Haddonfield! Hiring a Personal Trainer: the good, the bad and the (sometimes) ugly
Hiring a personal trainer is a fantastic idea, whether you are new to fitness or are looking to reach the next level in your fitness abilities and overall health. Deciding to embark on a training program with a personal trainer is, however, an investment. As a consumer you need to be aware of what to look for in a personal trainer before you sign your name on that dotted line and hand over your hard earned cash. I’m going to walk you through 4 important parts some of the good things you want to look for and also some red flags that should make you put that checkbook away and continue on your search.
Personal trainer Certification
It is important to identify the level of training a fitness professional has received and the constraints on what they are qualified, or not qualified to do. Unfortunately there is not a lot of regulation as far as exactly how much training someone needs to be considered a ‘personal trainer’ therefore, it is important to ask the questions and find out what certification body they received their credentials through. Some reputable names to look out for are NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine, ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), and ACE (American Council on Exercise) to name a few. Also, you should verify that your personal trainer is CPR and first aid certified so they can act as a first responder if anything bad were to potentially occur.
Personal trainer’s Knowledge and Experience
When you are training towards a specific goal you want to find a personal trainer who knows exactly how to get you to where you want to be. Be wary of personal trainers who use a ‘cookie cutter’ approach to their clients, giving each and every client the same workout. If your trainer is giving the same exercise routine to an overweight 50 year old sedentary male and also to a moderately fit 23 year old female, then he is just sitting back and counting the minutes until he’s done for the day, not concentrating on what is the best way to train his client. Not only do different individuals have different needs and areas for correction, but not everyone gets motivated the same way! So if your personal trainer is giving all of his clients the same program, you may want to move on to someone who actually cares enough to tailor fit a program to your needs.
Personal Trainer and you: Communication Skills
So, you’ve verified the personal trainer’s certifications and they seem to know what they’re talking about only for you to find out that they have the professionalism of an untrained chimpanzee . Texting back their significant other seems to be more of a priority for them than motivating you. A good trainer will motivate you, encourage you, concentrate on you in order to help you meet your goals, and help you overcome challenges, while taking into account your limitations. They realize that you are a reflection of them, and if they are a good personal trainer they want to make sure the world sees, not only you, but themselves putting their best foot forward.
Personal Trainer passion & dedication
Will the personal trainer go beyond their responsibilities to help you achieve your goal? Do they only train you while you’re in session? You pay for a certain amount of time, 60mins 3xs a week. What is many times overlooked, if your personal trainer does not do extra research, planning, random check ins and program development for your goal. You will not see results. It takes dedication and a true passion for your job to work off the clock for your client. Adjusting and tailoring the personal training program specifically to your client’s needs, knowing the most up to date research and keeping an open mind and not forcing a specific plan on a client because, the personal trainer does not know any other way. These are just some of the examples of dedication to your client. As the client, you are making an important investment in yourself! Make sure the person you are trusting is ready to do whatever is needed for you to succeed.
When it comes to finding a personal trainer the saying, “look before you leap”, goes a long way. Don’t settle for someone who just looks the part. Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions. At the end of the day, it’s your body, your experience and your money. Take charge.
Written By: Shannon Benedetto
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