From Instagram fitness trainers to coaches at your local gym, there are plenty of personal trainers out there, both good and bad. And given that personal training isn’t cheap, it is very important for you to find a trainer that is going to return on your investment.
We and many others do believe that a good trainer is worth it no matter how much money they ask. However, the actual challenge doesn’t lie in the price – it lies in finding a personal trainer that is going to help you with achieving your goals. Price is secondary to this, though it still is important.
And to give you a helping hand, we’ve decided to compile a list of a couple of crucial tips for you to follow when looking for a personal trainer in Dublin. Besides, we are going to slightly touch upon online training since it is a very popular thing nowadays.
8 Tips for Hiring a Personal Trainer in Dublin
Know What You Want
The gym isn’t only about losing weight and getting fit. Some people are indeed working to achieve that 10% body weight mark, but there’s much more to training than you may think.
Some people train to get stronger, others are looking to run a marathon. And there also are people who just enjoy training and don’t have any particular goals to pursue.
Needless to say, if you have a specific goal, you will need to hire a proper trainer. One trainer most likely won’t have expertise in absolutely everything in the world. Trainers much more often have very narrow specializations, which is why it is important for you to understand what you want first.
Only after understanding what you need should you go out and search for a personal trainer.
Be Honest About your Needs
You need to understand what you want from your training sessions, but so does your personal trainer. And this applies not so much to general things like losing weight as to any special needs. If you have any health conditions or injuries, don’t feel awkward and make sure to let your potential trainer about them.
On one hand, this will allow you to find out how good of a listener your trainer is: a good trainer is going to try and craft a unique program that would consider your special needs. On the other hand, the program your personal trainer provides you with is going to be safer and more effective for you if it is made with your needs in mind.
Have a Look at The Trainer’s Qualifications
If you didn’t know, there actually is a lot of science behind training. This is no surprise: to help someone lose weight, a trainer needs to understand how the body works, for example.
And this isn’t limited by the simple “spend more energy than you consume.” It isn’t enough for your coach to understand this in order to compose a proper diet plan. The same goes for any other training goal that you may have.
A few things to find out when looking for a personal trainer:
- Is the trainer’s qualification from a reputable organization?
- What is their expertise field (nutrition, physiology, sports science)?
- Does the trainer continue to invest in education and improvement of qualification? This is a good marker that the trainer is passionate about what they do and wish to expand their knowledge base to become better.
It’s also important that the trainer keeps an eye out for relevant research because science doesn’t stand still. In fact, there are plenty of things about the body that science still doesn’t know about or doesn’t understand well, so your trainer should be aware of all the new discoveries in their field.
And aside from providing the trainer with relevant knowledge, interest in research will again show that they are passionate about their profession.
By the way, don’t waste your time looking for a trainer that is an expert in everything. It’s just impossible. As we mentioned above, trainers predominantly invest in one or two areas, and you want to find a trainer whose fields match your needs.
Don’t forget About the Trainer’s Experience
While a qualification from a reputable organization is a good indicator that a trainer is competent, it doesn’t mean that the trainer is necessarily going to be great. There are plenty of incredible trainers out there who don’t have any certifications.
Credible certification is a good starting point, but don’t rely on it too much. What often matters more is how experienced the trainer is.
When looking for a personal trainer, consider the following two points:
- Their own success in their field, be it bodybuilding, weightlifting, powerlifting, or anything else.
- The achievements of the people who the trainer coaches.
In fact, in our opinion, the second point is more important for you as a client. Great athletes aren’t necessarily excellent coaches, but if you see that the trainer’s clients have achieved great results, you can be sure that the trainer knows what they are doing.
It would be also great if the personal trainer followed a healthy lifestyle on their own. This is important not so much from the perspective of experience as from the point of view of giving an example and inspiration to you. We also believe that it is essential that the trainer appreciate the load on the barbell on the back so they can empathize you when you are getting out of your comfort zone.
The Training Style is Very Important
Trainers are also people, and they have personalities varying from calm and passive to quite aggressive. No matter what your trainer’s personality is, it needs to meet your expectations, your personal needs, and preferences.
For example, if you like to be pushed to the limit, a more aggressive trainer would likely be a better companion for you.
What the trainer’s training principles are and how they develop their programs are also important. In particular, your personal trainer should listen to you and answer your questions and expectations, as well as make the experience as enjoyable for you as possible.
A training program taken from Instagram or from elsewhere most likely won’t help you even a bit. A good program is going to be tailored to your needs and your current condition. And this is why your trainer should be attentive to you.
