Things to look out for in your fitness professional
1. Assessment + Intake Interview
A qualified trainer should ALWAYS have an interview process where they sit and TALK to you before you ever get moving. This doesn’t necessarily mean “fill out this form”, this should be a human conversation where you speak with them and you get to know each other. They should be willing to talk, answer questions, and overall be communicative.
Following an interview, there should be an assessment. This is not a “workout” this is a physical screen where they’ll take you through the basic movement patterns, see how you move, how you respond to coaching, and then be able to give you feedback and direction on what your major needs are, and what a preliminary plan would look like relative to your particular goal
Pragmatic reality, the person who has been practicing for 5 years is likely to be infinitely more skilled than a total beginner. I’d suggest finding a trainer whose been training for at least 5 years. While an occasional rookie may be good, training is truly an applied science career that takes MANY hours of experience just to be competent at.
3. Personal Fitness
The more fit and impressive the trainer is, the more qualified they are likely to be. If someone is truly educated, qualified, experienced, and a “master of their craft” with the human body, why should they not PHYSICALLY be a representation of their knowledge? Now, to be fair, this does not mean that a trainer must be 6’3 and look like a pro bodybuilder. But they should look pretty damn good in a tank top and be at a respectable of size, strength, and conditioning relative to their frame, guy or girl.
4. A Training Philosophy
This doesn’t meant they need to have written a book, have articles, etc, but simply that they should be able to clearly explain their personal methodology to how they assess, train, and progress people. This should be easy to understand, devoid of fluffy sounding jargon, and be relatable to what your personal goals are
5. They read books
Ask them what their major influences are with education and any mentors they’ve had/people they’ve learned from. Their answers probably wont mean anything to you, but its the REACTION you want to pay attention to. If they are entirely caught off guard and cannot recommend any reading, can’t recall reading themselves, and cannot name ANYONE that could be considered an influence on their training, do not train with them. The best trainers are always constantly looking to improve their skill-sets.