Fitness is such a huge, expanding industry, and there are LOTS of people becoming personal trainers now. This doesn’t mean that everyone is a great personal trainer (PT), or that everyone is right for you. With that being said though, there are some amazing trainers out there too!
But unfortunately, I’ve heard bad experiences from many women who have trained with a PT and weren’t happy with the results, often ending up too muscular for their liking. When the client tells the PT that they are getting bulky or don’t want to lift heavy weights, they don’t seem to understand properly. Most trainers are under the impression that women can’t get bulky; but bulky really depends on the client and what they consider it to be.
It is so important to find the right personal trainer for you, and talk to them about what you’re looking for, before you start training with them. Otherwise it is a waste of both your time and money. And you will either get no results, or get results that you are unhappy with.
In this blog post, I want to cover how to find the right personal trainer for you!
Know What You Want (i.e. GOALS)!
First of all, you have to have some goals. If you don’t know what you’re looking to achieve with a trainer, it will be hard to really find the right person. So have a think about what your goals are and what you’re hoping to get out of your personal training sessions.
Do you want to lose 10 kilos? Do you want to compete in a triathlon? Do you want to compete in a fitness modelling competition? Do you just want to exercise to feel great and energetic?
Think about your goals and what type of training you need to do to achieve them. This will help you find the right PT for you.
Look For Trainers That Train People Like You With Your Goals
Don’t just approach any trainer that you see at the gym. Take your time to observe them over a few weeks. What type of clients do they have? What type of training do they do? Do they clients appear to be getting results, or are they exactly the same?
Personal trainers will most likely achieve better results with you, if they have achieved similar results with other people similar to you. PTs can really train anyone, but having a PT that is specific to a certain type of person will usually be much better at what they do, and get better results.
If you are a female, and your goal is to lose weight, and get lean but not too muscular, then don’t choose a PT that seems to be training lots of fitness models, or doing really heavy squats and deadlifts.
Find Someone Who Trains Clients The Way You Like To Be Trained
This one is often overlooked, but make sure you find someone that trains the way you like to be trained. If you like to do lots of cardio and have your heart rate up for the entire session, then look for someone who trains clients this way. If you don’t like to do heavy squats and deadlifts, then avoid trainers that do these with their clients.
Also look at how they interact with their clients. Do they yell at them to keep them motivated for the session, or do they take a gentler approach? Do they train 2 or 3 people at once? Are they attentive with their clients (i.e. actually watching them, checking their form, giving them advice on how to improve an exercise, etc?). Are they friendly with their clients, or are their clients just there to train?
Every personal trainer will have a different style, so make sure you find one that has a style that you like.
Talk To A Trainer About Your Goals And What You Are Looking For
Once you think you have found someone that might be a good fit, have a chat to them! If a trainer isn’t training a client, they are happy to have a chat to anyone.
Tell them what you are looking to get out of personal training and what your goals are. Ask them about anyone similar to you that they have trained, what type of program they did, what type of results they achieved, etc. Ask anything you want to know!
Just be aware that there will be a lot of PT’s that will tell you that you can’t get bulky because you are a female. If they try to argue with you about what you want, then they are not the right person for you. Make sure they really listen to what you want.
Make Sure The Trainer Is A Good Role Model
You want a trainer that has a genuine love for health and fitness, and leads by example. I know this sounds a bit harsh, but a PT should be in good physical (and mental) shape. If they are overweight, then it doesn’t really set a good example. They should practice what they preach!
Get Some Type Of Proof Of Results
If your trainer is good at what they do and is experienced, they will have some success stories and even some transformation photos that they can show you. Ask them to see or hear about these! This will give you an idea on what type of results you can get with this trainer, and how long you can expect it to take.
In saying that though, trainers can’t do the work for you. They’re only with you for an hour or so per week, which leaves another 167 hours in the week for you to put in the hard work in both the gym AND the kitchen, to get results. But a trainer is good accountability and will hopefully give you the right knowledge and advice for you to put into practice.
Remember that you might not find your perfect trainer first time. Once you think you have found one, have a few sessions with them to see if they have really taken in everything you told them, and if you’re enjoying the workouts. If you’re happy, then continue on with them. But just know that you can ALWAYS stop for any reason at all. Don’t feel bad about this. You need to do what is best for you.
Getting someone to help you change your body is a big thing, so make sure you do your research and take time to find someone that will really help you, and that will really care about you.
If you have any good or bad experiences with trainers, and advice for others, I would love to hear! Feel free to leave a comment :) xx
Going back to Jessica’s question… I am in the exact same boat and am close in height but weigh 140lbs right now and trying to lose weight plus lots of muscle in my arms and legs. Should I just focus on power walking only as much as I can right now until my muscle goes down and my weight? Also I’m wondering if I should incorporate boxing to tone my arms up or only do cardio for now?
This is such a great read!! I wish I would have considered this years ago when I started training at the gym with a personal trainer who constantly preached “women can’t get bulky”. And the fact that I’m petite (110 lbs at 5″3) made him feel that I definitely couldn’t bulk up. As I became stronger, he increased the weights on all workouts! A few years later of following his advice, I have people constantly asking me if I compete. Now I am trying to figure out how to remove some of this muscle, which won’t seem to budge!!
Rachel, please give me some advice! I have recently quit the gym and started doing light workouts at home. Should I do low intensity cardio, maybe an hour for five days a week, and nothing else until I lose the extra muscle, and then do your workouts? How long does it take to remove muscle? I am hoping to get back to my old self before summer, because I’m not thrilled about showing off my “guns” and overly muscular legs in summer attire!
Hi Jessica, I’m so sorry to hear this! It seems to happen to so many women :( I have written a blog post on how to slim down muscular thighs so have a read of that. It is about thighs, but the advice can be applied to your entire body. Yes for now I would do low intensity cardio as often as you can, and just give your muscles a chance to slim down for now. Have a read of that blog post and if you still have some questions, feel free to ask me :) xx