I get asked this question at least once a week. Finding the right trainer for YOU does require some trial and error, but there are some guidelines that will help narrow your search.
Here are some great questions to ask yourself when choosing a Trainer/Coach:
1. Do I want an Online Coach or an In-Person Trainer?
There are several things to consider in this choice. An online coach is oftentimes much more affordable than an in-person trainer. An online coach will design your training program for you and generally ask you to check in with progress photos on a certain schedule. Many are available via email, Skype and texting, BUT they will require YOU to push yourself in the gym. An in-person trainer will design your plan and guide you through your workouts. They will be a physical presence that holds you accountable when you have training sessions with them.
2. Does the Trainer/Coach specialize in the goal I am pursuing?
Many trainers are proficient in general weight-loss, but some coaches specialize in certain niches. There is no sense in training with a Coach that specializes in bodybuilding contest prep if you want to be a power lifter and vice versa etc etc.
3. Does the Trainer’s lifting style mesh well with the way you like to train?
Now read carefully! I am NOT saying find a Coach who doesn’t challenge you and train with them. I AM saying if you hate plyometrics, but love classic bodybuilding style training then it probably isn’t going to be very motivating training with a Coach who loves to put their clients through plyometric circuits daily. We ALL have to train in ways that we sometimes don’t completely enjoy, but do not sign yourself up for failure.
4. Does the Coach’s nutrition philosophy work with your own views?
There is no sense in having a Vegan Coach write your nutrition plans if you love to eat half of a farm daily. Nor does it serve your purpose to work with a Coach who utilizes flexible dieting/IIFYM if you are a junk food binge eater and cannot control your portions.
5. Do they produce quality athletes?
If you are looking for a Coach to help you achieve a specific athletic goal research their athletes and their own personal competitive success. I really appreciate that my own Coach is still a competitor. He has achieved professional status in bodybuilding and it allows me to really appreciate all that he teaches me because it comes from personal experience.
Remember, this is YOUR journey. Include those that will push you to be stronger and happier, make room for sources of positivity and cast out the negative.