A personal trainer can provide you with an exceptional amount of helpful guidance when it comes to designing the ideal workout schedule to meet your goals, to avoiding injury, to choosing the right gear and even eating the right types of foods for your fitness needs. There is a wealth of information that personal trainers can impart and they can easily become your best friend for getting fit, staying that way, and reaching your potential.
That said, as with everything in life, not all personal trainers are created equal. There are some that are more skilled than others, there are some that simply know more than others, there are some with more experience than others, and each one has his or her own particular area of expertise. For instance, if your goal is weight loss, then a personal trainer specializing in bodybuilding may not necessarily be the ideal match for you. Similarly, if you want to train to run a marathon, then a personal trainer focused specifically on fitness during pregnancy may not be a perfect fit.
Still, if you want a personal trainer, there is certain to be a great one out there for you. The key is in knowing how to find him or her. The following are some of the most important things for you to know before you sign up for a personal trainer to help you out:
- Attitude – Arrange to meet the personal trainer you are considering before actually hiring him or her. If you can, observe the way he or she interacts with other customers before even sitting down for a chat. When you do talk, pay attention to what is being said, how you feel around this person and whether or not your perspectives align well. Your personal trainer should be certified, informative and motivating. That said, he or she should also listen closely to what you have to say, should be interested in you, and should be respectful to you and your goals while equally being realistic.
- Specialty and certifications – There are a number of organizations that certify personal trainers. These include the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the American Council on Exercise and the American College of Sports Medicine, among others. They are all officially recognized, accredited and have certifications through the National Commission for Certifying agencies. Someone accredited in this way will have had to pass examinations to prove their knowledge in the field. Insist on a certified personal trainer and find one who specializes in your goal.
- Comfort level – Are you comfortable talking to this person? Do you feel you can be honest with him or her? Do you understand the explanations being given? Make sure that you have a good rapport with the personal trainer and that you are comfortable expressing yourself and listening to what is being said. Without this, all the expertise in the world won’t be of any use to you.