I'm about to share a secret with you: Not every personal trainer—no matter how fabulous or talented he or she
When meeting with a personal trainer for the first time, most people ask solid basic questions, but these less traditional and less conventional questions really give you a sense as to why the personal trainer has chosen his or her career and what he or she can do for you. Read on to learn what questions to ask to find your best trainer!
1. How do you stay in shape? Most personal trainers will train themselves
2. What's your fitness philosophy? A personal trainer should—without hesitation—be able to tell you exactly what he believes when it comes to fitness. Does he or she
3. Do you recommend supplements? Although healthy eating is key to losing weight and getting in shape, personal trainers are not registered dietitians and, therefore, should never give out specific nutritional advice, such as meal plans or supplement recommendations beyond a multivitamin. When you ask this question, if a personal trainer starts going on and on about what supplements (or worse, diet pills) he or she uses and recommends to clients, beware. It is outside of a personal trainer's scope of practice to give specific dietary recommendations.
4. Are you CPR and AED certified? You probably already asked whether the personal trainer is properly certified by a personal training association, but double check that they are currently CPR and AED certified. AED stands for automated external defibrillator, and if you or someone else at the gym has a heart attack, it can save a life. Make sure your personal trainer knows how to use it and is properly trained to respond during potential emergencies.
5. Are most of your clients long-term or short-term? If a personal trainer has mostly long-term clients, then you know that he or she is probably good at relationship building and at keeping workouts fresh and challenging over time. On the flip side, if they're all short-term, this might signify that the personal trainer is either brand new to the industry (you should definitely ask about previous training experience) or to the fitness facility. At worst, this could signal an underlying training or personality issue. If you're just looking to invest in a few personal training sessions and you really like a personal trainer who has mostly short-term clients, that's okay. It's when you're looking to invest in a large package of sessions that you need to be careful whom you choose to work with for the next six months. When all else fails, go with your gut.
6. How many times per week do you train clients? A lot of personal trainers train as a part-time job, so if this number is below 10, don't be afraid. Just follow up by asking whether they have a full-time job. If they don't have another job, then ask why they train so infrequently. If they do 30-plus sessions a week, ask them how they keep things fresh and how they avoid burnout. Most trainers who do more than 30 sessions a week are working very long hours from 5 a.m.
7. Why are you a personal trainer? Similar to, but different from, question number two, this one addresses why the trainer got into the fitness field. If it's to see people transform their bodies, then you know the trainer focuses on the physical. If the trainer says it's to help people transform their lives, then you know they'll probably have your well-being in mind. If the trainer takes a few minutes to answer or isn't sure, run far, far away!