Hiring a fitness coach can be an intimidating process. People often seek coaches when they want to improve themselves, putting them in a vulnerable situation. You become close with these people as they instruct you how to exercise and diet properly. Hopefully, if your fitness coach succeeds, you will have developed healthier habits, ultimately changing a part of your life. Whether you see your fitness coach in person or virtually, make sure that he or she meets your standards. Follow our guidelines below to pick a fitness coach that helps you boost your confidence, focus on your goals, and make exercising fun. It’s your money and your body — this stuff matters!
Most fitness coaches will have varying levels of expertise in certain areas of fitness. Some specialize in helping clients lose weight, while others focus on helping clients build muscle. Knowing your fitness goals ahead of time will guide this decision making process and weed out the irrelevant coaches.
The level of specialization that a coach has can dictate the price and availability in a region. For example, a triathlon coach might be harder to find than a strength trainer and therefore more expensive. The price for specialization is probably worth it, however. If you are training for a race, the trainer will tailor all your workouts specifically to your needs. The coach might even provide some of his own equipment that a generalized fitness coach doesn’t have.
The level of expertise a fitness coach has also depends on the certifications he has acquired. Not all certifications are equal. According to the IDEA Health and Fitness Association, up to 45% of trainers who claim to be certified are not. It is important to verify before starting with a trainer. The most important certifications are The American Council on Exercise, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. With hundreds of thousands of members, these three associations and their members have garnered an impressive reputation in the fitness industry for producing reliable and talented fitness coaches, personal trainers, and health coaches. Besides those, it’s also comforting to know that your trainer has a CPR certification. Usually, the more certifications a fitness coach has, the higher their hourly retainer will be.
You will have to spend time with your fitness coach, either in-person or virtually. Getting along with them is a key component to whether or not you should invest your time and money into your coach. It all depends on personal preference. Some people prefer a drill sergeant style of coaching, while others prefer someone with a kinder voice. Some prefer male coaches, while others prefer female. Your comfortability should help drive part of this decision.
Communicate before agreeing to any sessions. If you do not enjoy communicating with your fitness coach, you will not enjoy the workout nor reap all its benefits. By exchanging a few emails and meeting your potential coaches in person, you can get a sense of their behavior and general disposition.
Your fitness coach has to be able to read you, almost as a friend would — someone that can push you to your limit, without testing your patience. You don’t have to get drinks with the coach after, but the person’s company should not feel like a chore to you.
Fitness coaches thrive on their reputation, as referral business is usually how they book new clients. Read reviews of fitness coaches and ask others about their experiences. Be careful — a friend’s experience with their fitness coach might not match what you’re looking for. Don’t worry though, you can always have a chat and discuss potential workouts with a coach before committing to the full paid session.
Trainers bill by the hour. Often the amount they choose to bill depends on their reputation and what other people pay for their time. Availability also dictates cost. If you plan on meeting your coach a few times a week, understand that you’re taking his time away from other clients. Prices will vary on region and other factors, but on average, expect to spend around $50 per hour for your average coaching session. Some will offer discounted rates if you book longer sessions too. Sometimes rearranging your schedule can help you save money, making your time spent exercising as effective as possible. Virtual coaches, on the other hand, provide greater flexibility by providing advice and communication online or by text message. While it sometimes sacrifices the closeness of an in-person trainer, it provides you more qualified guidance for a cheaper price.
Train with Ladder
Whether you’re looking to run a marathon, lose ten pounds, or just be able to play more with your grandkids, hiring a fitness coach will help you get there. Not everyone can afford to see a trainer every week. If you’re strapped for cash but determined to improve yourself, consider Ladder, a personalized health and wellness coaching platform. Our trainers are matched with clients based on what the client wants to achieve, not the availability of the coach, and they keep you accountable, just like an in-person coach would. We make personal training affordable and accessible to everyone regardless of age, ability, or location.
Download our app today to learn how you can achieve your fitness goals.