With the rise of “health coaches” and “fitness coaches” I wanted to share a few tips on what to look for when you are hiring an online personal trainer/coach/professional. These days it seems like anyone who has a “passion” for health and fitness can tell other people what to do, which is a little concerning and also floods the industry with wanna-be’s. I will say, anyone can learn a new skill or task and be really good at it, but it takes more than that to be a successful fitness professional.
These are a few things I would make sure you look closer into when hiring someone to help you achieve your health and fitness goals, because it is a lot more than just losing weight or gaining muscle. The body is a adaptable and ever changing piece of art, and with the wrong protocol or drastic changes, it can spiral out of control and take years to recover from. Think about your overall health and where you want to be in 10 years, not just where you want to be in 6 months and how fast can you get there.
- Do they hold a degree or accredited certification?
- Do your research on this! Do they hold a bachelors of science in a related field like kinesiology or exercise science? Do they have a certification for personal training/coaching from a source that is well known like ISSA, ACSM, NSCA, ACE. These are both important as there are a lot of tests you can take online that are just a simple multiple choice format and then they receive a certificate, without any further knowledge of how the body works.
- Have they ever coached anyone in person, or just online?
- To me, this is huge. It takes a lot more skill to train someone in person and have them reach a goal than it is to sit behind a computer and write a program.
- Have they gotten results?
- Can any of their previous clients attest to how good they are? Aside from testimonials and “real life” examples, can you actually speak to a previous client of theirs and hear their thoughts on the coach and their experience with them?
- How long have the been training/coaching?
- Someone who has been doing this for 2 months is going to know a lot less than someone who has been doing this for 2 years. It takes a lot of good results, and bad results to really know how coaching works and what strategies are best for both the overall health of the client and their short-term results/goals.
- Do your values align with theirs?
- If you are looking for a long term result and healthy lifestyle changes, a coach that is going to give you macros might not be suitable. Just like if you have an injury or cannot jump and a coach gives you a cookie cutter program with sprints in it, they may not be for you.
Overall, do your research and ask questions! It doesn’t hurt to over-educate yourself on someones services, especially if you are going to be spending a lot of money. You want to make sure you are going to he happy and the experience is going to be a good one! Just because your friend has someone has their coach doesn’t mean that person is going to work out for you. At the end of the day, it is your health and your life on the line, so make an educated decision!