First and foremost, you shouldn’t choose your new PT based on what they look like; you wouldn’t, afterall, choose a doctor based on their beatific complexion. Of course, you’d expect your PT to be in good shape, but any trainer worth their salt is more than just a walking set of abs. Besides, the first person you should examine is yourself.
“Understanding your own genetic make-up is crucial,” says Andy Vincent, PT at London’s Third Space. “If you’re predisposed to skinniness and struggle to gain muscle mass, flexing 18in arms in eight weeks will be a hard ask, however your PT is built. It’s a mistake to size up a potential candidate thinking you’ll look like them after a few sessions. It’s not that easy.”
The first thing to do is ask a potential trainer about their own fitness ‘journey’ plus those of their clients. If they have coached people with similar goals to you, they’ll have an understanding of the challenges involved. If you want to lose weight, for example, it’s far more important to look at their track record in securing results than their own body-fat percentage.
In terms of experience, “Your trainer should have a minimum of five years in the industry, with more than just a single qualification,” says Vincent. “Ideally, they’ll also have some sort of nutrition certification, because your diet is often the biggest challenge.”
Credentials aside, the best PTs are the ones willing to put the time in and invest in your progress. But, remember, you could be training under Jason Statham and still not get anywhere unless you have enough determination in your own locker. For serious results, the most important member of your team is the one in the mirror.
Train according to your body type
Find out your body type with this guide, and use it to hit your goals faster and choose an effective training method for your body type.
If you’re an ectomorph you need: Bodybuilding
If you’re lean, try a split of two upper- and lower-body sessions, finishing with 10min of metcon twice a week.
If you’re an endomorph you need: HIIT
For bigger frames that struggle to shake fat, try bodyweight sessions which keep rest periods short.
If you’re a mesomorph you need: CrossFit
With adding muscle not a problem, the intensity of resistance-based circuits will suit your athleticism.