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Congratulations that you have decided to pay some needed attention to your health and fitness by working with a fitness professional to help you attain your goals. A fitness professional not only can motivate you and keep you accountable when it comes to scheduled sessions, he or she can also enable and assist you to maximise your time by setting realistic goals with progressive trainings, injury prevention and content control.
However, that does not mean that you should be taking unnecessary gambles on your health and fitness journey towards success. Looking fit does not equate to the person having the necessary knowledge to train an individual as every individual is rather different and reacts differently to various training stimuli. Knowing what to look out for will inevitably save you some money if not a lot of money, time and effort if you chose the inappropriate professional.
Therefore, you may consider the factors stated below deciding that this fitness professional is the one to embark on your fitness journey with you, that he or she will be able to help you achieve your goals and a good fit for your needs.
Often the most important point when decideding. A Fitness Professional should be able to show their credentials when called upon. No credentials is a major warning sign that he/she does not have the basic knowledge to embark on the journey with you. Professional certifications e.g. certified personal trainers, group instructors provides industry know-how for personal trainer and group instructors, basic knowledge on training with the professional needing to do a lot of self study. Academic qualifications e.g. Diplomas, Degrees in sport science, etc provide detailed curriculum from basic to advanced levels, often enabling the fitness professional with sufficient knowledge of being able to assisting clients to achieve their goals.
- Experience / Cost (directly correlated)
A professional who has been around for a few years would be likely to have tested and perfected his/her process for providing the best training tips and advices to help you get the most out of your sessions. Of course more experience usually follows with higher price. Hence, it is still up to the individual on his/her budget constraints to decide on the level of experience of the professional and commit to his/her price.
Every individual reacts differently to various types of reinforcements. While some prefers to be shouted or screamed at during training, there are others who prefer a softer encouragement approach. You can talk to the professional to get a feel for his/her style and work out one that suits you.
- Training Philosophy
One should find out about the training philosophy that is adopted by the professional as this could possibly affect the customer’s experience with physical training. How does the professional develops his/her program, is it based on the principles of training, etc. Is the training conducted outdoors or indoors, with machines and free weights?
You would prefer to work with a fitness professional who specialise in something specific that you are looking for e.g. achieving your personal best for swimming 50m and you would not get a running coach to work with you on that. Finding the right professional will provide you with more expertise in the area you are training and most importantly they would be passionate about it as well.
- Progression Tracking
It would be beneficial to know how the professional is tracking your progression as this would be useful for motivation and to assess if his/her methods are working. The last thing you would want is paying loads of money and not knowing where you are heading towards.
- Availability – how many clients does the professional trains currently
Understanding the availability of your professional allows you the flexibility of being able to plan your training and make up sessions. You would not want to work with a professional who is unable to fit in your training schedules and make ups to a certain degree.
Knowing the location where the professional is at usually will prepare you to be able to plan your travel plans. How many authorised centre is the professional allow to train at, where he/she is usually at would definitely work in your favour.
- Reputation / Reviews
Lastly checking out the reputation/reviews of the professional you intend to work with will also go a long way to avoid disappointment. Having good feedbacks and referrals will definitely mean that the professional is well sought after and is someone who delivers results with his/her customers. That would also mean that his/her price would be higher than the rest.
One would probably be overwhelmed with so many factors to consider, however please note that those factors mentioned above are just some guidelines to trigger your thoughts. Please feel free to streamline that you feel is important and most importantly to trust your feel. If you do not feel comfortable working closely, sharing your time with a professional, do not go ahead. Look for an experienced and knowledgeable professional who is able to work closely with you to achieve your goals and not based on aesthetics alone. Lastly, all the best on your health and fitness journey!
Roy Chan, Senior Manager