How to choose a personal trainer ?

A comprehensive guide

My name is Coach Kevin Kearns. I have been a personal trainer and strength coach since 1987. Personally I have worked with over 15 UFC fighters and have created our own MMA Fitness Training certification system which is now global. As well as produced over 15 workout videos and written over 300 articles. I have presented for Idea Fitness , ECA, SCW, and Can Fit Pro. My sponsors include JumpSport Fitness Trampolines, WearTrueForm, Purmotion, TITIN, Bosu , Rev Gear , and Hedstrom Fitness . Yet I am still training clients one on one and small groups on a daily basis. This is why I was asked to write this article.

Choosing a personal trainer can no easy task in today’s market. The internet for personal training business is a double edge sword. A trainer’s website can look outstanding! But then on a first training session it can leave you wondering if you called the right number.
It can also be challenge when you see the best in shape trainer. You think to yourself “ wow I want to look like that guy or girl.” Then while training with them you realize they are spending more time checking out their pecs in the mirror than making sure you bench press correctly.

Have no fear there are so simple steps to choosing the right trainer.

  1. Word of mouth – this is an age old tool that has been around since man has been selling services. When in doubt ask a friend or family member if they are using or know of a good trainer.

  2. Check the references – ask for references of other clients they have worked with in the past and who are their current clients. Many times this is a great place to start.

  3. Credentials check them out – if a trainer does not have at least one certification chances are they are not the trainer for you. As well as check out who certified them too . If they took test online in one day that would not be the person to hire. I have a tendency to lean towards trainers that have an actual degree in a fitness related field. This also has to be taken with a grain of salt. I have worked with trainers who have a master degree who did not know the right side of a kettlebell.

  4. Reputation- street cred or more importantly gym or fitness cred it important as well. What are other trainers and clients saying about this person. What have they been doing in their career? Better yet is it a career or they just looking to make a few bucks on the side. Trainers that are committed do this job full-time. It’s a calling not just a “ jump in and out “ job.

  5. Style of training- is this the trainer the right fit for you? Depending on what you are looking for is the type of trainer you will need. If you want to look like a bodybuilder or are concerned with how much you can dead lift than a trainer that is only teaching pilates is not the place to start.

  6. Your needs and goals- a good trainer will focus on what your needs and goals are not theirs. I have a client that has been with me for 2 years who has had prior heart disease. One trainer he saw before me was so adamant about him being able to bench press a lot of weight , he fired the trainer. That client happened to be the president of one of the top banks !

  7. Pills powders and potions – okay this is a real red flag. Quick weight loss schemes never work. This is why we have an obesity pandemic. If it worked we will all be at our ideal weight. I never have had a client use or take anything I would not put into my body. Many will up sell you on this powder to this vitamin. If I don’t use I won’y recommend it !

  8. Lack of personal depth- this is a big one that was conveyed to me by my mentor Douglas Brooks. If the trainer has no personality or enthusiasm how are they going to motivate you at 5am! Do they have an integrity model? Burn With Kearns’s EFFECTIVE, EFFICIENT and SAFE.

  9. Business is Business- I have seen many a trainer that crossed this line to many times. If you hear thru the grapevine that this particular trainer dates his or her customers it’s another red flag and I consider it unprofessional .

10. Right client right trainer – is this a match ? You need to ask yourself if you could actually ,outside of this business have a good conversation with them. I can generally tell if someone is the right fit for me or one of my other trainers or not. It’s ok for you not to like someone it happens from time to time.

11. Communication and follow up- does this person communicate well ? and how is their follow up? My rule of thumb is if I don’t know something , I’ll tell the client I will get back to them on that concept. As far as explaining the exercise be clear and concise . Above you might have to show them the drill multiple times and sometimes delete the exercise completely from the program. As Bruce Lee would say “Absorb what is useful throw out the rest.

With follow up , anything more than 3 to 6 hours is way to long. These are your clients and your income! You snooze you loose!

Coach Kevin Kearns Founder Burn With kearns.com Founder MMA Fighter Fit

2012 Top UFC Magazine S and C Coaches

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