In Part 1 , I discussed the importance of finding a trainer who has proper education and governing standards.
Today I'll discuss the second thing to look for when hiring a personal trainer. There's nothing fancy about this, but if your trainer does not maintain these things, you're probably dealing with more of a hobbiest than a professional.
2) Professional Paperwork, Records, and Tracking
In an initial conversation or consultation with your prospective trainer, they should have general containing basic info, emergency contacts, etc. Liability waivers, a health history questionnaire, and PAR-Q, should be filled out and discussed before any physical activity is done. A training contract or agreement should also be discussed, presented and signed if you decide to move forward with hiring the trainer.
If goals are discussed there should be a document that contains the content of that discussion, the types of assessments that will be done and skeleton of a plan moving forward. Though many great trainers do this differently, there is still a process of record keeping that happens with the professionals
And speaking of records, one of my greatest pet peeves of the trainers in our industry is not recording anything during the training session. It's sad to say, but a vast majority of trainers I've witnessed over the years are good with moving from exercise to exercise with no written program, plan or ability to record what their clients are doing.
Before hiring your trainer, ask how they keep track of your progress. Ask how they keep records of your training sessions. Professional trainers will have no problem showing how they do this. Many times you'll see not only areas for tracking things such as weight or intensity but also a place to take notes. Here, trainers can scribe essential details such as exercise progressions and regressions.
Though this may seem like a simple formality, record keeping, and proper paperwork display professionalism.