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How to Choose a Personal Trainer

Nathalie Rivard

Nathalie Rivard

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Web specialist, journalist and full-time foodie

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Want to start training but don’t know where to start? Already in shape but don’t know how to take it to the next step? A personal trainer could be the solution.

So how do you choose the right trainer for you?

The first step is to make an appointment for a consultation and ask any questions you may have. According to Dino Masson, kinesiologist and certified coach, “Personal (or private) training and kinesiology are growing industries. And there are as many types of coaches or kinesiologists as there are styles of training.”

The first step to choosing a personal trainer is to check that he/she has professional qualifications.

Here are some facts, to help you make an informed decision:

  • A kinesiologist should have completed a three-year bachelor program at a well-known Canadian university.
  • A personal trainer in Canada should be certified with one of the following organizations: Association nationale des intervenants en entraînement ― ANIE (Quebec)
  • Association canadienne des entraîneurs ― ACE
  • Programme national de certification en entraînement ― PNCE
  • Canadian Fitness Professionals ― Can-Fit-Pro
  • If they are specialized in a certain sport, trainers should also have certifications showing their level of training—level 1 or 2 of CrossFit, cycling trainer, etc.

How many years experience should you look for in a trainer?

Ideally, you should choose a fitness coach with at least two or three years experience, who is familiar with the kind of sport or fitness you wish to practice. Whether you’re looking for a coach for tennis, cycling or dragon boat racing, you should look for someone who has a good knowledge of that sport and can develop a program that suits your needs. This will help you achieve faster results.

If you are in your thirties or forties, it is preferable to choose a trainer of a similar age—they will likely understand your objectives better and be easier to relate to and communicate with. It is important to feel comfortable with a personal trainer, since you will be working closely with them to achieve your goals. You have to trust him/her that they will help push you to your limits.

A good trainer will also be happy to provide references from their other clients, so you can ask them any questions about the professionalism and qualifications of the trainer.

Does the trainer set a good example?

There is nothing better than trainers who practice what they preach. Look for someone with an active lifestyle and who trains regularly. Seeing their level of fitness will encourage you to push yourself harder. So if you run, for example, a trainer who is experienced in running marathons would be the perfect person to motivate you.

A trainer who works in collaboration with a nutritionist is also a good option if you are looking to lose weight. Other factors to consider are availability/schedules, location (where you will train), how far you will have to travel to train, and budget. It is up to you to decide whether your lifestyle allows for regular sessions, or whether you can only train occasionally when time and budget permit. Above all, you should choose a personal trainer who you get along well with. After all, you will hopefully be spending a lot of time together!

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