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The Keys to Picking the Right Personal Trainer

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Working with a personal trainer is a great way to jump start your fitness goals. If you’ve been heading to the gym for months on end without any real results or you’ve gotten bored with your current fitness routine, working with a personal trainer can help you meet your goals and help your fitness plan get back on track. Before you book your first session, here are four things to consider when you start looking for a personal trainer.

  • There’s an art and a science to good personal training, and your trainer should hold a certification from one of the mainstream accreditation organizations. Look for a certification from The National Academy of Sports Medicine, The American College of Sports Medicine, or the National Athletic Trainers Association, to name a few. Your trainer may also have a specialized certification, like CrossFit Level 1 or as Certified Strength and Condition Coach. These specializations can also give you insight into what he or she might focus on during your session. A commitment to learning new things and continuing education is also a plus.
  • A qualified personal trainer will take a complete medical history. Be sure to let your trainer know about any injury- no matter how old- any health issues you have. He or she should also have you run through a basic fitness evaluation, which may include getting your blood pressure, weight, body composition, and heart rate. You may be asked to run through a series of benchmark exercises, including running the 40, executing push ups, squats, or chin ups /pull ups. These exercises will give you and your trainer an accurate picture of your current fitness level and help you identify your new fitness goals.
  • Your trainer should vary your workout. You are paying for individual attention, so your workouts should be programmed to meet your personal needs and goals. A well-rounded program will incorporate strength training, body weight training, cardio, and mobility. Your trainer should also take any issues or injuries into consideration and modify or scale your exercise and programming appropriately. If you find your programming is stagnant, redundant, or not individualized, it may be time for a new trainer.
  • You should feel comfortable with your trainer. Do you respond better to positive reinforcement, or do you need a drill sergeant to keep you moving? The personality of your trainer and how you respond to him or her will play an important role in your success. You should feel comfortable sharing important heath information about any outside stresses, eating, drinking, and sleeping habits, and your over all well being. All these factors play a role in your performance. You can’t feel shy about sharing personal information, so consider your comfort level with same or opposite gender trainers.

Committing to a fitness regime and including a personal trainer can be costly, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. Whether you are looking for a long-term relationship or a jump start to a new routine, finding the right trainer can make all the difference.