How to Pick a Personal Trainer…
I've noticed a trend…
Many people make the decision to follow the EM2WL lifestyle, and then head out to seek a local Certified Personal Trainer to assist them on their journey. However, merely days into the training (sometimes even after the first session) they will come back to us in a state of confusion, because they have received conflicting information and don't know which to follow. As a trainer, I've made a couple of observations of how some (including myself) do things differently from most. Knowing the different schools of thought can help you to interview & pick the personal trainer that is best for you.
Most trainers know that they have a limited amount of time to make an impact. The client needs to see results, and they need to see them fast, or else they are quickly moving on. Most of the “stay the course,” “be consistent,” “trust the process” lines that we throw out there are not often used in mainstream training, because, quite frankly, clients don't want to hear it. A personal trainer that wants a client to keep coming back for more has to achieve a LOT in a small amount of time, or at least enough to make an impact. So one way to do this is to work you very hard within the first few sessions, so that you can see that you work much harder with them, than you did before they came into the picture. Often, a bit more cardio than necessary may be thrown in for good measure, to make sure that you feel “worked.”
Another way a personal trainer can make that impact, is by telling you that your current cal intake (whatever it may be) is too high. This lowering of cals is almost a guaranteed drop in lbs within the first week or so, simply because the cals were high(er), and now they're not. Having such a significant drop in lbs within the first week or so will buy the trainer MUCH more time with that client, because they have earned their trust. If they can quickly get you to drop weight, then long after you've stopped going to them, and gained the weight back, (because you've gone back to eating normal, and working out in your regular manner) you'll always remember how you had “better” results when you worked with them. You'll go back (at your higher cal intake) they will have you drop calories (again), while kicking your butt with the workouts. So as long as you stay with them, and dependent on them, you both “win.”
Business is business
I can't knock the trainers that use these methods, because, quite honestly, they are very lucrative. But, ethically, I just can't do it. I don't mind showing a person that they can work harder than they have been, but I'd never recommend more exercise, or less food, than is necessary. My goal as a trainer (and the type of trainer I suggest you look for when interviewing) is to allow a person to develop a plan of attack that will fit into their lives, and that will apply long after our session is over. A client needs to become self-sufficient, and know what to do when the trainer is no longer around. I have no desire to become a persons fad diet.
The true cost
Although it's harder to look a client in the eye and tell them to do the opposite of everything that they've read, and that they shouldn't expect any results from working with me for at least the first month, it sets the standard for our relationship right off the bat. I let them know that I will not withhold any “secrets” from them in what they need to reach their goals, my tactics are simple: fuel your body, work hard, and stay consistent.
The client needs to be committed to a lifestyle, not just trying to fit into their skinny jeans by next Friday.
There are enough trainers out there that can help them accomplish that, but I am trying to help them fit into their skinny jeans for the rest of their lives. They will leave our sessions armed with info to help themselves and others around them. I may lose a bit more peeps that way, who aren't willing to wait, but that is fine, because I need to see that the person wants what I'm trying to give, with the same passion that I give it.
Find a personal trainer that empowers you to make your own decisions in due time, and has former clients that have had long-term results, not just *fast* results….. unless that is what YOU want.