Choosing a personal trainer

Once I’d made the decision to give losing weight a try, it was clear I needed help. I wasn’t going to become an early morning jogger overnight. I’d never been to a gym before – and the idea was daunting to say the least. Crucially, I knew that there wasn’t a cat in hell’s chance that I’d keep anything up without someone else holding me to account.

So, I decided I needed a personal trainer.

Making that decision only took me part of the way. I had some probably overly prescriptive criteria for picking one. I’m sure all personal trainers are wonderful people, and that any one is as good as any other. But if I was going to do this, I wanted to make sure that I got the right one for me.

My first criteria was pretty straightforward. They had to charge less than £40 a session. Anything above that was well beyond me. That narrowed the field a little.

My second criteria was that they had to run sessions in a gym. Nothing outdoors thank you very much – running round in public in the cold of December and January wasn’t top of my Christmas list. There was no way I was having them see the absolute state of my house, so it couldn’t be someone who wanted to run home sessions. And there was even less chance I would be going to their own weird personal fitness dungeon. Again, the options shrunk.

My third criteria was I wanted to avoid anything sickly-positive or hippyish. That ruled out anyone who’s website referenced “mindfulness”, talked about how incredible exercise is because of all the endorphins that it will give you, or spouted pseudo-scientific nonsense about superfoods. This might be some people’s cup of tea, but if I was going to spend more time with this person than I do with some of my family and friends, I wanted to do without any fads and conversations that would drive me up the wall. The list of possibilities got a lot smaller with this.

My final criteria was that it couldn’t be a man. If there was one thing that would stop this experiment in its tracks, it would be a six foot tall muscle bound man shouting military style “encouragement” at me. Worse still, my only cultural reference for personal trainers comes from Peep Show. A man with all of his shit inexplicably together, intimidatingly attractive but with an objectively irritating personality is all I had in my mind. As someone with none of their shit together, and who’s intimidatingly unattractive, being riled up and patronised by someone five years younger than me was a write off. I kept playing round in my mind all of the scenarios where I would scream at them to fuck off, just like Mark Corrigan.

So in the end, after spending several evenings pouring through websites and recommendations in Facebook groups. I found the right one, fired off an email at 2:27am on December 23, and took the first steps on my fitness journey.

One thought on “Choosing a personal trainer

  1. Finding a trainer can be difficult but at the end of the day its about finding someone who will get you where you NEED to be and your personalities gel well. I’m not sure about the mindfulness part tho because as a trainer mental behavioral studies becomes a necessary element of experienced trainers.


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