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When choosing a personal trainer or fitness coach, one should avoid giving too much gravity to the physique of the trainer. It is a natural proclivity to associate a trainer's physique with their capabilities as a trainer. Unfortunately, this is not an equation that always produces good results. There are trainers that are extremely knowledgeable and exceptionally effective at what they do; however, for one reason or another, their bodies are not a direct reflection of that.
Admittedly, this should not be the case, but their could be a number of legitimate reasons why a certain trainer may not be in the best physical condition possible. Consider the fact that an exceptionally effective and successful personal trainer will probably have an extremely large number of clientele and he/she may not be as proficient in time management as they are in training individuals (leaving no time for them to workout). They could have a number of medical issues that prevent physical activity while causing weight gain. Or maybe they are in it because they are good at it and it can pay well, but they are not passionate about fitness in and of itself.
Whatever the reason for the poor physique, competent trainers come in all shapes, sizes and colors. The ideal situation would be to have a trainer whose body motivates you during workouts, but you would probably want one that gets results and comes highly recommended above all.
Two of the best ways to select a trainer is:
1. Test their knowledge - Ask them what they would do to help you obtain your goals and then research their answers.
2. Referrals - Talk with people who have used this particular trainer and give gravity to their testimonies. Listen to what they say about him/her beyond their ability to get results. Does the character and personality of the trainer sound like they would be fit for you? This is important because a trainer and client are a team, and personality conflicts create an environment that is not conducive to achieving optimal results.