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ELLE Body: How to find the perfect personal trainer
Gwyneth Paltrow has one. Rihanna has one, too. Pretty much every celebrity, model and socialite seems to have a personal trainer at a wave of a hand, sculpting their famous bods into works of art, lithe frames and, we’ll admit it, jealousy-inducing abs. While having a live-in trainer might be something only the A-list can afford, we can all benefit (so can your abs, arms and butt) from some one-on-one sessions with a personal trainer. But finding a trainer can be like finding a hairdresser – you need that one that connects with you like a young Parisian woman connects with her Chanel clutch. We’re talking connecting on a serious level, friends. We asked Eva Redpath, Signature Program Presenter at Equinox Bay St. in Toronto, for her best tips on finding your personal trainer soul mate – someone who gets your sometimes-love of double chocolate doughnuts, but will make you work your butt off for it the next day (ouch).
Before you start looking …
Think about what your workout routine is like right now and where you would like to go (whether that’s mixing up your running only routine, or just getting off the couch and looking for fitness clubs). “It’s important to stay consistent with exercise in order to see long-lasting results,” says Redpath. “Changing up your routine and working out with a personal trainer can help you stay motivated and enthusiastic. It can also prevent you from hitting a plateau. It’s an excellent investment in your health to hire a trainer but I highly recommend researching them first.”
Personal trainer versus no personal trainer
“Did you know that research shows 50 per cent of people who start a new workout routine drop it within the first six months?” asks Redpath. Sadly, it’s true (and face it – we’ve all been there and done that). “Nothing evaporates motivation faster than feeling like you’re not making any improvements,” she says. “We’re notorious for seeking a comfort zone. So once we master a new skill we stick to it because we know we can do it.” But that equals boring trips to the gym and literally gets you stuck in a rut. “You need to mix things up to keep yourself interested. A personal trainer is key in providing this for you! They are the expert who will challenge you, keep you in the zone and ensure progress.”
Don’t make this mistake
A personal trainer can help you achieve the bikini bod you really want, but they’re not miracle workers. While they can help you once you get to the gym, it’s up to you to put down the macaron and get your body to the gym.
“People expect a personal trainer to work magic and forget that they need to be 100% committed to a life change,” says Redpath. “It’s a 50/50 partnership. You need to have the right headspace and motivation. Hiring a personal trainer won’t give you the results you desire, unless you’re ready to make the effort.”
Find the perfect personality match on the next page …
Find your perfect match
Finding a personal trainer who gets you, your workout routine habits and what will push you is kind of like dating. You might go through a few options before landing the perfect trainer for you. “Have an ‘interview’ over coffee or a trial session before committing,” suggests Redpath. “The connection between a trainer and client is the most important predecessor when establishing any successful working relationship, and ultimately in achieving your goals. Interview your trainer but pay a lot of attention to the questions they ask you. Each client will have individuals needs, medical history, goals, and interests.” At Redpath’s gym, Equinox, members receive a complimentary personal training session as well as an assessment that determines blood pressure, heart rate, lean muscle-mass ratio, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and more. Most fitness clubs offer this test-drive option, so be sure to check it out at your local workout space. In the end Redpath says, “Developing a relationship based on trust, chemistry and fun will result in a solid team effort in achieving your goals.”
If you’ve been down this path before don’t put an end to finding your training soul mate just yet. "Don’t be afraid to be honest but also don’t be afraid to try out someone new if the first trainer didn’t work out," advises Redpath. "You will find someone who understands you and your needs."
Where to begin
Totally envious of your BFF’s suddenly lean figure and toned arms? Hit her up for her workout routine and find out if she’s been working with a personal trainer. "Start your research for a personal trainer by contacting local fitness clubs, searching online and asking your friends and co-workers," says Redpath.
Go solo or go with a group
Intimidated by a one-on-one sesh? Break you way into fitness and personal training by signing up for a boot camp or group class at fitness clubs. "Group fitness is motivating! And it can be the perfect addition to any workout routine lacking excitement, craving guided direction or requiring accountability," says Redpath. "It’s amazing how much you push yourself when surrounded by a little healthy competition empowering you to push yourself to do things you wouldn’t do on your own." Train with a small group of friends or colleagues for an added motivational boost.