Personal Trainers Everywhere

by Oscar Saucedo

As the fitness industry in Laredo becomes more mainstream, it creates opportunities for new businesses and jobs.  I’ve been fortunate to be part of that fitness job creation; and I’ve watched as competitors emerge to be part of it too. At the end of the day, all of that growth is good for our city.  The fitness market will expand and bring in more facilities, techniques, modalities, diversity, and personal trainers to serve everyone.

I can confidently say that the number of personal trainers actively training clients in Laredo has never been higher.  When I came here 21 years ago, I knew of only 4 trainers in the entire city. Now, Gold’s Gym Laredo on Del Mar alone has 16 personal trainers.  The market is big enough now to allow consumers to shop around and choose wisely. Here are my recommendations on how to choose a personal trainer:

1)        A trainer should focus on you—the client.  That seems perhaps too basic.  But the type of trainer I will hire will commit to getting to know you, your goals, your obstacles, your injuries, etc…  She/he will NOT spend that time listing his/her competition placings, accomplishments, and certifications.  If during the first session, the trainer asks about only you, that’s a good sign.

2)        A good trainer will have a plan and methodically progress your program.  In this, I compare a client to an incoming college freshman that knows what college degree she/he wants to earn.  I compare the trainer both to a college counselor and a college professor.  The counselor gives the student the program (degree plan) to accomplish the goals. The professor slowly progresses the student through all of the necessary courses. He/she begins with the basics, then to the intermediate, and finally to the advanced; and every level is mastered before moving on.

3)        A good trainer will check your progress periodically and set attainable goals for the next progress check.  However, he/she will also understand that progress isn’t always about weight loss. Many times, progress for the client is about doing things they’ve never been able to do before.  It can be about jogging 1 mile without taking a break, or getting off of medication, or being told that they are an inspiration, or being able to participate in outdoor activities with their family and/or friends, or simply about getting spanked by your significant other just because they couldn’t resist!  A trainer should never underestimate the power of small victories.

4)        A good trainer never stops learning.  I’ve been in fitness for over 30 years now, and there is always something new and exciting to learn.

5)        A good trainer won’t demean another training modality or style.  There’s more than one way to skin a cat.  Bodybuilding isn’t the only way.  Crossfit isn’t the only way.  There are many ways to get fit.  If a trainer is stuck in only one way, that’s a bad sign.  I recommend all trainers try styles they have never tried. More often than not, they are pleasantly surprised.

6)        A good trainer is a good teacher.  Good teachers are able to communicate well, they pinpoint where the improvement is needed, and they teach in several ways/styles until the student learns.  I like to see trainers that tell the client what they are about to do, how they are going to do it, and WHY they are doing it. The kind of trainer that will give all the knowledge that they have is the kind of trainer I like to hire.

7)        A good trainer loves helping people.  You can hear the passion as he or she speaks about fitness.  I believe that this is the quality that truly makes a trainer successful.  All the degrees, certifications, and/or trophies mean nothing if a trainer is not in love with fitness.

These are only some of the important qualities I believe a good trainer should have.  It’s really only an opinion, but I think it can qualify as an expert opinion.       If you do your research and know what you want, it can be a really good thing that there are personal trainers everywhere.

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