The decision to work with a personal trainer isn’t always easy. A lot of people fear their weights or current fitness levels will leave them feeling judged, therefore bypassing what could end up being a very beneficial session. While those with very specific goals may need regular training sessions, you may not want to meet with a trainer very often. The schedule you work out will be between you and him, but the most important aspect of a good training relationship is clear communication of your goals and being sure your trainer understands what you hope to achieve.
Look for Credentials
There are several different organizations a trainer can go through to earn credentials. Each of these is governed by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). When comparing trainers, try to find what main certification each has and then check to see if it falls under the NCCA, as you will at least know the certifying agency is held to quality control standards. Why does this matter? A trainer with the proper credentials has to study and complete exams testing his knowledge of physiology and kinetics – how your body moves and works.
What Kind of Experience Does the Trainer Have?
It’s OK to ask. And you can make your own judgment. Your trainer may have had an ACE certification for 20 years, but maybe never worked with someone with your particular medical condition. Maybe your trainer has had an ACSM certification for only a year, but has 10 years of bodybuilding experience and became credentialed later so he could help others with the working knowledge he already has – a goal you aspire to. Experience matters when it comes to reaching specific goals.
You may have very lofty goals, but it is your trainer’s job to being you back into the realm of reality. A trainer who promises you can lose 15 pounds in two weeks is not doing you any favors. A trainer who can explain why it’s safer to follow a particular plan based on your own strength levels, current condition, and needs is more likely to get you long-lasting, sustainable results. It may not be what you want to hear, but we hope you can understand it’s probably what you need to hear.
Can He Tailor a Plan to Your Needs?
Have you ever been to a gym where the trainer simply takes you around the weight circuit, puts you on the machine, helps you find a weight level, and then at the end hands you a list of exercises with repetitions? Yea. He probably does that for everyone. What you really need is a trainer who will hear what your goals are and create a plan that will really work for you. Maybe, as a beginner, you really do need to start on that weight circuit, but your trainer should also be able to outline your goals for progression and the types of exercises you can work up to if you build enough strength with your beginner’s routine.You may meet with your trainer once a month, once a week, more, or less; in your home or at the gym. It’s up to you to set parameters and be clear about your goals. And if you aren’t happy? Be honest and move on. There IS a trainer out there who understands what you need. Don’t be afraid to search.