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How do you value a Personal Trainer?

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How do you value a Personal Trainer?

Personal Training takes on many forms.

I know some personal trainers that are masters of their craft and have been coaching for dozens of years. Their expertise is worth substantially more than the $300-400 it costs for a session with them.

I also know of personal trainers whose only experience is coaching themselves through a program written by someone else and “look the part” but have no idea how to coach someone not exactly like them to results desired by that person. Regardless of price, this isn’t someone you want to go to, or send a loved one to.

However, the two are indistinguishable on a website and the latter may even look more appealing because they do “look the part” and market themselves well through social media and marketing tools.

So, how does one value a Personal Trainer?

The answer to that is complex. However, a number of quality articles have been written on the topic. These are some great Top 10 lists from Huff Post, MyFitnessPal, and NBC News.

I don’t know about you, but trying to remember 10 things, besides what it is I am trying to accomplish, is a daunting task. Maybe your memory is better than mine, but I would need a list and it would not feel genuine reading off it and grilling a personal trainer.

Instead, think of it this way. The value you place in a Personal Trainer is the same value you gave to a great teacher you once had.

Some credentials are important, but they aren’t the end all, be all. I mean, can you really tell me what level of schooling your favorite teacher had? A good personal trainer should have credentials but not spout off about them as a means of proving their worth.

They will honestly assess you. If someone is going to help you get better, they need to identify your strengths and weaknesses. From a teaching perspective, that was allowing you the chalkboard to demonstrate and teach on your strengths and then quietly chatting 1-1 with you about how to bust through sticking points in your studies.

For a personal trainer, that is balancing a training program that provides you opportunities to flex your strengths while battling through your weaknesses.

Being fair with a friendly tone. Listen, if getting into great shape was easy, we would all do it. Similarly, getting an A is something NOT everyone achieves.
The best teachers understand that caring about someone isn’t about letting them slide by with a good grade. But delivering a grade that you know you earned is much easier to handle if the teacher is friendly about it and willing to discuss how improvements can be made.

A personal trainer should be positive. We all need a little more of that in our lives. But a big reason why a personal trainer is valuable is that they are attentive to all the things they can see that you can’t. And, when there is something worth addressing, they step in to help you get better.

Seeing my blindspots is something I am willing to pay A LOT for. And a really valuable personal trainer is the one who can see my improvements and point those out to me as well.

To return to the complex question “how does one value a Personal Trainer?” I will simplify to the best of my abilities.

A truly valuable personal trainer is someone who acts professionally and consistently provides open and honest feedback.

Oh, and that someone probably likes being called Coach, but that’s for another time 😉


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