Selecting a personal trainer
Hiring a personal trainer should be approached with as much care as you would in choosing any health professional. A good place to start would be with a referral either from a trusted friend, your physical therapist or your doctor. Some gyms employ highly qualified trainers who possess a Bachelors' degree, while some employ anyone with well defined muscles who walks off the street. A personal trainer can hurt or help you reach your fitness goals, therefore the following should be considered before making your decision.
Any personal trainer that you hire should be certified by the governing body in your state. Nowadays, anyone can receive a certificate by studying online. You may determine if such a person is right for you by first asking for a free consultation and free or discounted first session. If your trainer is confident in his/her ability, this request should be readily granted. A personal trainer who has graduated from an accredited institution would be knowledgeable about working with clients of differing fitness levels, and should know the basics of CPR.
The best personal trainer in the world may not be the right fit if there are personality conflicts. Little things like chewing gum during the session, hovering or barking instructions may irritate and cause you to want to fire your trainer, while someone else may not have a problem with these qualities.
A good personal trainer will not drive his/her clients to overexertion. He/she will be a good listener and be able to correctly assess your needs, goals and potential. Your trainer should be able to motivate you to do your best without being bossy or over demanding.
He/she will pay close attention to what you are doing and correct you in a way that does not bruise your ego.
A good personal trainer comes to work on time, stays with you for the entire session, does not overstep his/her bounds, but always speaks to you in a courteous and respectful manner.
This may vary depending on your trainer's qualifications and experience. Whether you hire a celebrity trainer or an ordinary person should depend not just on your pocket, but on what you hope to achieve. It may be wiser to hire an expensive trainer for a few sessions until you learn the routine than to hire a cheap one who will do you more harm than good. Finally, hiring someone through a referral from a trusted source - a friend, your physical therapist, or your health club - may be the safest way to go.
Remember, a personal trainer is there to plan an exercise program, help guide you through your exercises safely and motivate you. If you have any health concerns, injuries or have concerns about your trainer's program and approach, come in and see us.
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