In my opinion, there are several very important qualities that every good personal trainer should have.
And I’m not referring to their qualifications or level of experience (even though these are important too).
No, what I’m talking about is certain key personality traits that the best personal trainers tend to have.
These don’t come through on paper, and won’t always be initially apparent until you begin working with them, but they are just as important – if not more important – than credentials or years of experience.
In fact, when we hire personal trainers to work for CALIBER, we look for a set of very specific personal qualities outside of their resumes.
From experience, we know that trainers with these specific qualities will provide the most rewarding experience for our clients, putting them in a position where they can truly be successful with their fitness goals.
So, in this article, I wanted to cover 5 of the most important quartiles of a good personal trainer, which you can then look out for when hiring one yourself in the future.
They Are Excellent Listeners
Some of the most well-credentialed, experienced personal trainers might look good on paper (and in person), but are they capable of listening to you?
Do they take the time to really hear what you’re saying, and what exactly it is that you’re looking for, or do they talk over you as they hurriedly push their own agenda?
You see, the best trainers will always make it a point to listen to what you’re saying – allowing you to express the challenges that you’re having, and issues that you may have faced in the past.
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What’s more, this should be an ongoing part of your dynamic with your trainer, where they are constantly asking for feedback on how you’re doing with everything.
They Are Highly Analytical
So much of good personal training is actually about problem solving.
Yes, in order to see results, you have to work out consistently while following a reasonable diet – but as you go on you’ll undoubtedly hit obstacles that can threaten to derail your progress, even if you’re putting in the effort.
And whether it’s that your strength hits a wall and stops improving, or that progress on the scale completely stalls, you want to be working with someone that has the analytical capacity to look at everything that’s going on comprehensively, and then determine what the root of the issue is.
Having someone like this is invaluable, and will save you a lot of stress and anxiety that can come from feeling like you’re putting in the work, but not getting the results that you expected.
They Are Empathetic
When it comes to getting in shape, many people come into working with a personal trainer with a lot of emotional baggage.
And this is perfectly understandable, since most people don’t hire a trainer on their first attempt to get fit; rather, in most cases, they have already tried various things themselves – often for many years – and simply haven’t gotten the results that they wanted.
Just as importantly, many people come into training with body image or self-esteem issues, which have developed over many years as a result of not being happy with the way that they look and feel.
In short, people aren’t blank slates when they first start working with a trainer – and the best trainers are able to recognize this, empathizing with these personal challenges, and tailoring their guidance around the emotional realities that each client is dealing with.
They Are Adaptive
Personal training should never be one-size-fits-all.
Of course, many personal trainers will have methodologies that they know to work well, and will often use those as a starting point for many of their clients.
And this is totally fine, up to a point…
However, if your personal trainer is simply pushing you through the same routine that he makes all of his clients do, without regard for what you’re looking for or other limitations that you have, then this is a big red flag!
The best trainers will tailor your routine entirely around you – in terms of how many days you work out each week, which exercises you focus on, and which rep ranges you work in.
What’s more, if your situation changes, your trainer should have the awareness and adaptability to adjust your workout plan around that too.
After all, if you simply wanted a static workout template to follow, you could find many of those online for free – so the value of your trainer is being able to continuously customize the experience around you.
They Are Effective Communicators
It’s one thing for someone to be knowledgeable, but it is an entirely separate skill to be able to communicate that knowledge properly to someone else.
The best personal trainers not only know how to help you build muscle or lose body fat, but they are able to convey this in a way where it is easy to understand and makes logical sense.
There is considerable nuance that goes into proper training, and the most effective trainers are capable of distilling their vast knowledge into a relevant and actionable package for each of their clients.
Summing It Up
After reading through this article, some of these qualities I mentioned might seem surprising.
I mean, most people think of a personal trainer as someone that is mainly there to push them to work out.
And while this is undeniably part of the role of being a trainer, the best personal trainers are more like fitness consultants, psychologists, and motivators wrapped up into one package.
Working with a trainer is truly a collaborative process, so you want to be investing your time and energy into someone that understands you, supports you, and is able to help you work through any of the challenges that you’ll inevitably encounter along the way.
So, while there are many other more obvious things that you want to look for when hiring a personal trainer, as I go through in more detail in this article, don’t overlook these very important personal qualities as well.
What personal qualities do you think a good personal trainer should have? Let us know in the comments below!