Imagine for a moment that you have to undergo heart surgery. You’re given the option between two surgeons: an expensive one who graduated top of his/her class at a very well-respected school and has a track record of successful surgeries with minimal complications.
The other is cheaper, graduated last in his/her class, has a history of lawsuits for negligence, and gives off an air of arrogance and lack of attention to detail.
Which one would YOU choose?
There’s no question about it: when your health is at stake, you want to find the best – NOT settle for less.
It’s a matter of cost versus price, as world renowned success coach Zig Ziglar would say. Cost equals the dollar amount you’re spending, and price equals the ramifications for your decisions.
The cost of the services of the great surgeon may be higher, but the price for choosing the cheaper one is far more severe.
There’s just no question about it: when your health is at stake, you want to find the best – NOT settle for less.
And while this line of thinking comes naturally to us when we are considering our health from a medical standpoint, when it comes to physical fitness – arguably the #1 thing we can all do to best avoid many otherwise preventable medical interventions – we use an entirely different set of criteria.
As someone who has been a personal trainer 8 years – 4 times longer than the industry average of 2 years – I can assure you: as a consumer, the same set of criteria you use for serious health related considerations is every bit as relevant for choosing a personal trainer.
Because ultimately the same thing is at stake: your health. It is a far bigger waste of money to choose an inexpensive personal trainer who is essentially a hobbyist getting paid to count your reps rather than help you solve your problems.
A trainer who sees it as their duty to help you navigate the “everyday life landmines” you face due to your career obligations, family duties, and current physical restrictions stands a far greater chance of actually making a lasting positive impact on your life and health than the one texting their lifting buddies and taking selfies for their social media accounts.
For example: when I lived in Israel, I took on a student who was initially hesitant to hire me, as my rate was 60% higher per hour than his previous trainer. He took a leap of faith, however, and within 3 months he had lost 10 kilos (22 lb), more than doubled his strength in the essential kettlebell and bodyweight movements, and even started getting lewd comments about his new, chiseled physique from his girlfriend – all things that he didn’t accomplish in even a year of working with his previous trainer!
To sum up, when you are looking to hire a new personal trainer (or perhaps you’re hiring one for the first time), here are a few important criteria to look for:
Experience – is the trainer someone who has been training him/herself for a long time, or did they take on the job not long after developing it as a hobby? And more importantly, do they have experience training other people?
Education – does the trainer have a certification from a reputable school, certification body, or organization?
Results – does the trainer have a list of testimonials attesting to their effectiveness in helping their students achieve the results they’re after?
Professionalism – once you’ve hired them, does the trainer act professionally? Does he/she show up on time with a lesson plan, a clean outfit, and the ability to change your workout on the fly if you need a modification?
Ponder these things before you hire a personal trainer and you’ll make a far better investment – both in terms of price and cost – that will pay out far more and greater dividends than any future preventable surgery ever could.
Have fun and happy training!