HOW TO FIND A LOCAL PERSONAL TRAINER
Before you start tapping “Personal Trainer Near Me” on Google, you should really get to the bottom of what it is that you are looking for.
And I don’t mean a Personal Trainer (PT), because if you are looking at this then you have most likely decided that you need the organisation, motivation, and expertise that a PT can provide to help you achieve your goals.
Speaking of which!
Have a Goal In Mind:
Try to have at least a rough idea of what you want to gain from a Personal Training session. All trainers should have a basic understanding of how to build size, strength, and decrease body fat. For most people they can get results with any old trainer. However, some PT’s will have a specialism, and if that reflects your goal, then you could be onto a winner. It is always worth searching for, or at least finding more about once you are in communication with them.
Their specialism could be:
- Working with a particular Demographic (i.e. elderly or children)
- Mastering a piece of Equipment (i.e. Padwork or Kettlebell)
- Style of Training (i.e. Bodyweight or Pilates)
- A specific Sport / Event (i.e. Combat Sports or Marathon)
There are too many to name. However chances are that if you have a goal, there is a trainer that specialises in it. Usually this means that they have additional qualifications, but we will get to that later.
It is important to note that when searching for a trainer you want to accept that this is going to affect your lifestyle. Hiring a Personal Trainer will cost you time, money, and energy. It is crucial that you see this as a long-term investment. No matter what you might think, you cannot put a price on being fit and healthy. However, you should have a budget in mind.
Personal Trainers – pricing:
Personal trainer prices will start at around £20 per hour, but £30 – 40 tends to be the average. You can expect to pay £50+ for a true specialist though. Of course, this varies from area to area, trainer experience and demand, and what a session or package might include.
PT’s are considered expensive, but you should consider that you are paying for results, not just a trainer. People tend to focus on the hourly rate, ignoring the planning, research, gym hire, equipment, and admin that goes into it. When you consider your goals and any other lifestyle changes that you can make, it is fairly inexpensive. That takeaway you have a couple of times a week, one of those could be a session, or reduce your alcohol intake over the weekend, and that could be another. It is perfectly doable, it is just a matter of how badly you want it.
Aside from the financial investment, you must also accept that this is unlikely to be a short-term commitment. If you are looking to achieve a goal you could be with the trainer for a year or more. However, this could entail various levels of frequency.
If you have experience and require accountability and a rough guide, and feel that you can replicate the sessions / exercises on your own, then you might only see them once a week. If you have less experience, then it is typically advised that you see them two or three times a week. This will allow you to train efficiently and learn how to control your body appropriately.
Of course, if you just want an intensive course as an introduction to the gym or a certain training style, then you might only see a trainer for a month or two. However anybody who wants to achieve a serious goal should consider a PT as a long term investment.
Where, When, and How:
It is always advised that you have an idea of times and days that would work for you, as well as how frequent this would be. It makes the process a lot easier. Trainers are likely to be far more flexible than you are. Naturally, you should try to have some leeway here, but you should not stick with a trainer that has no time for you.
You must also decide where you would like to be trained. Sessions are usually had in a gym, at home, in a park, or online. There are perks for each, which I could spend another hour talking to you about Ultimately a gym will have more facilities at your disposal, the alternatives can be convenient and include more privacy though. It is worth thinking about this as there are some Online Personal Trainers and Mobile Personal Trainers that specialise in these types of sessions, or there might be trainers that do not offer these types of services at all.
If you are not sure then you should look at your lifestyle and the time frame that you have, as well as your budget and how easy it is for you to get around.
This topic will vary between individuals, and may not even matter at all. However, if there are any qualities in a trainer that you need or want, then this is where you should at the very least make a mental note.
For some they might only be able to work with a female personal trainer due to religion, or a heavy lifter might want a Male Personal Trainer who can lift heavy just so that they can spot them efficiently. You might not want a drill sergeant either, unless of course someone shouting expletives at you is motivating. Everyone is different. Consider what approach you would work best with.
Reading reviews and seeing the way they interact with clients will say a lot about their training style, so you can always use these to judge whether they would be a good match for you. It is worth baring in mind that what you want and need can be different, so consider the next section before crossing them off, unless you have to.
