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Congratulations! You finally decided to get off the hamster wheel of diet and exercise programs that start and stop and start and stop. You’ve decided to hire a personal trainer to help hold you accountable and ensure you reach your goals. This is a great first step! But now what?? Most of us don't have a personal trainer in our back pocket. For some of us we may not even know where to look. So here's a short list of steps to help ensure you find a great personal trainer that will help you and be a great fit.


Step 1 - Do your research. Just because someone is a trainer at a gym or says they are a trainer on social media, does not make them an excellent personal trainer. You will definitely want to dig deeper and do a little research first. Personal training is an investment in yourself and your health and it only makes sense to put a little thought and energy into it. Try a Google search or search on social media. Look at reviews, ask around and see if any of your friends have worked with this person. Look at how long this person has been in the industry. Also, look and see if they have any local recognition or awards that help support their credibility. A good professional trainer will also have references and success stories and testimonials posted so you can see what kind of people they excel at working with. If you find faces that look just like you, you're probably going in the right direction.  


While you're doing your research, take a look and see if they have a website, a Facebook business profile, a LinkedIn profile, or other professional listing as a trainer. This will give you insight into their credentials. Do they have certifications listed? Are they associated with a Professional Organization? Do they contribute to blogs or professional advice columns or share educational information? All these additional elements are markers of a trainer who is a true professional and invested in the health and fitness industry. 


Step 2 - Contact the trainer. If you call them and you find a very unprofessional voicemail, go in a different direction. If you write to them and they respond back with poor grammar or don't respond at all, go in a different direction. When you're looking to truly make an investment in your health and fitness the last thing you want is somebody who's doing this part time as a hobby and not taking you or your needs seriously. You want and deserve somebody who is going to work as a professional. There are a lot of trainers out there who just enjoy exercise but don't run their business professionally.


Step 3 - Ask about pricing and programs. A professional trainer will have a short menu of options and can recommend the one that's the best fit for you. A word to the wise - you probably don't want to be choosing the cheapest trainer out there. I understand the appeal of not stretching your budget and getting more for your money or getting a deal, however, personal training is one of those Industries in which you truly get what you pay for. A professional trainer will be reinvesting in their own practice and business, continuing education, and spending a lot of time and energy on researching and developing client programs and ensuring client success. In short a professional trainer who takes their business and their clients seriously will charge accordingly. Another thing to look for as you're investigating programs, is does the trainer offer a guarantee. While there are no guarantees in health and fitness, the best trainers will stand by their programs.


Step 4 - See about a free consultation or a trial to see if you guys are a good fit. Even if a personal trainer has an excellent resume and excellent success stories, your personalities might not mesh. You want to make sure you're going to work well together, that you can trust each other and it feels like a constructive relationship. Most great trainers will have an opportunity to get to know the client beforehand, whether it's at a complimentary workout or assessment or even a trial to test out the relationship. Take advantage of that opportunity to test and investigate them in person, this will give you a better idea of how they are as a trainer, how they work with their clients and if it’s a good fit for you. It’s always a good idea to test the waters before diving in.


Step 5 - Give it a go! If you've done your research, looked at reviews and testimonials, know they have credentials and experience, they're professionally presenting programs and offering a guarantee, and they even offer you some manner of assessment or trial to see if you're a good fit, then the only thing left to do is to give it a try. Make the decision to start! This could be the beginning of a new and positive lifestyle.

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