How to pick a personal trainer

Ryan Bell of Fitness Qatar on how to get fit in Doha

How to pick a personal trainer
How to pick a personal trainer Image #2

Why have a trainer?
Too many people simply go to the gym and do the same things over and over, never getting any results. Whether short term or long term, hiring a personal trainer can help teach you how to train properly and with good technique in such a way that you get results. This quality time is priceless and should be viewed as a long term investment arming you with the ability to train correctly, confidently and with purpose. You can reap the benefits for the rest of your life.

Who should look at getting a trainer?
“The hardest person to train is yourself”. This is a common quote I 100% agree with. Everyone and I mean everyone can benefit from a trainer. Whether you’re an elite athlete, a gym warrior or someone who is entirely new to fitness, a personal trainer can coach and motivate you to reach new levels of fitness, empowerment and performance. You are an individual and your programme and methods should reflect this. Cookie-clutter programming and make-shift training sessions don’t work and often leave you resenting and feeling negative where fitness is concerned. You are far more likely to reach your goals when someone is there to coach and push you when times get tough. The feeling of accomplishment is unmatched and a personal trainer can help you.

Right, we’re convinced. So what should we be looking for in a trainer?
All trainers should be fully qualified whether they have a relevant degree or are minimum Level 3 PT certificated (don’t be afraid to ask for documentation evidence). Of equal importance is the rapport between client and trainer. Both have to be able to communicate clearly to each other concerning short and long term goals and the path to getting there. This will help build important traits such as trust, belief and work ethic.

Another important factor to consider is body language. If your trainer is constantly looking at his/her watch or seems completely disinterested in your progress then they are doing you a complete disservice and most likely care little about your wellbeing. Every trainer should demonstrate care and commitment on their part and their ability to listen to your views and possible concerns is just as important as their talent to coach you the perfect squat.

Finally don’t forget personal training is a professional service meaning relevant documents such as PARQs, disclaimers, client and trainer agreements and health and fitness questionnaires etc are all important and what’s more necessary. Make sure your trainer has put you on an actual individual programme. Every session should be recorded and accounted for. This is vital to ensure your progress.

What are some warning signs this might not be the trainer for you (or anyone)?
Firstly if your trainer has no qualifications but merely does fitness as a hobby or likes the gym, this does not make them a fitness expert or qualified to coach others! Qualifications are essential to your safety and wellbeing plus keep the standards and credibility of personal training in check.

Secondly, overall professionalism is important. Does you trainer wear the appropriate clothing (i.e. no jeans, no Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirts)? Is your trainer on time for sessions? Does your trainer plan and record your sessions? Does your trainer value your time? Do you have good rapport with your trainer?

If you answered no to any of the above, it’s perhaps time to consider matters such as a different trainer. A poor relationship between trainer and client does both parties no favours. Don’t waste your time and money!

How can people get the most out of their sessions?
You are far more likely to train if you have made a commitment with a trainer. Meetings between the two of you are completely focused on your fitness goals. Make sure you attend all the sessions you have booked as being consistent is vital. Let the trainer do the job you are paying them for, it’s what we love to do! Also, do your best to take on the counsel your trainer gives you outside sessions, whether it’s nutritional advice, getting some extra exercise such as walking, SMR (Self Myofascial Release – self massage). stretching or simply getting more sleep. It’s all designed to assist you on your way to a healthier, fitter and most importantly happier you.
For more information on personal training, including tutorial videos and blogs, check out

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