How To Choose a Personal Trainer
- April 5, 2009
- By Christine Pinney Karkow, ACE & AFAA Certified Personal Trainer
- Categories: Fitness, Healthy Body
You have decided to take your fitness to the next level by hiring a Personal Trainer. This decision is a powerful first step towards taking your health and fitness goals seriously. A trainer not only offers a high level of expertise and encouragement, but will also make you accountable to him/her and to you! You will no longer be able to skip workouts simply because “I don’t really feel like it today.” You will now have an appointment that you’ve paid for, motivating you to keep going.
The next step is finding the right trainer for you. There are many personal trainers out there, so where do you start your search? First, defining your fitness goals is a crucial criteria in selecting a trainer. For instance, if you are a 55-year-old, very de-conditioned person who would like to lose 10 pounds and re-gain some of the functionality that you’ve lost over the years, a trainer who specializes in training body-builders for competition probably wouldn’t be a good choice for you. You would be much better off working with a trainer who specializes in training older adults with an emphasis in functional training.
How do you find out which trainer has certain qualifications? You want to investigate a trainer’s background, especially the certifications and education that he/she has. Most trainers hold several certifications from a variety of certifying organizations. ACE, (the American Council on Exercise) and ACSM (the American College of Sports Medicine) are two examples. Each trainer’s resume, brochures and Web sites will include a list of certifications, educations and specialties.
A second criteria to consider is location. Where is this trainer and where would you meet for your workouts? As with selecting a gym, you are much more likely to adhere to your program if your workout location is close to where you live. The most obvious place to start looking for a trainer is at your own gym. Most gyms provide information boards, brochures and web sites that feature the trainers who operate in their facility. This gives you a chance to research the backgrounds of the various trainers at your gym so that you can narrow down your choices according to each trainers’ qualifications based on your training goals and needs.
Once you decide on one or two trainers whose profiles seem to be a good fit for you, your next step would be to set up a meeting/consultation. In this meeting, you’ll be able to see how the two of you interact. Most importantly, you want to feel that your trainer really is interested in you and in promoting your agenda, not his. Through the course of the meeting, you will also have the chance to discuss payment plans and procedures. The trainer will also be able to explain the risks and benefits of embarking upon a fitness program.