Client-coach compatibility is crucial as well. You don’t necessarily need to love your trainer or become friends with him, but you need to respect them, and it shouldn’t feel to you that your expectations and experiences are being ignored.
Lastly, the trainer should be engaged and energetic about your training session. If they are constantly on their phone, then you are essentially wasting money on a personal trainer that isn’t too interested in your progress.
Don’t Skimp on a Good Personal Trainer
Personal training sessions can be rather expensive, but if your trainer is good, you can be sure that you aren’t wasting any of your money.
Don’t skimp on a personal trainer and go for someone with a low price. You get what you pay for, and you shouldn’t expect much or anything at all if you don’t invest in a good personal trainer.
The opposite is also true. Don’t overpay for a personal trainer if there are cheaper and better options. A trainer may not be necessarily overpriced: they may simply offer services that you don’t really need. So if you don’t need nutritional advice, for example, don’t overpay for it.
Don’t be Fooled by a Big Name
Nowadays, there are plenty of fitness trainers renowned across Instagram. And while they may have hundreds of thousands of followers, it is important to understand that a big name doesn’t actually mean that the coach is good.
Likewise, don’t get fooled if the trainer is training some celebrity. It may just be some marketing game that you don’t want to be involved in.
The criteria we mentioned above apply to celebrity/Instagram coaches as well. Instead of considering their follower count, find out the results they have generated for their clients, as well as don’t forget about their credentials.
Watch out for Trainers Trying to Sell Supplements
It’s usually a red flag if a trainer tries to sell supplements to you. While supplements can be very helpful, the trainer should first take the time to help you establish a healthy lifestyle and diet.
Supplements are used by people who are looking for ways to push their training and diet routines beyond what regular foods can allow them. Thus, they most likely won’t be helpful to you as a beginner since you still have plenty of room for growth.
So when your potential trainer convinces you that you need to buy supplements from them or the gym, become instantly skeptical. They most likely have some kind of a contract with a supplement manufacturer, and you don’t want to have anything with it.
Should you Hire an Online Personal Trainer?
Online coaching is a very relevant thing nowadays, and you may be wondering whether you should go for an online personal trainer or not.
Well, the reality is that this will depend on your needs and abilities since online coaching has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s have a look at them so that you have a better idea of what to expect from online coaching.
Advantages of Online Training
Free in Schedule
This is possibly the biggest advantage of online coaching. Your personal trainer is going to provide you with a program ahead of time, and you can easily adapt it to your own schedule. You won’t be dependent on your trainer’s own busy schedule and will be able to train whenever is convenient for you.
Online training is especially convenient if you travel a lot, be it just a vacation or for business. No matter where you are in the world, you will be able to communicate with your coach. In addition, your trainer will be able to consider changes in your routine and adapt your training to your new schedule.
It’s often much more cost-effective to hire an online personal trainer. When you are working with a trainer in the gym, you are training one-on-one with them, and they can’t coach anyone else at the same time. Conversely, when not training with you one-on-one, your trainer is able to provide you with more-cost effective guidance.
Disadvantages of Online Training
Your trainer loses control of your training process
After you receive that workout program, whether the training is going to be done or not is at your mercy. Nothing is stopping you from skipping your training session, and if you skip one, your trainer isn’t going to find out. And there’s no way for your trainer to make sure that you are training consistently.
No instant Feedback
When performing demanding moves or heavy sets, it is much better to have a coach watching you. If your personal trainer is there, they will remind you to keep great form and will prevent you from doing bad moves.
There are form check videos in online training, but it’s not the same as receiving instant feedback when you do something wrong. With these videos, you aren’t receiving real-time tips from your coach that would prevent you from performing an improper move, as well as from receiving an injury.
Potentially Lost Motivation and Money (The Biggest One)
When you pay for a month of coaching, there isn’t really anything motivating you from going to the gym when you’re lazy or tired. There’s nobody you’d let down there, and there’s nobody to push you to maintain consistency in your training routine.
If you lose motivation, you will not be achieving the results that you’d expect, if any. And, most importantly, you are going to essentially waste money by not going to the gym.
So is in-person coaching better than online coaching?
We wouldn’t say that one training format is definitely better than the other. Which will actually be better for you is going to mainly depend on your schedule. If you can’t find a personal trainer that would be able to guide you in hours convenient for you, then you probably should opt for online coaching.
Remember that you are hiring a personal trainer to achieve your own training goals. Don’t cheap out, don’t rush your decision, and don’t buy it if someone has a big name or a high follower count. What matters the most is your needs, your coach’s qualifications and experience, as well as the ability of your coach to adapt the training routine to your requirements.