Hiring a Fitness Coach
There's a lot to think about when and if you are hiring a fitness coach to help you with your goals. Whether you need a plan to train for a 5k or want to make major lifestyle changes, there's a coach out there to suit your needs. Take the following things into consideration when you start searching for that perfect coach.
7 Things to Consider...
- Your fitness coach’s education is critical. In my opinion, it is the number one factor when narrowing your options for hiring a coach. Coaches who have degrees in exercise physiology or a related field are best. Also look for certifications from accredited organizations like The American Council on Exercise (ACE), The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) or the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). You would never go to a doctor that didn’t have a degree or license, right?? If you’re entrusting your physical health to a fitness coach, make sure they know what they’re doing! Check references and ask to speak to current or past clients.
- A good fitness coach should mesh with your personality. If you need a cheerleader, you need to find a coach that can do that. If you like a coach that will get in your face and kick you in the ass, then you need to find someone that is good at that. Just like your doctor, you need to be completely comfortable with your coach. Every coach has a different personality so do your research and find someone that works for you.
- Communication and education. A good fitness coach will communicate with you regularly and clearly. They should be willing and able to answer your questions or research the answer if they don’t know it right away. They should also have no problem educating you with valuable instruction. A coach that just takes you through the motions without educating you is ultimately failing you.
- Your fitness coach should maintain a level of professionalism at all times. I realize this means different things to different people so you need to decide what you expect and find a coach that fits that. If you prefer a coach that shows up in uniform for every session, that’s fine. If your coach's attire is irrelevant to you, that’s ok too. This goes for online coaches as well. Obviously, their attire may not matter but the way they communicate, how quickly they get to your questions, etc. is important.
- Good coaches can provide programs for a wide variety of goals but finding a coach that specializes is good if you need something specific. For example, if your goal is to train for a half marathon, hiring a fitness coach that specializes in running training or has a running coach certification will up your odds of success.
- Scheduling and convenience. If a potential coach only has time slots available at 2pm and you’re at work…well, do I really need to explain this?? An online fitness coach can solve that problem though!
- Hiring a fitness coach is an important decision. Not something to be taken lightly or done on a whim. Do your research and take your time. There’s still a chance you won’t find the perfect fit the first time around and that’s ok. That will help you to know what to look for the next time around!