3 questions to ask your trainer

Pilates trainer with client

Pilates trainer Corey Radtke with client on the High Barrel

With the season of  New Year Resolutions upon us, you may be considering a personal trainer to get you started on the right foot. Personal trainers can really help you get motivated and also keep you from skipping workouts and help to make you accountable, a key component when working to get healthy and fit. The following 3 questions are great for finding a good Pilates Trainer, however are also appropriate for any type of personal trainer.  Working with a trainer is a big commitment on your part and hopefully the beginning of a long and very fruitful relationship, so get your facts at the start. Believe me, any good trainer will not be offended by your questions and will welcome them!

Here are the 3 most important questions:

“Where were you trained?” Take note and look it up on the internet – any reputable school can easily be contacted. Make sure the training school requires a minimum of 450 training hours and includes anatomy training. A good teacher training school will also include apprentice hours (teaching under the supervision of an experienced teacher). Why is this important? Any person can learn a series of exercises in a weekend and turn around and teach a class. However learning the science behind the exercises and knowing the anatomy are key to a good trainer. When working one on one with a client he/she can identify weaknesses to better help the client and explain the purpose of the individual exercises.

“Do you have any specialty training or continuing education?” Don’t be afraid to dive deeper into the training question. Every good trainer I know continues with the learning process. Once a certification is given, the learning doesn’t stop there! For example, for me personally, have extra training in spinal health and recovery from spinal injuries. Though I have seen many pathologies walk thru my studio door, this is what I have seen the most of from my clients and I have extra training in that area. If anyone ever asks, I have a resume of all my continuing education credits.

“What led you to became a Pilates Teacher?”  There isn’t a lot of glory in this profession, usually a person comes by it via their own recovery over a health issue, or are witness to how Pilates has been instrumental to someone close to them. This can tell you a lot about the person you will be working with and their motivation for doing the work.  Of course not everyone will have an amazing story, but you will get a glimpse into their inspiration for the path they have chosen.

To wrap up: I worked with a trainer once that constantly checked their phone for e-mails and texts.  After a couple of sessions I realized this person did not have my best interest and was just getting through the work day. My best advice – find someone who cares about the quality of the work and listens to your specific needs!  If you do, you could be entering into a long and prosperous relationship and one that changes the course of your health and well-being!

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