Healthstyle Blog

How to Choose a Personal Trainer

Blog post originally published on May 01, 2014

Whether you’ve never set foot in a gym before, are just getting back into exercise, or are recovering from an injury, a personal trainer can help you make the most of your workouts—if you choose the right professional. I have a trainer I have been working with for years and he knows how to get me to do my best.  According to Men’s Health, there are currently 230,000 personal trainers in the United States. Narrowing down your options will take a little effort, but these considerations should simplify the process.

Consider Education – These days it’s easier than ever to become a personal trainer. Anyone can complete a class online, receive a diploma, and start marketing his or her services. Avoid professionals with subpar credentials and skills by choosing one who has completed an NCCA-approved certification program. This includes courses certified by the American Council on Exercise, National Academy of Sports Medicine, and National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Consider Expertise –If you want to get the best return on your investment, look for a professional with experience training clients just like you. For example, if you’re a senior, you may want to hire a personal trainer with specialized skills in geriatric fitness. If your primary fitness goal is to make improvements in a specific sport, look for a trainer who specializes in that area. If you’re pregnant or have recently had a baby, you might enjoy working with a professional with pre or post-natal fitness experience.

Consider References – Once you’ve narrowed the field to a few personal trainers in your area, ask them for references from current clients. If possible, contact the clients yourself and inquire about their experience with the professionals you’re considering. Feedback from clients with goals and challenges similar to yours will be particularly valuable. In addition, Google the trainer and see what pops up. You may find glowing or derogatory reviews other clients have posted online.

Consider Rates – Many factors influence personal training fees, from the professional’s education and experience to his or her location and reputation. Depending on your goals and coaching needs, you may benefit from meeting with your trainer several times a week. As you become more knowledgeable and your fitness improves, you can likely reduce the frequency of your sessions. In the meantime, however, make sure you’ve selected a personal trainer you can comfortably afford.

Consider a Trial – Once you’ve ascertained that a trainer has the education, expertise and rates you require—and you’ve spoken with a few of their clients—you must decide whether their personality will mesh well with yours. A trial session is the best way to do this, and some personal trainers offer free or discounted appointments for this purpose. Take the opportunity to evaluate how well the professional communicates with you, how motivated he or she makes you feel, and the level of attention you receive.

I enjoy working out with a personal trainer and to cut down on the expense, I train with a group. My personal trainer runs group sessions, which I find extremely motivating. Some mornings when my alarm goes off at 4:30 am signaling me to up, the little voice in my head might tell me to go to back to sleep. However most times, I ignore the little voice and think about how I feel once I finish a workout and how an early morning workout out gives me the extra boost that I need to start my day. I have to admit some days are easier to get up than others.

I would love to hear from you.

Do you work out alone, with a trainer or in a gym?

So tell me your experience. How do you workout ? Gym, on your own or with a personal trainer ? Are you getting the results you want ? Please share all the details. I am looking forward to reading your comments below.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to respond.

With all my love and appreciation,

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