The first step is simple enough – ask to see their credentials. A Personal Trainer working in the UK should carry as a minimum a Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training. Most reputable Personal Trainers, like those at Get Fit 4 Life, go one step further and are members of CIMSPA, The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sports and Physical Activity.
All Personal Trainers should further possess Public Liability Insurance – and anybody worth their salt will be more than happy to provide you with all of their credentials before any assessment takes place – never mind any actual coaching.
As with much in life, having a licence or qualification does not guarantee professionalism – not every licensed driver is a safe driver. You really need to do your homework. Ask for references from clients that they are working with, you can even go to a gym and watch how they interact with other people.
When they speak to you, are they listening to you? Are they helping you to identify YOUR goals, or are they merely trying to pigeon hole you into a programme that they want to deliver?
With Jasper, a personal trainer in Aylesbury and Dean, a personal trainer in Colchester, whenever we are approached by a new client we always offer them a free one hour taster session – in truth this can run to longer than an hour. We get to know our clients, help them to clarify what their fitness goals are and (subject to being fit to train) we will work with them to assess their fitness level. Once we have this information we can start to discuss plans going forward and lay out our prices. Our clients can take as much time as they want to consider their options – there is no hard sell. Yes it’s true that many clients get a free session from us – but I would rather that than see somebody seriously injured or out of pocket having rushed into a decision.
In summary, to find a good trainer, ask for credentials; check references; watch them at work; ask for a taster session; take time out to consider your options. A good personal trainer will be happy to oblige you.
Jasper D Jameson, Personal Trainer and CIMSPA member.