The perfect match

Personal trainers are in demand at this time of year, but how do you pick the right one for you?

January is a time we traditionally focus on our fitness – and more of us than ever are seeking the help of a personal trainer to keep our New Year’s resolutions on track. We asked Richard Westwood, fitness manager at Edgbaston Priory club for his advice on finding a personal trainer to suit you.

Ask around for personal recommendations

A personal trainer’s reputation is based on the results they have achieved with their clients. So, start by asking friends and colleagues, especially those who enjoy personal training themselves, for their recommendations. Most of our new clients come via personal referrals so identifying personal trainers who come highly recommended is a good way to begin.

Check out their qualifications and experience

It is important to check whether your potential personal trainer is a member of a recognised body within the fitness industry, such as the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) or the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA)

You should also check out their qualifications. Find out about their level of training and ask to see their certificates. If you have a medical condition, then it is especially important to ensure your personal trainer has the qualifications and experience to develop a fitness programme suitable for your condition.

Make sure you get on well!

You’re going to spend a great deal of time with your personal trainer so it’s important you get along together! At your initial meeting set out your aims – weight loss, preparing for a marathon or recovering from an illness or injury – and give some insight into what personally motivates you.

If you’re someone who likes to be gently encouraged, you won’t last very long with a very strict taskmaster! It’s also important to think about and discuss your proposed schedule so that your personal trainer understands the amount of time you have available to commit to your goals.

By setting out your goals, establishing a schedule and sharing your outlook on life you are more likely to find a personal trainer to complement your personality.

Richard Westwood is the fitness manager at Edgbaston Priory club, tel: 0121 440 2492 To help get your 2018 training programme off to a good start, the club is offering new members a lifestyle orientation and two free personal training sessions.