Date Posted:10/4/2010 8:20:16 AM
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Finding a Trainer That Fits You!
By: Ronda Biffert

Recently I read in Fitness Journal magazine that 45% of the personal trainers out there claim they are certified but really are not. If this article is correct, that is shocking! At any rate, let me give you some tips on finding a certified trainer so you won't be fooled.

First, what should a personal trainer do for you? They should be certified and trained to help you reach your goals by guiding you through a custom-fit exercise program. They should know basic nutrition, track your progress, help keep you motivated, and be your accountability partner.

When it comes to education, DO NOT be afraid to ask if they are certified. There are many reputable companies out there like ACE (American Council on Exercise), NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association), and ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), to name a few well known ones. If they say they are certified, look on the company's website and they should be there. Next ask if they have CPR training and if they are insured. A professional trainer always carries liability insurance.

Next, ask about their experience. How long have they been training? Do they have experience with people out of rehab, people with diabetes, cancer, etc.? Recently I started training a man that has MS and he interviewed four trainers until he chose me. He was looking for a trainer that had knowledge and experience dealing with neurological/muscular issues. I had worked with a man for three years that had Parkinson's. With that answer he gave me a try and we are seeing much progress. He did the right thing by interviewing several trainers first.

Another important question is to ask is their rate. Sometimes the more experience the trainer has, the more expensive, but if they are good, you will usually get what you pay for.

Don't be afraid to ask if you could train once with the person to see what their style of training is like and if it would be a good fit. Of course, if you are at a gym and see a trainer working with people on a daily basis, you can get an idea of their style, but don't be afraid to buy one session and see if the personality of the trainer fits you. The reason for that is in order to stay motivated and show up to your sessions, you should like your trainer and enjoy the time -- even if they push you to your limits! The trainer should be a person that understand your goals, is a good listener, and gives you their full attention.

Some warning signs of a bad trainer would be a person that doesn't let you ask questions, talks on their phone or texts while they are working with you, pushes you so hard you are in pain for days, diagnoses injuries instead of sending you to your doctor, and one that recommends questionable herbs or sports drinks.

And for you -- be focused during your workout. Save the visit till after the session. Bring a towel, water bottle, and wear appropriate clothing and shoes. (For God sakes, no flip flops -- my pet peeve!) Give a 24 hour notice of cancellation and write down any questions. Don't rely on your trainer for minute by minute motivation. You need to be ready to do the work. Look for inspiration. Because no one can get you healthy inside and out until you make that decision! Hope that helps! Have a healthy week!

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