Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Choosing a Personal Trainer

Working with a personal trainer isn’t necessary, but some people find it helpful. A good trainer should motivate you, track your progress, and educate you on what you need to do to reach your goals. So, how do you find the right one? We’ve put together some helpful information for choosing a personal trainer.

If you’re not sure where to begin your search, you can start at your gym. They may have trainers on staff. Take some time to see how they interact with other clients, and whether or not one would be a good fit for you. Since you’ll be working together, personality counts and you should feel comfortable with the person. If you don’t belong to a gym, your doctor or health professional may be able to refer you to someone. Or, you can simply ask around. Your friends may have had success with this, or they may know someone who has. Plus, a good trainer will be able to provide you with references, so be sure to ask.

Once you have a few candidates, the first thing to consider is their background. A degree isn’t required, but a trainer should be certified by a reputable organization. Some top ones to look for are the NSCA, ACSM, NASM, and ACE. It’s also important to know what fitness areas they specialize in, as well as their experience level for dealing with any medical conditions you may have.

After you’ve made the leap of hiring someone, there are a few things to be wary of. Your session should be customized to fit your needs, and the focus should be on you. Watch out if they spend too much time chatting, either with you or on the phone, or simultaneously helping other clients. You don’t want to monopolize your trainer, but they should be easy to reach and available to answer any questions.

A trainer also shouldn’t be in the business of selling you unwanted things, or pushing supplements on you. They shouldn’t practice outside of their field by providing you with more than basic information, unless they have specific training. They shouldn’t diagnose you or give you specific nutritional advice, unless they are a registered dietician or some other professional.

Now that you know what to look for, and what to stay away from, you can get on your way to developing a great relationship with a personal trainer!

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