The most common New Years resolution is to get fit and healthy. Maybe that's why I have been asked by SO many people, what to look for in a PT.
There are a million different answers to that question, depending on what you're looking for from your PT. However, there is, in my opinion, a short list of things to check-off before signing-on to any PT.
Do they give you 100% of their attention during your sessions?
This is important for two reasons: Because spending an hour with someone that's away with the pixies is boring; and also because it is very important that they can recognise if you're getting the exercise wrong. Incorrect form will be counter-productive to your goals and it might cause injury.
Do they ask about your injuries? If so, do they respond appropriately?
Every training session should begin with "How's the body feeling? Any injuries to report?" Gym-based exercise does carry a small risk of injury, so your PT should know about any preexisting injuries. If you do have an injury, they should be able to explain to you how they will modify the session to reduce risk, and they should ask for a letter from your sports health professional to explain what your abilities/disabilities are.
Do they change-up the exercises every session?
Repeating the same exercises over-and-over is easy for the PT, but it's boring for you. Also, you run the risk of over-training some supporting muscles while under-training others. That will cause slow results and increased risk of injury.
Do you like your personal trainer?
If you like your PT, you will show up to every session, and complete every session. You'll feel comfortable to tell them what you like and what you don't like, and you'll tell them when you're injured. If you don't like your PT, you will end up skipping sessions, stopping session part-way though, and not reporting injuries. Luckily, I've only ever been in this situation twice. It's not fun, but it is dangerous. It's far better if you just switch trainers!
If you want a referral to a great PT in Melbourne, or want any more information on gym-exercise or injury prevention, shoot me an email. If you want to speak to me about exercising with an existing injury, you can call one of my clinics directly to make an appointment.
Dr Mitch Clark