I don’t take fitness coaching lightly. Growing up, I did not have the resources to learn how to train correctly. My gym teachers were of little to no help, and everything online or in magazines was too “cookie-cutter” for someone like me. Unfortunately, some trainers and gyms have not adapted to the changing times. Not everyone (most people) is meant to be a bodybuilder or powerlifter.
Most people just want to feel and move better, and I’m very happy to see the fitness industry move in this direction, as I feel it provides more value in the outside world. Fitness does not live in a vacuum, so if you’re going to be receiving direction on your fitness journey, you’ll want a coach that considers all the factors that go into it. Through my experience, I’ve seen some really good coaches and some not-so-good ones.
Here are the coaching traits you should look for when hiring a personal trainer/fitness coach:
Thoughtfulness: High quality coaches look at health and fitness holistically. In our exercise programming process, we consider current stress levels, mental health, occupation, time of year, age, training history, your breakfast that day, etc., as well as your fitness goals. Not everyone who arrives at the same destination comes from the same place. If two people were driving to Toledo, but one was coming from Ann Arbor and the other from Cincinnati, I wouldn’t tell them both to drive south. (Well, maybe if I didn’t like the person from Cincy ;)). We all start at inherently different points in our journey, and how someone else achieved their goals might not be the best approach for you! You have a unique background, and that needs to be accounted for when it comes to executing your fitness journey.
Experience: Ideally, your trainers will have trained people before! Just like any other job, experience breeds a greater depth of understanding to fitness and a greater ability to teach movement. On paper, an exercise program can be great, but if the movements are not taught well, then that “perfect” program is practically worthless. Experience allows our technical knowledge to improve and it is also imperative to learning how to talk to people. This is a service industry, and human beings can be tricky! Today’s successful fitness coaches utilize their experience to get the most out of their technical knowledge.
Adaptability: Everyone’s day-to-day is going to have some hiccups and speed bumps at some point. We’ve all slept in a funky position and woke up with a cranky neck. Or maybe you had too much wine on your anniversary with your spouse last night, and you feel like hot garbage. These intricacies of life happen, but what if you have heavy deadlifts today? You might not be as prepared as you would like. Proper trainers will adapt your program to how you’re feeling that day. If you’re super beat up from a weekend of partying, then it’s probably not a good idea to do a bunch of heavy lifting on Monday. The opposite could also be true! If you’re feeling refreshed and amped up, maybe we turn up the session intensity. The great trainers will be able to adjust training sessions based on your current status.
Humility: We view the gym as a means to an end, not the end itself. We don’t care how much you bench or squat. We want you to feel good while running triages, educating the next generation, or playing catch with your kids. If it doesn’t help with life outside of the gym, then we are not interested in doing it. There are multiple paths to fitness success; we hope to guide you down the path that’s best for you, whether or not that involves our training facility.
The fitness industry is changing rapidly. We are realizing there is no one-size-fits-all approach to training, so it is imperative your gym/personal trainer sees you as the individual that you are and builds your exercise program around that uniqueness. We are super proud to be practicing this way.
Thanks for coming along for the ride!