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How do you find a great fitness instructor?

Whether it's for a group class or private training, finding a knowledgeable, quality instructor is a difficult task for most people. It's a little intimidating to put the care of your body into the hands of another individual. Especially one who will be challenging your physical shortcomings. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself and your potential trainer...

  • Are they a certified trainer? If so, where did they obtain their certification and how long have they been instructing? This is not to deter you from training with a newly certified instructor. There are many "freshly certified" instructors that have been training independently, have a degree in physical fitness/dance/kinesiology or were professional dancer/performers prior to entering the field. That being said, research their certification to be sure it is credible and requires practice/mentor hours.
  • Do they have experience/work history? Have they put in the hours of continuing education, self practice and observation which in our opinion are crucial for the development of an exceptional trainer. Are they a certification junkie or are they really taking the time to hone in on their field of expertise?
  • Are you and your potential trainer compatible? Let's face it, sometimes we just don't connect well with certain people. You have to be able to build a comfortable and trusting relationship with this person. They need to have those specific qualities and personality traits that are important to you (whatever they may be).
  • Do they have references? Other clients may be willing to share their experiences with you as would gym/studio staff. Maybe they even have Yelp or Google reviews. Keep in mind that online reviews can sometimes be a little skewed so if you read one that is less than favorable ask your potential trainer about it. Not every 2 star review is "bad". It may have been that compatibility thing, unrealistic expectations, or someone with an injury that could not have been safely trained.
  • Do they listen and can they communicate? This is SO important. You have a goal in mind and your trainers purpose is to help you achieve it. If they aren't listening to you then your sessions will hold no value. In turn, effective communication is imperative. You have to speak the same "language". An experienced trainer can communicate on a multitude of levels. For example, you may need a visual cue, physical cue, a demonstration or a verbal break down of the working anatomy of an exercise. 

The right trainer for YOU will take the time to answer all of these questions and more. They will have questions for you too! Some of these questions may include... Do you have or have had any injuries, illness or physical limitations? Do you play any sports? What do you do for a living? If you've recently had a child, was it a c-section? Do you take any daily medications? Please don't be offended by these questions and do yourself a favor and be honest. We ask these questions to keep you safe from injury and your answers are always completely confidential.

So now that you armed with more information go forth and find that trainer that motivates you, challenges you and helps you to feel and look amazing everyday...

-Khristen Pahler


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