5 Qualities To Look For In A Personal Trainer
Chris Nayna shares his picks for the best qualities to look for in a PT.
There’s nothing worse than feeling self-conscious, nervous, intimidated or judged when going to a gym, health club or fitness centre. Feeling this way discourages people from getting involved in fitness and continuing, let alone starting, their health and fitness journey. However, the right personal trainer should put you at ease, helping you streamline your health and fitness goals.
Here are five qualities you should look for in a compatible personal trainer:
1. Good Communication Skills.
A good trainer should be able to communicate information clearly. This works both ways. You should feel heard and understood, while also feeling like you’re receiving clear and digestible information. It’s important that they’re mindful of your level of understanding and modify their language and instructions for best learning outcomes.
2. Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise, understand and manage one’s emotions as well as the emotions of others. A trainer with good emotional intelligence should be empathetic and aware of how the environment might be making you feel. A good personal trainer should be aware of how they conduct themselves and others in order to motivate, inspire, and educate. They should be able to adapt to changing circumstances, whether that be injury, personal, social or work-related and know when to push you and when to pull back. Not everyone responds well to the drill sergeant approach; emotional intelligence goes a long way in knowing how to get the best out of people.
3. Relevant Education.
Make sure your trainer has done, at a minimum, a certificate IV in fitness that’s nationally recognised. Your trainer doesn’t need a million letters after their name, but they do need sufficient understanding of their practices and to provide rationale for their application. If you have specific goals or special requirements for injuries, disability or other important health considerations it’s important that your personal trainer is aware and informed so they can help you navigate that safely.
Be mindful that there’s a difference between having a passion for fitness and having a passion for teaching fitness. It’s important that your personal trainer has both. The signs of a passionate personal trainer are:
1. They consistently practice what they preach.
2. They are optimistic about their profession and speak with enthusiasm.
3. They show a willingness to learn and are regularly upskilling.
If you.re lucky the passion will be contagious
With the abundance of fad diets, impractical and unsustainable transformation stories and well-marketed but nonsensical products floating around the billion-dollar fitness industry, it’s important for fitness professionals to call out the B.S. when they see it. Sometimes the truth hurts, especially when you want to believe there’s a single product to solve all of your problems. A good trainer should have your interests at heart and be truthful and transparent with you, even if it’s hard to digest. Your trainer should offer realistic solutions, support and guidance to get you through.
Personal trainers are a great option to fast track your progress, educate, reduce your risk of injury and - in some cases - become an unofficial therapist. If you find a personal trainer who is well-educated, emotionally intelligent, a proficient communicator, honest and has passion for what they do, hold them close, don’t let them go and recommend them to all your friends.