Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Should I Hire a Personal Trainer?: 4. Communication skills and a talkative nature


Here is something for you to think about. You hire a trainer to help you lose 15 pounds before your vacation in four months. You go down to the local health club and ask for the names of some personal trainers. So they give you a name and number of the trainer to call. Being a busy person you decide to e-mail him. He responds quickly and immediately gives you information on his educational background, certification and experience with other clients. You think, "this guy seems like he knows what he is doing. I think I'll hire him." So you send a check and set up the first training appointment.

During the first appointment he asks you about your health history and goals, then suggests a body fat test and circumference measurements. Upon leaving the appointment, you feel really good.

But that is where the positive results end.

At your next appointment, your first real training appointment, he begins by putting you through the workout he designed. The workout seems fine; however, the trainer is very quiet. Twenty minutes into the session he hasn't said a whole lot. In fact, all he does is count out loud the repetitions you are performing. Ten-nine-eight-seven-six and on and on. Once in a while he throws in a "good job, one more rep." During the session you try to strike up a conversation with him, but to no avail.

"The next exercise works your triceps...let's get started," he says.

Unsure about how he wants you to perform the exercise, you ask him to explain it to you. "Grasp the handle like this and push it down!" he exclaims as he demonstrates, using an imaginary handle.

By the end of the workout you are bored out of your mind and unmotivated. He has never made eye contact with you and many times while you were performing an exercise, he was looking at someone else across the room.

You say to yourself, "on paper this guy looked like he was a great trainer." What you couldn't tell from the e-mail was that he was a poor communicator. Later you find out the experience he mentioned was with several other clients like yourself, that only lasted a few sessions due to boredom.

If you are going to hire a personal trainer, be sure to meet this person one on one before you sign a contract. A great personal trainer is one that knows how to communicate. They must be a talker.

You as the client will have many questions that need to be thoroughly answered. The trainer needs to deliver. He should describe and demonstrate the exercises in detail as well as explain why you are doing each exercise.

Beyond having communication skills, a trainer needs to be motivating. It's hard for a silent person to be very motivating. The trainer needs to get you fired up. They need to get you excited and make you want to be there. This is what produces results and makes you want to go back for more.

Take the time to meet with your prospective personal trainer in person.