5 Qualities of A Great Personal Trainer

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There are a ton of benefits of working out with a personal trainer - that is, if it’s a great personal trainer. In today’s fitness-saturated market, you’ll find that not all workouts are created equal. 

It’s easy to fall prey to the next fitness guru who promises they have found the secret shortcut to the perfect beach body. It’s tempting to think that 7 minutes a day with some fancy ab-blasting piece of equipment is all it takes to get the body of your dreams, but the bottom line is that if you want to reach your fitness goals, you’ve got to put in the hard work. Working out with a personal trainer is a great way to cut the guesswork out of workouts so you can work towards your goals in an effective and safe way. 

Working out with a personal trainer is a great way to cut the guesswork out of workouts so you can work towards your goals in an effective and safe way.

Of course, there are many different ways to be a successful personal trainer. Different styles work for different clients, and everyone has their own personal preferences. However, if you’re looking to start working out with a personal trainer, and you’re unsure of where to start, here’s a list of five qualities every great personal trainer has. 

1) Well-Educated and Certified

The average person probably can’t name very many personal training certification programs, so it’s easy to be impressed by a bunch of acronyms on someone’s business card. Here’s what you need to know to make an educated decision. 

NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and ACE (American Council on Exercise) are the two largest, most commonly recognized personal training certification programs in the United States. NASM tends to put a stronger emphasis on corrective exercise, whereas ACE is a more general personal training certification. Both are very reputable certifications. 

Regardless of where your personal trainer got their certification, they should be well-educated on the exercises that they’re instructing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what muscles your working in each exercise. They should know. If a particular exercise doesn’t feel right, a good personal trainer will show you ways to modify, or give you an alternative way to work the same muscle group. 

2) Not Intimidating

A personal trainer’s level of physical fitness is an important thing to consider - are they practicing what they preach? But if your personal trainer speaks lingo that you don’t understand, or is unable to meet you at the level where you’re starting, you’re less likely to want to go back. A personal trainer should never intimidate you, but rather should know how to inspire you to put in the hard work. 

Some personal training clients find they do their best workouts with a stern trainer who demands hard work, whereas others find they enjoy their works most when they know their trainer is super accommodating to their specific needs. 

At the end of the day, you’re only going to see results if you keep coming back, so finding a trainer that you genuinely enjoy working out with is key. 

3) Knows How to Inspire You to Work Hard

We all have those days when we just don’t feel like working out. It’s not hard to find an excuse to skip a workout, but any gym rat will tell you that the endorphin high you get walking out of the gym is always well worth the hard work, especially on days when you need an energy boost. 

A great personal trainer will not only hold you accountable, but they will make you want to show up to the fitness studio. Having someone else who’s invested in your health can inspire you to work even harder than you would if you were doing it alone. 

4) Understands Your Limits and Special Conditions

One of the biggest benefits of working out with a personal trainer is that you can count on all of the exercises being safe for you. Clear communication with your personal trainer about any pre-existing or special conditions is crucial so that they can plan your workout in a safe and effective way. If your personal trainer urges you to continue an exercise that aggravates a medical condition despite clear communication on your part, it’s time to drop them. 

Just like any doctor, a personal trainer’s first duty is to do no harm. 

5) Work Towards Your Specific Goal

Most great personal trainers have particular areas of expertise (e.g., injury rehab, strength training, endurance training, etc.). If you know you want to see growth in one specific area, seek out someone who has proven success in that area. For example, if you want to train to run longer distances, a personal trainer with marathon training experience should be a better fit than a trainer with a strength training focus. 

That being said, a great personal trainer is adaptive, and able to customize their repertoire for you and your specific needs. 

At Evolve Fitness Chicago, we know that all of our experienced personal trainers meet all these requirements and more. If you’re interested is jump-starting your fitness journey, we’ll pair you with a great personal trainer who is uniquely qualified to help you meet your goals.