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What to Look For When Hiring a Health Coach or Fitness Trainer


The right personal trainer is the most important element in the larger framework of fitness. Experts tell you what to look for when hiring a health coach

Just as one size doesn’t fit all, one uniform regimen doesn’t suit everyone. That’s where the role of a personal trainer comes in — to tailor the exercise schedule keeping variables such as your stamina and goal in mind. Here’s what you must keep in mind before putting him/her in charge of your fitness.

Satyajit Chourasia with his star client Aamir Khan


Strong credentials will ensure that the trainer doesn’t put you on an unhealthy regimen and is equipped to deal with injuries, if any. “A basic college education of 10 + 2 is necessary in India. Additionally, the trainer must be certified in professional fitness courses. Many certifying organisations offer different classes and workshops. International certifications are also available. Moreover, the trainer must keep updating his/her knowledge with short-term courses,” says Althea Shah, fitness expert and General Manager Operations, Gold’s Gym India.


“If you like the trainer, you can always opt for a trial session,” advises gym owner Satyajit Chourasia. Many trainers provide free trial sessions for prospective clients, while others charge a nominal fee. “Find out how your trainer works and how he/she communicates with you through the workout. Most importantly, observe how you ‘felt’ after the workout. Were you refreshed? Too stressed? If you work out with a good trainer, he/she will easily gauge your state of mind and direct you accordingly,” adds Chourasia.


How good is a trainer who advises good diet and regular exercise, but finds it difficult to stick to his/her own regimen? “A trainer must have the right physique that can motivate clients. The trainer needn’t be a pehelwaan, rather he/she must have a toned, fit look. One, it gains admiration. Second, it boosts trust,” opines Chourasia.


“Always ask the hours that the trainer has available and what kind of flexibility will there be in scheduling your workouts,” advises Shah. Most professionals have a jam-packed schedule, as a result of which, changes in workout timings become common. If that’s the case with you, spell it out.


“Find out if the trainer has worked with other clients who have had a similar starting fitness level and age. Also, if you are training for a specific goal, say a marathon, find out if the trainer has worked with others who have had similar goals,” says Shah.


“Many people find it easier to take direction and motivation from a trainer of the opposite sex, while others may only feel comfortable with a trainer of his/her own gender,” suggests Shah. Be honest and ask yourself if you are okay with training with someone irrespective of his/her gender. If not, make your preferences clear and put it upfront when going about your search.

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