How to Choose a Personal Trainer, Part Two: Five More Questions to Ask

Following on from Body Happy’s previous blog about choosing a personal trainer, we’ve thought of
more questions that may be worth considering. Investing your time and money in a PT is a fantastic
investment. Nothing is more important than your health and wellbeing. However, making changes
in your life isn’t always easy, so take your time to really think about the person in front of you who
is, after all, going to help you get there. To repeat, if you like them, that’s always a good start, but
here are five more questions to help you on your way:
May I talk to a few of your clients?
Customer reviews may already be on their website but talking to people who are already working
with a personal trainer should give you an excellent idea of not only their skill and expertise, but
what they’re like to work with.
A good referral is a terrific compliment, so good PTs will be happy for their customers to share their
success stories, testimonials and references. It may be worth swerving those who aren’t willing to
do this.
Can you give me advice on nutrition?
Be careful here. Most (but not all) personal fitness trainers have a good, if not excellent
understanding of nutrition. They’ll know from experience and their own academic and practical
training what constitutes a healthy diet, that is, one that that supports your training schedule, gives
you maximum energy and which will help you to meet your fitness goals. However, he or she may
NOT be a qualified and accredited dietitian, which is something quite different and which involves a
whole new set of qualifications.
Several savvy PTs (and this includes Body Happy) work in close partnership with nutritional
specialists, who have an in depth understanding of food and how it affects our bodies. This is a good
combination and works very well.
How can I track my progress?
What an excellent question. What does “good” look like? How will you know if you’ve “got there”?
This could be measured in several ways: are you sleeping better, have you suddenly found that
you’re slipping back into your size twelve jeans without a great deal of effort? Perhaps that last
flight of stairs is starting to be less daunting.
Always, always set goals with your personal trainer – and with yourself. If you want to lose weight,
for example, it’s worth thinking about how much and over what time period. Remember, exercise is
only part of the process so focusing on your food and liquid intake is essential. You’ll need to
combine diet and exercise to make it work. Obvious, but worth repeating.
Those scales don’t always tell the truth. A gradual realisation that you feel really, really well is a
marvellous thing.
Do you specialise in any specific type of fitness?
Some PTs are skilled in helping more mature clients (perhaps those in their fifties, sixties and
beyond) to regain and maintain flexibility and mobility, two essential wellbeing concepts that we
should all be thinking about as we get older. Others work with injured athletes to establish a

rehabilitation programme; perhaps you’d like to run a half marathon, or even a full one. Maybe
even you’d like to really go for it and embrace the astonishing potential results to be had in lifting
heavy weights?
Whatever speciality, your PTs expertise in a specific area will give them passion and offer you the
edge, if that’s what you’re after.
What motivates you?
Maybe don’t ask this one outright, it may sound rather confrontational, but you’ll know what we
mean. When it comes to fitness training, some folks respond well to positive reinforcement, others
to being told off. Carrot or Stick. Good Cop Bad Cop. Think about the beliefs and general attitude to
fitness of the person in front of you. It their general attitude to health and wellbeing chimes with
yours, sign on that dotted line with undue haste!
We find that the best PTs are the “real” ones: people who eat ice cream and indulge in the
occasional night out, but don’t take our word for it.
Watch out for our next blog soon.


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