Flip Your Script

John J. Schessler, Wellness Coach/Personal Trainer

What kind of Personal Trainer do you need?

A lot of times, people have certain expectations when it comes to going to a personal trainer. Male or Female? Do they have any specializations? What is their success rate with clients? Regardless of what your specifications are, most clients have certain things they look for in a PT. However, what if you don’t? Where do you start? What questions do you need to ask yourself and what is going to make the search go a lot smoother?

When most people start at a gym and feel the need for direction and structure in their workouts to help them reach their personal goals, they usually seek out a personal trainer. Personal trainers are individuals at a gym who possess training specific to assisting individuals in a gym or fitness setting meet their fitness goals. We do this by way of designing programs, fitness consultations and different types of fitness testing. The first question you should be asking yourself is ‘can I afford a personal trainer?’ Most trainer rates can be very outlandish and expensive depending on the facility you are a member at. Some gyms do offer training services at no additional cost to the member and in my personal opinion, more people need to avail themselves of these services because when you compare trainer rates these days, costs can be astronomical. Getting yourself a personal trainer can be a huge investment so do your research before committing to save yourself some financial mistakes and hardships.

The next question you should ask yourself is whether or not they should specialize in specific areas of fitness to align with your goals. Most trainers have multiple certifications aside from their base personal trainer certification that allow them to specialize in things that make them more marketable as a trainer. I personally have certifications in sports injury, orthopedics and life coaching to make my personal training services more rounded out for the clientele that I serve. If you have specific fitness and health goals, you may want to seek out a trainer who specializes because they will be better equipped to guide you if you have any special considerations or contraindications (problems) they may need to accommodate for you.

One of the main points of having a personal trainer is to help you feel more comfortable in the gym and give you confidence for you to have as much autonomy over your workouts as possible. There are some people who prefer male trainers and some who prefer female trainers. In my experience, most men tend to gravitate to male trainers and women to female trainers. Men feel that another guy will probably be able to understand their goals if they want to ‘build size’ more so than a female would due to the fact the most women don’t align with those type of fitness goals. On the same token, most women would probably feel more comfortable confiding in another woman if they have weight loss goals or goals more along the lines of things a woman would understand more. Regardless of the gender, trainers are equipped to deal with all types of problems that are health and fitness related with great tact and confidentiality.

One of the things that some people tend to do is stereotype trainers or put them in a box without even talking to them or knowing anything about them or their abilities. Some people just expect the personal trainers are supposed to look a certain way, act a certain way, etc. We’re individuals too, we have flaws, things that make us different and unique in the part that we play as trainers. I’m 5’4″, 160 lbs and a toned build but am no comparison to guys in muscles mags or bodybuilding contests. On that premise, that does not mean in any circumstance that I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve been training for ten years at this point and have worked in the medical, physical therapy and educational sectors. I have experienced clients who have had enormous success in their fitness journey and I’ve been privy to have had a hand in them. Before you judge us, ask us about our background and what we can provide for you.

The main point of this article is to shine some light on what things to look for when pursuing a personal trainer, pricing, certifications and specializations, etc. Basically, it all comes down to you and your comfort zone. Trainers get into this line of work because we want to help people become better versions of themselves and we want everyone to have that chance. There’s no need to feel intimidated or embarrassed to come to us because we have been there too. We stumble on our own fitness journeys and understand that it’s not an easy process for anyone to conquer. There’s nothing wrong with wanting someone in your corner helping you to overcome the obstacles that have stood in your way.

If you wish to ask me questions, seeking support or would like resources, please email me at j.schessler@pghwellnesscoach.com

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