written by: Nem
Are you thinking of hiring a personal trainer in Toronto? Are you trying to decide whether it would be worth the investment? What would it all cost? And if you do decide to hire a trainer, there are so many out there, so who should you choose? What characteristic should your ideal personal trainer have?
There is no doubt that having a great personal trainer will help you set proper goals, reach them faster, keep you on track and prevent injuries.
It seems today everyone has a personal trainer. Athletes, celebrities, company CEOs and even personal trainers have their own personal trainers! And this is for a good reason - having an expert available to help you take care of your health and fitness, means you can focus your energy on other things like family, work, social life, etc.
For example, you hire an accountant to take care of your taxes or a lawyer to help you with any legal issues that you might have. Personal trainer will take care of your training and nutrition so you don’t have to waste time and energy trying to figure this out for yourself or even worse get hurt in the process.
However, similar to any other profession, you want to make sure you are hiring someone who is knowledgeable and who understands your personal concerns and goals.
A good fitness trainer will equip you with the necessary skills, knowledge and support systems to keep you on track even when you lose motivation, don’t have time or lacking confidence that you can actually achieve the goals you’ve set.
The difference between hiring a true professional and someone who has just labelled themselves as “personal trainer” could mean the difference between reaching your personal health goals and no results at all.
Along with wasted time and money of a “personal trainer” your worst case scenario could be an injury and you could be set back even further than when you started.
10 POINT CHECKLIST TO FIND YOUR IDEAL PERSONAL TRAINER IN TORONTO
1. Education - With experience being the close second, this is the most important thing to look out for. Yes, you can find good fitness trainers in Toronto that have just a certification or no certification at all, but why would you take the risk?
Going back to other professions, would you trust someone to do your taxes that has no formal education? Or a pharmacist/physician to prescribe medications and therapy without proper training?
Similarly, personal trainers prescribe exercise, provide nutrition coaching and suggest lifestyle modifications. The quality of these recommendations depends on their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. It is important to know how all the actions you take as a result of their recommendations impact you physically and mentally.
There is a very low entrance barrier to become a personal trainer, with some trainers entering the field after only taking a weekend fitness course.
Here are some things to look out for:
2. Experience - Education doesn’t mean much unless that knowledge has been put into practice and applied to real-world situations. Personal training is a science and an art.
The science element means that all recommendations should be based on scientific findings whenever possible. When your trainer prescribes a particular exercise to help you lose weight or get you stronger, they should be aware of the available research that has been done on this topic.
That being said, just because science has shown that certain people achieved certain results using some specific method, that doesn’t mean that you will get the same results. We are all different with our own unique physiologies, body shapes, and personalities.
This is where the art comes into play. They should know how to modify exercises, nutrition and other recommendations based on your own unique characteristics and feedback. Making adjustments as you progress to ensure consistent results and avoid any plateaus.
3. Personality - This tends to be subjective, but there are some red flags to be aware of. In essence, your personality needs to fit your trainer’s personality. Can you see yourself working with this trainer and would you actually enjoy working with them?
Some people like military style, disciplinarian approach, whereas others need more relaxed approach with an understanding trainer who provides constant positive reinforcement. Or you might be someone who likes a bit of both.
Red flags to watch out for:
- trainers that make you feel bad about yourself;
- trainers that keep pushing you to do things you don’t want to do;
- “No pain, no gain” philosophy;
- trainers that don’t have an understanding of what you are going through i.e. trainer who think that everything revolves around workouts and eating same bland foods all the time;
- trainer that don't know how to motivate you and set proper goals.
4. Nutrition Coaching - every good trainer should know at least some basic nutrition principles. Whatever health or fitness goals you might have, exercise without proper nutrition will provide sub-optimal results, no results at all or in a worst case - regression.
Ideally, your trainer knows how to change someones eating habits, teach them what the proper nutrition is and build necessary skills to sustain healthy eating habits.
Beware of trainers who just provide meal plans and claim that there Is one best approach/diet for everyone. Like anything else in life, the recommendations will be context dependant and influenced by many things (e.g. genetics, preferences, etc.).
5. Reputation - Sometimes this could be difficult to find out, but a quick Google search for testimonials and reviews might provide you with all the answers you need. Another option is to check whether they have been featured online anywhere, have they authored any scientific studies relevant to the personal training field, etc. This will be a great way to help determine if they have points 1 & 2, education and experience.
6. Additional skills and knowledge - In case you are suffering from a chronic health condition like diabetes or heart disease, does your trainer have in-depth knowledge and experience dealing with these medical conditions?
