Hiring a personal trainer

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What to look for when choosing a personal trainer

Posted by Tanya

I am thinking about engaging a personal trainer. What should I ask before hiring this person. Is it enough to know that they are certified? Thanks!

Re: What to look for when choosing a personal trainer

Posted by Diane

Yes a personal trainer should be certified but often today, the certification process can be done through mail order (a scary thought) or over a very short period of time without the necessary practical components of the course. Weight training takes a lot of experience in order to establish an eye for good technique and form. People come in all shapes, sizes and frames and that is just the beginning.

There are no guarantees but try and find out how long the personal trainer has worked in the field, ask questions about their client base and what type of programs they have set up for their customers in the past. Ask questions like what kind of results can I expect and how long will it take. If the trainer starts to make promises of quick weight loss or fast muscle gains or any other ridiculous claims, those are definite red flags.

Ask direct questions such as what is included in the fitness program and what services will he/she be providing. A qualified trainer will have you complete a health and lifestyle questionnaire that includes questions relating to your health history, lifestyle and past and current physical fitness. A qualified trainer will have you undergo a fitness evaluation to measure your strength, endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular performance. Often it will include a body composition analysis. He/she will want to know about any chronic injuries, medical condition or other limitations that can have a direct impact on the type of weight training program you should be involved in.

A good trainer will ask you what your fitness/health goals are and will take a genuine interest in working with you to obtain these goals, both short and long term. Be clear in asking what type of instruction you will receive and what follow-up mechanisms will be in place.

I am not being shallow or impractical when I say that your trainer should look like he/she works out regularly. They are after all setting the example for their clients. No excuses.

These are but a few of the things you should be looking for when selecting a good personal trainer.


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