A good coach will always teach and emphasize proper form. Showing clients how to properly use gym equipment goes a long way in preventing injury. Considering it is impossible for a coach or trainer to know everything, it is important to find someone who is humble and willing to tell you if they are not 100% sure on a question or concern. They should never proceed with advice or instruction if they don’t have accurate information to give you. Be careful to look for professionalism: you want someone who presents themselves well and is not there to be your best friend. While some chit chat is okay, you should not be having a conversation for the entirety of your workout. This will take away your focus on what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, as well as distract your coach and you likely will not be getting the feedback you need.
Be curious. Ask your coach what a specific exercise is doing for you and what effect it will have on your workout and fitness goals. There needs to be a “why” for everything in order for you to validate the energy and time spent. If there is no program in place that is specific to your individual health and fitness goals you will not benefit to the extent that you should. Be forewarned that simply because a coach or trainer is in good shape does not mean they have the aptitude to effectively train someone else. You are investing your time and money when you are working with coach. Ask them how they have established their client base; it is particularly a good sign if they have signed on people by referral or word of mouth. Lastly, if you are not seeing progress and feeling results it may be time to look into a new coach. It may take a time or two to get it right and find someone you like who is on the same page as you.