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Selecting a Good Personal Trainer

Q: I’d like to hire a personal trainer but I’m not sure what I should look for to make sure I get a good one. Any help?

A: To increase your odds of hiring a qualified trainer, ask these 10 questions:

1) Do you have a college degree in kinesiology or exercise science? A degree in itself isn’t failsafe, but it improves your chances of hiring a knowledgeable trainer. Core classes consisting of anatomy, physiology, exercise programming and exercise prescription are standard in exercise science curriculum.

2) Are you certified by a nationally recognized organization? These certifying agencies are the most recognized certifications in the industry. All require a minimum score on a demanding exam. Some require a college degree as a prerequisite to becoming certified.

3) What type of workouts do they do themselves? How frequently? Personal experience with exercise is VITAL to be an effective personal trainer. There is no substitute for hands-on experience with strength, cardiovascular and flexibility training.

4) What is your knowledge of nutrition? Often, the missing ingredient with someone not achieving their fitness goals is improper nutritional habits. Typically, trainers are not registered dieticians but if they have a kinesiology degree, or are certified through a well established organization, they likely have had nutrition classes.

5) Do you have experience working with special populations? This may or may not be applicable to your situation, but if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease etc., it is imperative that your trainer has the knowledge to prescribe appropriate exercise.

6) Do you have expertise in athletic performance enhancement? Again, this applies only if you’re interested in training for a particular sport. Proper sport-specific training often is beyond the scope of many personal trainers.

7) Do you have liability insurance? Personal trainers should carry liability insurance; a risk of injury exists any time you engage in physical activity. Proper insurance coverage would protect you and your trainer in any lawsuits.

8) Are there any incentives for pre-payment? Many trainers offer a discounted rate for payment received in advance. Pre-payment also tends to improve exercise adherence.

9) Is there a time commitment involved with your services? Sometimes trainers require a minimum number of sessions before they will accept you as a valued client.

10.) What is your availability? You must be sure that your personal trainer will be available at times convenient for your daily schedule.

Other issues like personality traits and integrity will surface the more you work with your trainer. One last thing; be sure to look for past results!  If the personal trainer you are thinking about working with has a history of success with clients, it is very probable that you will achieve your goals as well.  Remember, it’s a two-way street. You make the commitment to exercise regularly, and the trainer commits to helping you achieve your goals!

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  1. By MainHealth on 26 Aug 2008 at 1:19 pm

    […] guidelines for sensible drinking – for your health’s sake. If you liked this post then you may like this one […]

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