Be Wary Of Nutritional Know-How
“All qualified PTs learn about nutrition as part of their studies, but this alone doesn’t qualify them to write individual, customised nutrition programmes for clients. A PT shouldn’t encourage their clients to make changes to their diet that fall outside the recognised healthy eating guidelines, such as the NHS Eatwell Guide. They also have a responsibility not to endorse celebrity or trend-based diets, or encourage restricted eating patterns. Unlike registered dietitians, the title ‘nutritionist’ isn’t protected by law, meaning anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, nutritional therapist, diet expert or even clinical nutritionist. And even if they are qualified in nutrition, any decent PT should never press you into buying additional pills or supplements.” – Jack
Don’t Be Lured By Social Media
“A PT may have a good following on Instagram, but that doesn’t always mean they’re a great PT. It just means they’re good at marketing. Some PTs are also very good salespeople – if they start promising the world and push you to buy a big pack of sessions, be wary.” – Jason Bone, personal trainer at FLEX Chelsea.
Book In A Call
“Don’t be afraid to arrange two or three phone consultations with PTs to find out who will best suit you. If a trainer is polite, punctual, knowledgeable and professional, then that’s a big tick, but you may have goals, injuries and abilities they don’t have experience for. It’s also important that you get on with your PT. I had a client once say to me that, other than her work colleagues, she spends more one-on-one time with me than anyone else. It’s important to have a rapport with your trainer – while you aren’t there for a chin wag, you should be able to laugh through your session and enjoy it.” – Jason
Ask The Right Questions
“When looking for a trainer, it’s worth asking them a few questions, starting with how they assess new clients. If your PT doesn’t have a plan to assess your starting point, it’s doubtful they’ll be able to get you to the finish line successfully. A decent PT should be able to offer feedback on your posture, ability to perform essential movement patterns, and body composition. Another critical question to ask is how long you will need to train with them. An unethical trainer might give you the answer they think you want to hear to secure the sale. Alternatively, they may try to avoid giving you any kind of answer and convince you you’re going to need to rely on them forever. A great trainer will be honest about what you can expect and what timeframe you can expect to achieve it in. The answer you’re looking for should be something like: “It depends; every person is different and has their own set of circumstances that may affect their progress. Typically, my clients lose 10-20lbs over 12 weeks, but it all depends on how much time you’re able to commit to your programme.” – Jack