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Finding a Personal Trainer

Today, personal trainers are affordable, more abundant, and are an option for anyone who wants to achieve their fitness goals. Often, the most daunting task can be finding a qualified personal trainer in your area who best matches your workout style. This article is dedicated to providing you with the information and resources you need to learn how to find the right personal trainer for you. If you’re still not convinced that hiring a personal trainer is the best route for you, consider the benefits:

– Accountability. Setting an appointment for fitness with a personal trainer ensures you won’t just blow it off like a trip on your own to the gym.

– Reduce Injuries. A certified personal trainer has the qualifications to ensure you use correct form and reduce the likelihood for injuries.

– Motivation. A personal trainer will push you to your body’s limits, whereas on your own, you are likely to give up prior to when you should.

– Get Results. If you’ve been training on your own and not seeing results, a personal trainer can help you achieve them.

– Fight Boredom. A good personal trainer will mix up your workouts enough to keep it interesting.

So, you’ve decided that hiring a personal trainer is the route you want to go? Where to start? First, you should be willing to invest some time and effort in finding the best match for your fitness needs. Ask yourself a few questions:

What certification will my ideal personal trainer possess?

What rate am I willing to pay?

What qualities will my ideal personal trainer possess to ensure I meet my fitness goals?

How do I want to measure my success? Losing inches? Losing pounds?

What Should I Expect from a Personal Trainer?

When embarking on your search for a personal trainer, you’ll likely find trainers with various backgrounds, specialties, training locations, certifications, rates, and personalities. It’s important to set some parameters for yourself before you begin your search to ensure you narrow it down to those personal trainers who will best work for you.

You may find personal trainers who specialize in certain areas. For example, a personal trainer who specializes in weight loss, or one who specializes in helping athletes achieve their goals. Ask the candidates what their specialty is, if any, and evaluate how that fits with your own goals.

Most personal trainers offer hour-long sessions. Some also offer half-hour sessions, but you should consider whether you will be able to achieve results in half-hour sessions. The most common formula is two hour-long sessions per week. Hopefully the personal trainer you select will also keep you accountable for any exercise you do outside of those sessions.

Part of the service a personal trainer provides is ensuring you stay motivated. Ask candidates how they motivate their clients. Your first meeting should include a goal-setting discussion. Ideally, the trainer will conduct a fitness assessment and record your measurements prior to your first workout. Then, the personal trainer should measure periodically to compare results and assess progress toward meeting you goals. Benchmarking between 4- and 6-week intervals can help quantify your success and ensure you stay motivated to keep training.

Personal trainers may conduct their sessions at a gym, in their home, in your home, or a private studio. You may want to consider finding personal trainers who conduct their sessions in a preferred location. For example, if crowds intimidate you, you may want to avoid trainers who train at a gym. Also, don’t underestimate home gyms. A good personal trainer needs minimal equipment to provide you with a well-rounded workout. If you’re more comfortable training in a private environment, find a trainer who can accommodate you.

Most importantly, remember that just because a person calls themselves a personal trainer does not mean they are worthy of the title. Do your homework, and go with your gut instinct on making a decision.

How to Conduct an Interview with a Personal Trainer

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You can learn a lot about a personal trainer before ever going into a workout with them. Consider the following as part of your interview:

Do you have any certifications? If so, which ones? Is your certification current?

What is your educational background?

Do you specialize in any specific types of clients or clients with specific types of goals? i.e., weight loss, athletes, postpartum mothers, etc.

Do you have liability insurance?

What is the scope of the service you will provide? Will it be limited to exercise and fitness? Will it include discussions about nutrition?

How do you keep your clients motivated?

How will you measure my success?

Where will we train?

What should I expect from our sessions?

Will stretching be part of our workout?

How to Find a Personal Trainer in Your Area

If you belong to a gym or a fitness club, most have personal trainers on staff. Many gyms offer reasonably priced personal training packages. However, determine whether you will be assigned one trainer or whether the trainer will vary with each session. You are most likely to have the best results if a single personal trainer is tracking your progress. Also, gyms have different requirements for trainer certification, so ensure their personal trainers are certified through one of the more rigorous programs. Also, keep in mind that large gyms typically pay trainers less, and so they more likely to quit and go elsewhere. This may be disruptive to meeting your fitness goals.

Let your fingers do the walking through the local yellow pages. However, most self-employed personal trainers try to keep their expenses down and do not list with the yellow pages, so this should not be your only source.

Many of the personal training certification programs maintain online databases of participants. This is great place to start, since the question as to whether the candidate is certified is already answered.

Of course, if you can get a referral from someone who is already working with a personal trainer, this would be a great starting point. Your contact can give you first-hand experience as to what it is like to work with the trainer and clues as to their training style.

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