What is the difference between a neurosurgeon and a personal trainer? A neurosurgeon has to go through years of schooling, hands-on training and pass tough exams before they are allowed to get anywhere close to operating on someone’s brain. It is a very regulated profession and only few who are willing to go through the process and qualify are able to call themselves a neurosurgeon.
Now let’s look at personal trainers. The personal training industry is not regulated. Anyone can take an online course, pass the test and start training clients. You do not have to go through years of education. You do not have to be a professional athlete. You don’t even have to be in shape.
So, what should you consider when choosing a personal trainer in Vancouver or your city? How do you know if this is the personal trainer who can get you the results you want?
The following comes from my personal experience as a professional athlete and a coach who worked with thousands of people. I’ve seen many injuries and I’ve heard of many disappointing experiences as a result of working with an unexperienced personal trainer.
Here are things to consider when choosing a personal trainer:
1) the physical condition of your trainer – can they do what they teach?
Is the trainer in a good shape? There is an old saying “Don’t ask your overweight doctor how to lose weight!”. Credibility is important. If your potential trainer is not in shape, how can they teach you? I don’t mean they need to be shredded like a physique model or a bodybuilder but your trainer should look like a personal trainer.
2) Their background – what is their experience?
How long have they been training? Have they ever competed in sports? Or did they just take an online course without enough personal training experience and started training people.
Here is why it’s important. When you compete, you push yourself past your limits to get to the next level. You get dizzy, you get nauseous, you vomit and if you keep pushing further, you pass out. That does not sound pretty, but this is what we, professional athletes, do.
Why is that relevant if you are not planning to compete and your goal is just to lose weight and get fit? Because your personal trainer needs to have enough experience to prevent you from getting sick or passing out. Your trainer needs to have enough experience to push you far enough without getting you injured.
3) Do they have any medical or kinesiology background – do they know how a human body works?
The personal trainer courses do not provide enough information or education on human anatomy and physiology. They range anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks. The course would have to be at least 12-24 months long for a student to get and retain enough information and understanding, so they can apply it to their work as a personal trainer with their clients. You don’t need to hire a doctor to train you, but your trainer’s understanding of human anatomy and physiology is a huge benefit for you to get better results without any injuries.
4) How old are they – do they know how it feels to be your age?
There is a difference between training yourself and training others. We are all different. We have different abilities, sex hormones, changing levels of weight regulating hormones at different age and many other factors that must be taken into a consideration by your personal trainer.
If you have any age-related physical condition, your trainer must have enough knowledge to work around it. Letting an unexperienced trainer to push you to the point where you blow your knee out or injure your back is something you should not gamble on. Your trainer has to clearly understand the difference of the body’s ability at 50 vs 20 years of age.
If you are looking for a personal trainer in Vancouver or anywhere else, choose someone roughly your age or older. They will know how it feels at your age. If you are 20, it doesn’t matter how old your trainer is but if you are 50, your 20-year-old trainer may not be able to comprehend how your body works at your age and they can push some buttons a bit extra hard. Older personal trainer will know how your body reacts to the change of hormones with aging. They will know how it feels to be stiff when you wake up in the morning or when you cannot get a quality sleep and still need to train. They’ve been there, they’ve done that.
5) Results of their clients – can the personal trainer help you reach your goals?
Look for a personal trainer with a proven track record. Referrals are the best because you know it worked for someone else. If you are searching online, look up their name. See what other people say about them. Video reviews are the best testimonials because you can see if they are genuine or if they have been scripted.
It can be challenging to find the right personal trainer for yourself. I hope this article will help you make the perfect choice.
Whether you are looking for a personal trainer in Vancouver or an online personal trainer, I will be able to find the right plan for you, to help you lose weight and keep it off for good!