January is well and truly upon us and with a new year, comes new year’s resolutions. Asides from that, the fitness industry has seen an increase in participants over the last 12 months as many people seek to get fit or stay in shape from home. This has led to a demand for online personal trainers, but knowing how to pick one can be rather tricky!
Whether they offer the type of exercise you want to do
The first and most obvious criteria you should check for is if they offer the type of exercise or activity that you are interested in. You may find several trainers that offer a range of exercises, but it’s probably best to go with one that specializes in your chosen preference.
For example, a teacher may list several different activities on their profile. While it’s great that they offer diversity, if you are interested in learning just one exercise, it might be best to find a specialist. Of course, if you want to do a range of different exercises, picking a trainer with a range of skills will suit you.
Their credentials and qualifications
Next up, you want to be assured that your personal trainer of choice has the right credentials and qualifications to teach a particular exercise. Opting for an under-qualified or non-qualified instructor carries safety risks. You could end up injuring yourself from following poorly delivered advice and instruction. Look for college degrees in sporting and physiological subjects, certifications in the specific exercises they are teaching, and any additional courses they have taken. You should always do a bit of research on the certification-granting body to make sure they are reputable and legitimate.
There are several pseudo trainers out there who call themselves coaches but actually work for multilevel marketing companies. These should be avoided, as they often have little to no training and are predominantly focused on selling the product and also recruiting others to be trainers.
It’s also worth taking into account how long they have been teaching, where they have previously taught, and what other professional experience they have in their niche.
When looking for personal training online, a great way to evaluate your potential trainer is by looking at their ratings and reviews from other users. For instance, Superprof provides both rankings and reviews from those that have used their services and can provide real insights into their ability, skill, and style.
This is an important benefit and can really help people decide if a particular trainer is for them, or not. Reviews may highlight features and also provide insight into potential red flags. Of course, everyone has different tastes and preferences but the overall tone of reviews is a great way to help your decision-making process along.
Your best bet is to look out for tutors like Rose, the former gymnast on Superprof who has 11 five-star reviews or Camilla who has three five-star reviews. The consistency of these ratings should give you a bit of added confidence. You can also easily see what different trainers specialise in. For example, you can see that Niklas specializes in football, baseball and basketball, whereas another US-based tutor, Kama lists weights, cardio Pilates and Yoga.
Their personality and ethos
If you don’t gel with your trainer, you will not stick to the program. Each trainer has a unique personality and style. Some people prefer a gentle, encouraging approach, while others like to be shouted at, ordered, and told what to do. Picking the trainer with the right attitude for you is incredibly important.
Asides from reading about them online, you should always try to schedule a voice or, ideally, a video call with them to try and understand a bit more about what they do. Ask them to describe their style and to provide examples of how they keep students motivated! Many will also offer a free class so you can be 100% sure that they are the trainer for you.
How much they charge is another part of the decision-making process. While it’s great to have a budget, cost should not be your main or only consideration. It’s no good going for the cheapest trainer around if they don’t specialize in what you want to do.
Likewise, if they have a poor rating and don’t match with your preferred style of learning, you are destined to fail before you even start. You should set yourself a budget and look for trainers that fall within it – but make the final decision based on your other criteria.
So, what are you waiting for? Now you know how to pick a trainer, you have no excuses left!