There are tons of fitness trainers in the world. In 2018, there were 69,000 fitness instructors in the United Kingdom alone. With various gyms offering a number of personal trainers to choose from and self-employed fitness instructors available for training whenever you’re free, deciding on the right trainer for you could be quite the dilemma.

Fitness trainers not only need to create fitness plans for their clients and motivate their clients to keep it up. They also need to have the right personality for the job. Choosing the right trainer could spell the difference between success and failure in the gym. Their voice will be the one you hear pushing you to do those last few squats and push-ups, so make sure that voice belongs to someone you respect.

  1. They have a passion for fitness

Your trainer should be your role model in the gym. While some of the best coaches of sports like basketball or baseball were never players, a fitness coach should be able to show that they walk the talk. They don’t have to have the largest muscles or the smallest waist, unless that’s what you want. They do, however, have to look the part of a trainer who has a passion for being fit and healthy, and is committed to the lifestyle. Choosing a trainer who practices what they preach will determine how you respond to their instructions. 

  1. They care about your goals

When you first talked to them, did they ask you about what you wanted to get out of your workouts? If they did, that’s a good sign. The right fitness trainer won’t project their own gym goals onto you. If your primary goal is to lose weight, the workouts your trainer gives you should reflect that and, after some time, should begin to show in your body’s transformation. However, it would also be the client’s responsibility to choose a trainer who has had experience in that particular field, whether the goal is sports conditioning, flexibility, strength training, or weight loss, among others.

  1. They’re compassionate

Fitness trainers shouldn’t just feel like a disembodied voice shouting at you through your reps and sets. No matter how fit they may be, they’re human too, which means that they should show you compassion throughout your fitness journey. Though it often helps to have a strict trainer to push you to your limits, that type of training doesn’t work for everyone. If you’ve got a bum knee or just have a hard time keeping up with the program, they should be able to empathize with you and adjust. The gym can be a difficult place to get used to, and if you don’t have a gym buddy to overcome it with, your fitness trainer’s the only person who can get you through it.

  1. They want to improve your relationship with exercise

Some trainers are so well-versed in the programs they teach, they can go on and on about their importance without asking how you feel about it. The right fitness trainer will resist the urge to lecture you about what you should do and what you’ve been doing wrong. Instead, they will listen to you, teach you how to exercise correctly, and tweak the program to suit your goals and fitness history. A trainer who doesn’t do this might never know, for instance, that you struggle with bending your joints or have trouble controlling your diet. These little facts will help your trainer build the best regimen for you, but they can’t do this if they don’t care to.

  1. They have a personality that meshes with yours

The best trainer might have the best background in fitness and the most certifications in the gym, but if the two of you can’t get along or the time you spend together feels awkward, they might not be the right trainer for you. Find someone you feel like you could spend an hour at the gym with every day. However, they should also be tough enough to push you to finish the most difficult exercises. Of course, this all depends on what you want in a personal trainer. Decide if you’d rather have a friendly trainer, a ruthless instructor, or both rolled into one.

  1. They’re certified

The best trainers are those that have acquired certification from accredited groups and associations, or graduated with degrees in fields such as physical fitness. While a trainer might have the most ripped body in the gym, they also need to have the knowledge to back it up. There’s more to training than just telling clients to use a few machines and do a few body weight exercises. A lot goes into the formulation of a training program, and the right trainer knows this.

  1. They keep positive

Because trainers are human too, they’re going to have bad days. What’s important is that they don’t let these get their clients down. Some clients will choose to work out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Others work out only on weekends, while a few choose to exercise every single day. The likelihood that these clients will be in the best mood every time they see their trainers is very low. This means that it’s up to fitness trainers to keep morale high in the gym, and keep you motivated. They need to have a positive attitude from the outset, so that their positivity can leak into your daily workouts, especially when you’re at your lowest fitness-wise.

  1. They teach well

Follow what your trainer says, but don’t do it blindly. Allow them to teach you how specific exercises contribute to your reaching your fitness goals. They don’t have to explain the science behind each workout down to the molecular mechanisms, but they should be able to teach you enough that you get a good grasp of their importance in relation to your form and anatomy. A good trainer will keep your workouts understandable, as this is especially crucial when you eventually need to exercise alone.

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