In case you have an injury or you recently underwent surgery, can your trainer adjust the program to allow you to continue exercising without sacrificing the progress and allowing your body to heal?
TO Kinesiology specializes in working with people with medical conditions and injuries. We also offer in-depth medical fitness testing to assess your starting point and readiness to exercise. We can work with your physician or therapist to ensure coordinated and holistic care.
7. Availability - The best personal trainer won’t be able to help you much unless they can dedicate the time you need to get the results you are after. A trainer needs be there beside you every step of the way and available at your service when you need them.
Ask your trainer what their schedule is like, how much time they can dedicate to you and whether they are flexible with their schedule. Also inquire about other ways to communicate with them. Can you text them, email them, call them or do they have an app. Important things can happen outside of a gym session and it is important to know how responsive they are.
8. Location - Are you willing to take 30-60 minute commute to meet your trainer on the other side of Toronto? Maybe you don’t like the gym environment and prefer some privacy. Or you are short on time and prefer quick workouts in your home or your building gym. This is a matter of a personal preference but it’s important to keep in mind how your sessions will fit into your current lifestyle. You want to set yourself up for success to ensure consistency and not create extra hurdles for yourself.
9. Cost - Decide on your monthly budget and how much you are willing to spend. Ask yourself how much your goals are worth to you.
Yes, you can hire a cheap trainer right away and hope for the best, but if you don’t get the results you want this means the money has been wasted.
Hiring a great personal trainer might seem more expensive at first. However, in the long run, great personal trainer will save you time and money by helping you reach your goals faster and even equiping you with knowledge so you can continue thriving on your own.
What happens if you can't affford a good trainer? You have bills to pay, mortgage, insurance, kids, etc. For most people, their health and fitness is one of the last things on their mind until it starts negatively affecting their life.
It’s easy to put fitness on the back burner when you have other priorities in your life, however don't forget that you need to help yourself first so that you can help others.
In this case, talk to a trainer that you’re interested in working with and see what options are available. For example, online personal training and online fitness coaching have gained mass popularity.
Online fitness options are usually more cost effective compared to in-person training and share many of the same benefits like guidance, support and accountability. Unilke in-person training, online fitness coaching doesn't require traveling to a specific location at a specific time. You choose where and when you want to train, thus saving you time and energy.
You can also sign up for semi-private or group training classes. Cheaper than the regular 1-to-1 personal training, but not as personalized.
Keep in mind that the amount of money you spent on personal trainer doesn’t always determine trainer’s quality. That being said, personal trainer prices in Toronto can cost you anywhere from $10-20/session for group classes and all the way up to $120+/session for regular 1-to-1 personal training. Online personal training would cost you on average between $100-400/month.
10. Can the trainer guarantee results? - This is of course very important and one of the main goals of hiring a personal trainer. Is trainer confident that they can get you where you want to be?
Obviously, your results don't just depend on your trainer since you are the one who has to exercise and change habits. However, the trainer needs to have a clear plan and set of actions for you. They must stand behind those recommendations and guarantee the results will be there as long as you are follow their recommendations.
TO KINESIOLOGY VS OTHER PERSONAL TRAINING COMPANIES
To summarize the whole article and give you a better idea what to look for in personal trainer, we create a table below. We’ve outlined some of the main differences between us and a typical personal training company:
ABOUT US AND HOW WE CAN HELP
Figuring out all this for yourself can be frustrating, expensive and time-consuming. Just like you, we’ve been in a similar situation, sorting through to mass amounts of conflicting information about health and fitness. It can be daunting and hard to figure out what to do and who to trust.
This is why TO Kinesiology was created. We are Registered Kinesiologists and certified personal trainers with years of experience helping people just like you who want to move, feel and look better. We are medical exercise specialist which means we specialize working with individuals suffering from musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, neurological or metabolic disorders.
Our clients’ results are our top priority, and we even guarantee results if you fully follow are recommendations. We listen to your needs and concerns and advise on the best course of action for your personal goals. We aim to make the whole health and fitness journey fun, safe and enjoyable.
Here are some of the ways we can help you:
- In-person kinesiology and personal training
- Online kinesiology and personal training services
- Our full service offering
- Get in touch with us and let us know how we can help
- Subscribe to our email list to get our latest updates
Other articles you might be interested in:
- Who are kinesiologists in Toronto and Ontario
- Difference between a personal trainer and kinesiologist
- Difference between a kinesiologist and physiotherapist in Ontario