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What to Look for in a Personal Trainer

An increasing trend lately are people seeking clients for online coaching and personal training. Unfortunately 80% of them aren’t qualified to do so. Sadly, there have been one or two that were interns with me for a very short time, and although they may have learned a little they still remain  without a certification, education,  or nearly enough knowledge to adequately  train people.  A few others have managed to acquire nutrition and workout plans written by qualified professionals in this industry and pass them along or sell them as their own…I have a HUGE pet peeve over this behavior, so today I’m providing a list of things you should look for in your trainer/coach; should you feel this is written about you…well that’s either because it is, or its simply your guilty conscious eating at you for being a fake…

1) Ask if they’re certified and through what school, ask to SEE the certificate! You would use a surgeon who hadn’t graduated from medical school, or just dressed up like a surgeon would you?
2) Ask about their experience,  how many years have they been a trainer. Ask to see their client before/after photos. Ask for a reference!  Most trainers are happy to provide client references.
3) Ask if they are qualified to offer nutritional advice. It’s not uncommon for someone to write a diet without considering medications or the possible dangerous interactions with foods. Diabetes, asthma, PCOS & high blood pressure are all common illnesses that require special attention when training or providing a nutrition plan.
4)Just because someone has done a show, or has their Pro Card doesn’t mean they are a prep coach/trainer/nutritionist.
5) Is your trainer/ coach in shape? If you aren’t inspired by the way they care for their own body you better think twice about paying them to get you in shape. If they cant hold themselves accountable they wont be able to hold you accountable. The first man I ever worked with suffered a terrible crash..he wasn’t able to train for years..but I’ll tell you what…his body was magnificent. …why? Because he KNEW what he was doing with his nutrition. I learned a ton working with him, and occasionally consult him on various situations.
6) Keep in mind just because they look the part doesn’t mean they’re knowledgeable.  You need to do some research …Google, Facebook. ..look for clients posts, reviews, do they have training videos, have they written any articles? You wouldn’t hire any school kid to babysit just because they looked cute…wouldn’t you ask around a bit???
7) Make sure if you have an injury,  old or new, your trainer understands your limitations!!!! This includes anything from back problems , joints pain, arthritis, previous muscle tears..the list is endless. The point is these issues can leave you severely damaged if you’re in the hands of a trainer that lacks the knowledge of basic anatomy and proper training form.
8) Experience accounts for a lot, I know a handful of amazing trainers with no formal education, however they’ve trained along side some of the best, most elite people in the industry.  They’ve gained knowledge and experience under the best of circumstances,  if this is the case, in my opinion, it is equal to that certification,  if not better than it!

I consider myself extremely lucky that I have worked with & trained with some of the top bodybuilders and coaches. In addition to my certifications, they have provided me with more knowledge than I ever dreamed of. Information changes quickly, fads come and go, but I have some of the smartest and most successful peers around me to keep me on toes and thirsty for all that I can still learn. There is no ONE right way to achieve anything, but hiring an idiot that claims to be something they’re not is most definitely the ONE right way to an epic failure.

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