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Choosing the Right Personal Trainer: Five Important Pointers

Aug 17, 2007
Choosing the right Personal Trainer can mean the difference between a sustainable workout program that delivers the desired results and feeling that dreaded sense of failure. As is the case with most service oriented 'shopping' experiences, looking for the right Personal Trainer requires some leg work....no pun intended! These Five Pointers will help you along the way.

Just in the same way you would hire a plumber, a roofer, an accountant, or a mechanic, hiring a Personal Trainer means getting 'quotes' from 3-5 different Trainers. By quotes we do not mean simply price. We mean:

1. Years of experience in the profession and area of expertise. Is your Trainer a specialist in weight training, flexibility, core conditioning, a generalist? How do these skills measure up against your goals?

2. What certifications does your prospective trainer have? The American Council on Exercise, a non-profit organization, is an excellent resource on the web to learn more about Trainer expectations and qualifications.

3. Is the Personal Trainer schedule conducive to your expectations? Sounds basic, right? Not necessarily. Some Trainers are more regimented than others meaning that they feel an obligation to put the schedule of the client first vs. their own outside interests.

4. Will they offer you a complementary session before you commit to a series? Some may not but the question is certainly worth asking. This would afford you the opportunity to get a feel for the Trainer without a commitment. If they do require payment for this introductory session we feel it is well worth the money to make a proper evaluation.

5. On the subject of price, is there a discount available for the purchase of a multiple session package? If so be sure to understand how long you have to use the sessions. For example you may be able to get a 20 session package for $1000 and the sessions must be used within 12 weeks or the money is forfeited.

Bonus recommendation: Whether your first session is free or not take note of the Trainers ability to pay attention to you...their client. Unfortunately at busy gyms everywhere Trainers are not paying close attention to their clients form, posture, facial expressions, weight capacity, or level of fatigue. In the worst instances the Trainer is busy chatting with a colleague. This lack of attentiveness will result in, at a minimum, a less than effective workout and the formation of bad habits and technique. At its extreme inattentive Trainer behavior will lead to injury. If during your evaluation of your new Trainer you experience a professional that is laser focused on your form, your technique, and your breathing, they should be in consideration to be hired on a more frequent basis. This is assuming the other 'shopping' points above meet your expectations and needs.

These Five Pointers will get you on the road to a successful relationship with a Personal Trainer. They are committed to your health and fitness, you need to be committed to choosing your Trainer wisely. By choosing wisely you will be able to form a connection with a Trainer that can provide guidance, motivation and results. So remember, just as you would make informed choices about mechanics, plumbers, roofers, and accountants, so too should you make informed decisions about Personal Trainers.
About the Author
R. Adam Shore writes about Physical Fitness along with Health and Fitness from a consumer point of view. His insights will help guide your way through Fitness issues in our world today. For additional information and articles about Trainers be sure to visit http://www.physicalfitnessarticles.net
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