You’ve made the decision to get fitter and healthier, but you have no idea where to start. You are too scared to join a group class or have no idea how to work all the machines at the gym. Or you may have just had a baby, or you have a specific event you want to focus on and like the idea of 1:1 personal help. In all these instances, the option for you could be someone like me – a personal trainer.
So what do you do?
If you are a member of a gym, you can always chat to one of the personal trainers there. If you are new to a gym, when you sign up, ask for them to organise an induction session with a trainer - this way you can ask questions and learn about the equipment and what would be best for you and what you want to achieve.
If you’re not a member of a gym, there are a number of options:
1. Word of mouth - do you have a friend or know someone that can recommend a personal trainer? One place to start – besides Google! - is fitness.com.au
2. Sometimes you will get fliers in the mail. Don’t ignore them. They’re generally from someone local and there’s bound to be someone you know – for instance, one of the other mum’s at school or at the local deli – who knows of them.
3. Contact your local outdoor bootcamp trainer. You will often notice them when they’re out training someone because they’re a walking (or running or stretching) billboard.
What should you look for in a personal trainer?
- First, check that the personal trainer you are considering has the right qualifications. There are some people who set themselves up in the industry, who are very fit and very athletic, but they don't have the appropriate qualifications, certification and insurance. An accredited personal trainer will have no problem if you ask about this.
- Where do you want to train - at a gym, outside, at home? Do you have to go to them, or do they come to you?
- Do you want a man or a woman? I think this depends on whether you also want to be able to talk about ‘girly’ things to your personal trainer: if so, a woman is best.
- What are your goals and what do you want to achieve out of your sessions?
- How often and what time do you want to train?
- Do you want to train on your own, or with a friend?
- If you are a mum, will you have the kids with you while you are training? For example - many of my clients are mums and I train them at their homes. Most of the time I am keeping kids occupied, giving piggy backs, holding babies, feeding kids all while training their mum!
Personal training can cost considerably more than group sessions or gym memberships, but you do get 1:1 attention.
The average going rate for personal training is around $80/hour. You will find some people less expensive and more expensive. If someone charges less than $70/hour, I’d be checking their qualifications and credentials. If you find someone charging more than $100/hour, don’t assume they’re ‘ripping you off’ – they may just be in high demand and have a large client base already. I’d be shopping around for an alternative quote.
Chat to them on the phone or in person, or on email if that is more convenient to ask all the questions you want to, and to get a feel for them and if you think they would be right for you.
When you meet the right trainer for you, you will know! Don't be afraid to ask questions! After all, you’re paying them to help you achieve your goals!