If you have stood up and proudly declared 2012 to be THE year to lose 30 pounds, get rid of that stomach (or insert other body part) flab, or finally beat your pompous I’m-so-much-better-than-you co-working in the annual 5K even if it kills you, then chances are you’ve thought about hiring a personal trainer. After all, who better to whip you into ass-kicking shape than some Jillian Michaels-like woman (or dude), right?
While working with a personal trainer can inspire a new-found love/hate relationship with the gym (probably more hate than love, but in a good way), be aware that not all trainers are created equal. Here are a few tips to consider before laying down your cash–and your sweaty body:
1. Your personal trainer is not your friend. Nope, a good personal trainer is there to train you, not get involved in your personal life. She doesn’t need to take time out of your workouts to get too friendly. Likewise, she’s not your marriage counselor, financial adviser, sex therapist or psychologist.
2. Don’t let their sex, shape, size or age sway you. Some of the best trainers I have seen are petite and fierce. Likewise, some of the bulky, bodybuilder types can be big teddy bears. Don’t judge a trainer by his or her exterior.
3. Try before you buy. Many gyms allow you to have a free personal training session at first. Or, you can simply purchase one session from several trainers and “test drive” them. See who you feel the most comfortable with and who will be the best at helping you reach your goals.
4. Working with a personal trainer is not a walk in the park (literally). He is there to push you outside your comfort zone, so the chances of you having an easy workout where all you do is walk and chat it up are close to zero.
5. Watch the trainers at your gym before hiring one. Take note of the nice ones and the ones who get results, and know the difference.
6. There will be times you will hate her. This will likely be a regular occurrence. If it’s not, she’s not pushing you hard enough.
7. Personal trainers will cost you a well-toned arm or leg. Working with a trainer is not cheap. Be prepared to plunk down a decent amount of cash–anywhere from $40 to $100 per session, on average. With 2-3 sessions a week for a few months, you can do the math.
8. Take note of trainers who gossip. Yes, shockingly enough, the gym can be a major gossip ground. And personal trainers can be found right in the thick of it. If you hear one talking about his clients, run. You need someone you can trust.
9. Don’t expect anything but a lot of soreness at first. Working out with a trainer will not give you instant results. Boo, hiss, we know. It may happen sooner than if you were going at it alone, but the only way to lose that weight is to work hard and put in your time, just like everyone else.
10. Be prepared. And committed. Don’t hire a personal trainer if you’re already thinking of excuses as to why you can’t work out or work hard. Likewise, don’t show up unprepared, not dressed, without a water bottle and not having done your assigned workout the day before. Trainers hate excuses and have been known to fire clients who don’t follow the rules.
Want more tips on choosing a personal trainer? Take a look.