Where to Find a Personal Trainer:
Once you have an idea of the kind of trainer that you are after, it is time to start your search. Naturally you can take to google to find a PT, but I would advise searching for the specialism or goal with it, just to help narrow down your choices. For example, you might search for “Boxing Personal Trainer”, “Padwork Personal Trainer” or “Padwork Specialist Personal Trainer”.
Alternatively, social media, particularly Facebook, is always a useful place to find a trainer as most of them will have active accounts / pages. It is also a useful way of seeing how active they are, what their focus is, and the kind of reviews that they receive. You will also be able to see any videos that they might have. This will show you how they train others or the type of clients that they have.
Once You Have Found A Personal Trainer:
Now that you have found a PT or a few, it is time to look into them. For this you need to constantly reference what your needs and wants are to see if they suit what you are looking for. Naturally, if they do not fit any of your needs, then cross them off of your list.
As a bare minimum you must look for a Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification. A Level 2 Fitness Instructor qualification only qualifies you to run classes and gym facilities. So, for those searching “Fitness Instructor Near Me”, it’s an honest mistake, but you are only going to be disappointed.
It is also worth noting that gyms tend to only accept trainers with these qualifications from Lifetime or Premier Global. Unfortunately, a 2 day course from Wowcher just doesn’t cut it. There is no shame in asking about this when you enquire either. Their education is paramount to not only your results, but your safety.
Level 4 Qualification:
On the odd occasion you may even come across a Level 4 qualification, these often show a particular specialism, whether this is Strength & Conditioning or Rehabilitation etc.
You do however have Professional Development certificates which are add-ons to the Level 2 and 3 qualifications; these are usually certificates to enable an instructor to take a particular class (i.e. Spin or Insanity), or to demonstrate an area of further study that they have undertaken. These vary greatly, but you tend to find that trainers go either one of two ways; they either have a few or a few pages worth of qualifications. It is up to you to decide whether they have the specialism and knowledge you feel that you require. For the most part it is ok, but if you have a particular need, then you are better going off with a true specialist rather than a jack of all trades.
I know of trainers that go on countless courses all year, saying that they are a master of this and that, but never use this new knowledge or can back up their specialist claim. Frankly, to specialise in an area, you must study it, not over a weekend, but over years. Your focus should be on that. The industry is constantly shifting, with new information coming in all of the time. As a trainer if you focus on too much, you will get left behind.
Other than the basic qualifications, the only thing you should concern yourself with is their insurance. This is based upon their qualifications, so naturally a Level 2 doing a PT session will not be covered. It is also important that it is up to date and relevant to the training that you will be taking part in. For example, some sports or activities require greater protection due to the risks involved i.e. Martial Arts and Self Defence.
Personal Trainer services tend to differ. Naturally, you are going to find one to one personal training sessions, but you might also find that they do two to one personal training or private group sessions as well. The latter are quite often ideal if you already have someone you already want to train with, but if not, this might be a time to consider it as it can quite often help to keep the cost down and keep you accountable even outside of training.
So far these are just the sessions themselves, which almost all trainers offer. However, they may include packages which can offer a variety of additional features; these could include check ins, programmes, apps, or goodie bags.
The first thing to do with this is to see what is within your budget, and then see what you want from your training. In all honesty though, you are better off talking to the trainer at this stage. Use their expertise to see what package or service that they offer would best suit your goal.
The final step is to contact one or more of these trainers. I find that the most convenient way to communicate with a trainer is to inform them of what your goal is, any injuries or apprehensions, the type of service you are looking for, and then ask any questions that you may have. This is information that the trainer can then use to help personalise their response and let you know how they can help you.
Throughout the conversation you will most likely discuss everything that I have already mentioned, or agree a time and place where you can meet to talk about training. At the end of the consultation period it is time to make a decision. It is at this point that I recommend contacting the trainers that you enquired with, and be honest to those who you will not be training with. You don’t have to, and frankly most people do not, but it is nice to know and any feedback is almost always appreciated by the trainer.