Iron Lab Strength and Conditioning | Personal Training and Fitness in the West End, English Bay | Vancouver

If you live in Vancouver there are tons of personal trainers to choose from. You can search Google,  ask your friends or go to the nearest gym and try luck there? The problem starts how you chose a personal trainer perfectly matching YOUR NEEDS.

Here are 5 steps that will help you to choose the best personal trainer for you:

1. Clarify your goal

Without knowing what you actually want, how can you choose a trainer? And what is even worse how do you know you accomplish those goals if you don’t even know what they are?  Do you want to lose weight? Get a six pack? Gain muscle, get super strong, get ridd of the nagging knee pain so you can hike the Grind again? Be specific and get excited about the possibility of what it COULD be. What will you DO when you achieve your goal?

2. Make time

Most of good trainers will help you to carve out time from your busy schedule to allocate to training, meal preparation, stretching and other health and fitness related activities, however, you have to be the one doing your best to make it happen. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard from random people at the coffee shops or on transit “I need to get in shape but I don’t have the time, I’m so busy”. Yet the same people discuss in length the latest episode from tv show they watched last night.  If it’s important for you you’ll make the time. If it is not you’ll make an excuse.

3. Ask your fit friends

Referrals are one of the most powerful and effective ways to find a great personal trainer. Ask friends or coworkers who are using personal trainers if they are happy with their trainer and if yes ask for their contact. The advantage is that you get “insider scoop” of what the trainer is like, his or her training style, personality, looks etc.

Just make sure she or he can help your particular goal and . If your friend’s personal trainer is a competitive bodybuilder and your friend is a young guy wanting to build muscle he/she is the perfect match. However, if your goal is weight loss, while making sure your low back doesn’t flare up since you have a chronic back issue, high blood pressure and bad knees make sure he or she doesn’t put you on the same “program” as your fellow coworker.

4. Interview your personal trainer

Because personal training is an unregulated industry, almost anyone can call himself a personal trainer. You can get online certification without ever instructing another person, or you can spend 3 or more years at university. There many certifications out there, however, in the end, it’s not about the certification but all about skills, experience, and passion of the individual.

The best way to find out more about your trainer is to ask questions. Here are 3 questions that will help you to select the perfect trainer for you.

1) “How long have you been a personal trainer? Is this your full-time job? There is nothing wrong with a trainer to work part-time but the amount of experience is required to be a pretty good trainer is definitely in years not months of training.

2) “What is your training and nutrition philosophy? (meaning are you putting all clients on the same program or are you fan of one “thing”? ) Whether it’s Cross Fit, kettlebells or calisthenics good trainers don’t prescribe all clients the same thing. Box jumps and ring muscles ups are great for 25-year-old fit diva but prescribing it to 60-year-old “desk jockey” with a rounded back and bad knees would be pretty disastrous recipe….yet I’ve seen it. Your trainer’s philosophy should be to tailor your training program to your needs specifically.

3)“Do you have clients similar to me?” (meaning did you help in the past someone who has the same goals and same limitations and challenges?). It’s great if your trainer knows a lot about fat loss and most of his clients are 20-year-old girls competing if bikini competitions but if you’re highly stressed sleep deficient, a 50-year-old female with a very busy schedule you may not be able to comply with twice a day workouts and six meals per day in Tupperware.

Follow your gut feeling

Personal training is personal after all. If something is telling you this is not a good fit, follow your gut. You will hate your trainer and he or she may not enjoy sessions with you either.

Just be honest to yourself.Most of us know if we are being sold or served. There are so many “sales programs” out there teaching trainers how to sell emotionally, showing before and after images, testimonials and building up the “need” and then locking clients on the spot to 100+ session packages only if they buy right now.  Pay attention if a personal trainer is trying to sell you or trying to honestly help you. Is he really listening, asking you questions and is very concerned about every aspect of your life and how it affects the goals you’re going after.

There are some amazing folks out there who very good in helping others to be fitter, healthier and make a difference. I’m proud to call them friends and colleagues. However, finding them it’s like a finding a gold. You have to search and go through some dirt. So don’t settle for average and dig for gold.

 If you have any comments or questions, please don’t be shy share and ask away.