Choosing a personal trainer

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When making your choice, factors to discuss with the personal trainer include:

  • How much does it cost to hire their services and what types of payment options are available? Do they offer a discount for larger training packages, for example, for more than one session a week?
  • What about other fees, such as extra services or cancellation fees?

  • Will they offer a discounted trial period before you commit? It is important you feel comfortable training with this personal trainer.
  • Are they available at the particular times and days when you’re free to exercise?
  • Do they recommend that you complete the adult pre-exercise screening tool and consult with an allied health professional before starting a new exercise program? This may be important if you haven’t exercised in a long time or have a chronic medical condition. Show the results of your pre-exercise screening to them or your doctor.
  • What range of physical activity options do they offer? Would you be working out in a gym, at home or outdoors?
  • How do they tailor exercise programs for clients? How would your preferences be taken into account? What sort of services do they offer to support you in achieving your goals?
  • What about updates to the exercise program that accommodate your improving fitness levels?
  • What allied health professionals networks do they have (for example, dietitians, physiotherapists) and work closely with?

Other things to consider include:

  • Make sure you feel comfortable with their training approach.
  • Check out the fees and their policy on contract cancellations.

Consider some more personal aspects that relate to the relationship with your trainer. Trust your instincts about the impressions the trainer makes upon you. Your personal trainer will ideally be:

  • someone you like. Ask yourself if you think you could get along with the trainer and whether you think the trainer is genuinely interested in helping you
  • a good listener – a good trainer will listen closely to what you say. Make sure they understand your goals. Make sure you feel comfortable asking questions
  • attentive – a good trainer will be focused only on you during your sessions
  • tracking your progress – a good trainer will regularly assess and monitor your progress, and change your program as required. They should also provide regular reports to you on your progress and associated health outcomes.

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