6 Tips for Choosing a Personal Trainer
Selecting a trainer for the first time (or deciding to keep your current trainer) may be the most important step to reprogramming your body and mind to achieve fitness success. Here are six key steps to identifying, choosing and succeeding with your very own trainer.
1. Decide on the kind of program you feel will bring the greatest level of personal commitment.
On one side of the spectrum, some trainers specialize in militant forms of exercise or “boot camps” that push your body to the limit. On the other side, some trainers perform a full postural deviation assessment and scientifically design a custom program that will safely and effectively lead you to your goals through a progression. Your current condition level and ultimate goal will be a factor in choosing the kind of trainer you seek so be objective about your ability and commitment.
2. Decide on the environment that you feel would be the most motivating and attractive in which to train.
Fitness venues range from classic box-chain gyms, private studios, industrial warehouse conversions, outdoor camps or even at a residence. Remember, if you are not comfortable with your training environment then it will be more challenging to focus on your personal trainer’s guidance. Be sure the trainer and environment are a match to your needs.
3. Decide on a trainer with a nationally recognized fitness trainer certification.
Ask about their education, certifications, and experience as it relates to your condition level and goal. It is recommended not to hire uncertified “trainers” or hobby fitness enthusiasts. Some of the most respected certifications acronyms include: NASM, ACSM, ACE, NESTA, NCSF, NETA, NFPT & NSCA. To be clear, certifications do not guarantee a trainer has personality or competence. Take your time and get to know the trainer in your first session and see that qualifications match charisma.
4. Decide to pay for results.
Keep in mind, the price a trainer charge is not always an indication of quality but any trainer with experience and a successful track record will not be cheap. Expect to pay premiums for experienced and competent trainers and be glad for it. Nothing bitters the sweetness of a low price like poor service. On average, a half-hour session with a trainer will run around $35-$45 per session and most hour sessions range from $50-$80 depending on the trainer or fitness club price structure. Most professional trainers will offer a free assessment session to give you a better idea on program design, trainer quality, and cost.
5. Decide to communicate throughout the workout with your trainer.
Feedback or adjustments are important, and this is usually a sign that your trainer is paying attention to how your body is responding to the program. Active communication throughout the session will only enhance your experience and rapport with the trainer.
6. Decide to continually assess your own progress.
A professional trainer is aware of the human ability to adapt to physical strain, and will constantly be tweaking or changing your program to ensure your body progresses in stabilization, strength, and endurance. However, strive to be objective in your self-assessments and be honest about your nutrition, effort and consistency. Working with a personal trainer is like a partnership and both parties must contribute in order to succeed.
Follow these six steps, employ some common sense, and you may have a rewarding experience with your very own Personal Trainer!
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