The fitness world is loaded with "trainers" and "experts" all pulling for your attention and business. If you're looking for help with your fitness goals, there's no shortage of options! The problem is, which trainer/coach/teacher do you choose? Bargain shopping isn't the answer, and neither is choosing the most expensive option. You could find a grossly under qualified trainer, teacher, or coach charging the lowest rate or the most expensive rate. Both have their pros and cons, both draw in different types of clients. Regardless of what they're charging, here are some simple guidelines for choosing a quality teacher, coach, or trainer.
1. Who were their teachers?
Who were their teachers? What were their qualifications? What have their teachers done and who have they taught? Ideally, your teacher should have studied under legitimate professionals who have a track record of delivering legitimate information and producing quality teachers. For example, my teachers include world class full contact bare knuckle Karate champion (1967) Shigeru Ishino, who I hold a 1st degree black belt under. I've also worked with and been certified by world renowned kettlebell/movement expert Shawn Mozen and top Yoga expert Mark Laham. These are just a few of the teachers who I have worked with, each one of them with a track record of not only producing great teachers, but they walk the talk and live what they preach.
2. What have they done, or, what can they do?
What has your teacher done? What skills have they acquired? What abilities do they possess? Or, what has your teacher done or accomplished before in the past? How can you expect to learn how to become a world class power lifter when your teacher has never even competed in an event himself/herself? Would you rather learn from someone who has been there and done that, than someone who knows the theory of what it takes? Of course you would! I'm not saying that the trainer from your local gym doesn't know what he/she is talking about, I'm saying that if you're given the choice between teachers, experience is paramount! Choose a trainer who has experience in the area that you're looking to improve upon and make sure they can produce results consistently with their students and not just themselves. Which leads me to my next point ...
3. What can their students/clients do?
Without a doubt, above all else, this is what you should look for when looking for a trainer, coach, or teacher. Your teacher needs to be able to reproduce results in multiple students consistently. Regardless of their speciality, their methods need to work with people from all different backgrounds and produce results at a very high percentage. If you're teacher doesn't have plenty of testimonials to prove their methods work, or if they can't show you what their students can do ... walk away.
3. What are they working towards?
What are they working towards? What is their idea of fitness? If you want to learn how to move better, reduce pain and inflammation, and learn how to integrate fitness into your daily life ... then why would you higher a trainer who specializes body building or physique competition? The same for the opposite. If you want to become a body building champion, why the hell would you higher a movement specialist or yoga instructor to get you to your goals? Find out, clearly, what your trainer/coach is working towards. Find out what their ideals are and what's their personal take on fitness. Find out how you'll be training, what their approach is, and what kind of training modalities they favour. If it doesn't jive with what you're looking to accomplish ... then move on and look for another one.
4. Who are they truly serving?
Who are they serving? Quite simply, are they looking to serve themselves, or are they truly serving the client. A good teacher, always ... F#%KING ALWAYS, has their students best interest in mind at all times. This means, they'll work around your schedule, make up sessions for you, take time to text or call you to set up workout times when you're slacking. They take pride in your accomplishments, tailor ever single program to each individual client and are always learning more in order to better serve their clients. They charge reasonable rates, or they're flexible with payments from students in order to make sure your training stays on track. In short, their clearly not in it for them self or their ego. If you're trainer charges too much, doesn't deliver solid results, won't reschedule, doesn't follow up, doesn't address your needs and problems, doesn't tailor programs specifically for you, forces you through dangerous workouts etc. Then they're simply in it for themselves ... this is all too common in the fitness industry.
Regardless of what you're looking to learn, these are 4 basic rules to follow when looking for a quality teacher in any field. Keep them in mind, do your research, and find yourself a quality teacher!
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