Smutty Fitness: Finding the right trainer

June 11, 2012 13:40:20 Posted at June 11, 2012 13:40:20
Hayley Posted by Hayley


Could you/Hayley collaborate on a post about what to look for in/expect to pay/expect to get from, a trainer. I love reading her posts, and am super jealous that you have someone like her in your life. I don't want to go around paying a bunch of people money to find someone that is that good of a fit for me. I'm really active, but overweight, and post-baby, and I need to find a trainer that will help me through workouts and diet to find a lifestyle that works for me, and most just don't seem to understand a really busy working mom's schedule! And, clearly, I don't want to overpay :)



Finding the perfect trainer is just as much of a challenge as finding the perfect bikini and just like swimsuits, personal trainers are not a one size fits all.  The first things that you want to look for when hunting for a personal trainer are their credentials.  At the very least they must have a certification that is provided by the governing body in your area that regulates fitness professionals.  Here in British Columbia, Canada we have BCRPA which is one of a few companies that provide education to trainers as well as insurance coverage.  Anyone can enrol in their courses and all must pass an exam (both written and practical) before they can become certified and enter the training industry.  These types of companies also offer continuing education programs which trainers must take part in to keep their certification valid, as well as increase their own knowledge. The more credentials a trainer has the more you will have to pay to train with them and if you can find a trainer that has their degree in Kinesiology or Human Kinetics you will most likely pay top dollar for their time.  Be prepared to pay upwards of $70 a session and even more for the ones that are in demand.  Some of the best trainers have waitlists and it can take months, even years, to secure a weekly spot with them but if they are that in demand they are probably worth their weight in gold and if you can wait it out and are flexible with your schedule, take what you can get.

The second thing that you want to make sure you find in a trainer is if they are willing to give you a session for free to try them out.  Everything can look good on paper but it may be a completely different story once you work with them.  In my personal opinion, what is most important when finding a trainer is the personal connection you are able to create with them and if that does not happen within the first session, most likely it never will.  It could be nothing personal, just that sometimes energies of two people do not work so if your instinct is telling you this is not the right person for the job, move on.  Remember, you are going to be spending a lot of time with this individual one on one and you will be trusting them with your health. You have to trust that they have your best interests at heart. 

You also want your trainer to represent the person you are striving to become.  Are they active themselves? (It is a strange phenomenon but there are a lot of trainers out there who do not practice what they preach.) If you are looking to put on 30 pounds of muscle you might want to stay away from someone whose own focus is ultra endurance training and perhaps find someone who has their own experience in body building.  But, if you want to run a marathon faster than you ever have, you may want to find a trainer who also runs marathons (fast) and will be able to lead you to your goals. 

Most of my clients come to me via referrals from people who already train with me.  Friends and family members of my clients see dramatic changes in my clients’ lives and they want the same and come to me hoping for the same results.  Ask your friends, family members and coworkers about their trainers and maybe jump in on a session with them.  Trainers are becoming a part of most people’s lives as we are realizing that health is just as important to us as other aspects of our lives, such as our finances, and just like we all have people in our lives helping us save (financial planners, mortgage brokers, etc) we also need people in our lives to help us stay healthy. 

It used to be that having a trainer was a luxury, but I have people who come to me who budget the expense as a necessity. You need to find a trainer who is able to put themselves into your shoes and understand the reality that you are living in. I am not a mother but I understand the importance of setting realistic goals and I always challenge my clients to work within their reality and be the best that they can be.  I would never expect a busy mother to run a marathon; however with a bit of time these “busy moms” find themselves accomplishing things they never thought possible, one step at a time. One of my clients who I have been training for 7 years (through two pregnancies I might add) found herself last year completing her first half ironman and this year she trained to run a marathon but unfortunately the day before the race her eardrum burst and she did not make it to the start line.  Even though she did not start the race, throughout her journey she learned how to prioritize her life and balance the time she gives to her children, her husband and to herself.  Four years ago I had to beg her to get out and go for a walk but now I can call her up, tell her that there is a trail race in a few weeks that I want to do with her and without hesitation she signs up and we are racing it together this Saturday.

You are trusting this person to help motivate you to change your life - don’t make this decision lightly.  I always knew that I would end up in a career in health education.  I wake up every single day feeling so blessed that I get to do what I love and I get to help people change their lives.  Not only do I spend hours with my clients in the studio but I also spend a lot of my own time with them.  I take them snowshoeing, mountain biking, skiing, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, running and I will even pace them in races - Lainey knows all about that, don’t you? (Lainey: UGH, yes. She has run with me during a race, her hand on my back UP A HILL making me go faster.) As trainers we work hard and we give a lot and we are never doing it for the money.  The best trainers are trainers because they are passionate about helping people make change so if you can find someone who is a trainer because it is what they love and choose to do, not because they are waiting to become something else, hold onto them tight.

Attached - Lisa Rinna after a yoga class last week.

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