Part 3 of a 3-part series:
We know how important it is to choose the right personal trainer. You'll be spending a LOT of time together and it's a big investment.
In Parts 1 & 2, we explored the first important traits to look for in a trainer:
* A strong knowledge of anatomy.
* Ability to listen to you and understand your goals.
* Willingness to work with you on your goals, not theirs.
* Encouraging and willing to help you feel successful.
* 100% focused on you, 100% of the time you're with them.
* They genuinely care.
* Can tell you why they are choosing a particular exercise, and what the goal is.
Which all leads to:
1. They teach you strategies rather than making you dependent on them. One of your personal trainer's goals should be to help you discover how your body works, what strategies to use to keep injuries at bay, and teach you how to exercise efficiently and safely for your body / conditions / injuries. Which also leads us to...
2. Learning new techniques and being interested in learning more is one of their top priorities. Your personal trainer should be learning all the time. Research and trends change constantly in the health and wellness industry, so it's very important that your trainer stay on top of them and always be curious...so they can teach you more too!
3. They are ok with saying "I don't know, I will find out" Nobody knows everything. A great trainer should be willing to admit when they don't know something, and have the interest to look it up and learn the things they may not know.
4. Using proper form and your safety are top priorities. Sure, there are people out there who love to be screamed at and tortured in the gym. But most of us are not into the yelling and hardest-workout-ever techniques, and for the majority of us, it's just not safe. A great trainer will help you correct imbalances in your functional movements, give you exercises that are beneficial for your body, and take your individual concerns and injuries into consideration.
5. Last but not least, they know their scope of practice and refer you to a medical professional or another practitioner when necessary. Ideally your trainer is part of a team of practitioners, both fitness and medical, whom s/he can refer you to if you have pain or an issue that pops up. Be it a physical therapist, medical physician, massage therapist or acupuncturist, your trainer should be confident enough in their abilities (and aware of their scope) to know when to refer to another professional. This will also help you heal faster, so you can get back to working out sooner rather than later!