs in mind. If you have a medical condition that would be better suited by a one-on-one experience, starting with a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class or a large-group gym like Orange Theory might not be the best place for you. You can interview trainers just like you would interview a potential employee - competency and care are essential. It may be challenging to find a trainer with both the experience and the availability that suits your needs, but when you do, your personal training experience will be everything you want it to be. 


Our trainers undergo a vetting process and an intense in-house training program at EW Motion Therapy before they ever work with clients. Whatever trainer is available to work with you will have the same EW Motion Therapy training no matter how many years they have been in the business. If you are interested in training with us, fill out our personal training self-assessment by clicking the button below to see if our program best fits your needs. 


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