For the past few weeks I have been encouraging you to create a list of things you want to achieve in the next 2 years (Click here to review). One of the categories is health/fitness. So, with that in mind I am dedicating Friday’s blog to health and fitness related topics.
Check back each Friday for articles, tips and advice about exercise, nutrition, staying healthy, and feeling great!
I hope you enjoy it and feel free to add your own tips, tricks and recipes!
Now, here is your first tip:
If you are new to exercise or looking for a way to add some excitement and variety to your workout consider hiring a personal trainer. Working with a trainer helps you reach your health and fitness goals faster, decreases your risk of getting injured, adds variety to your workouts, and gives you someone to be accountable to for your results.
So, how do you know which personal trainer is right for you?
Here are a few tips to help you get started with your selection:
1)Ask Around – Friends and family members are a great resource for a personal trainer recommendation. Not only can they answer questions and give you feedback about their experience but you can see firsthand what kind of results the trainer can produce. If no one in your immediate circle has a trainer ask members at your gym who they recommend or, if you are bold enough, ask someone who’s physique you admire who they train with. Another excellent resource for finding a personal trainer is www.ideafit.com/find-personal-trainer. This site allows you to look for trainers in your area and filter results based on aspects like gender, price, and type of training desired.
2)Check experience and credentials – You are entrusting your health and fitness to your personal trainer so it is important to ask about their experience in the field and their training. Remember just because someone looks like they are in shape does not mean that they know how to get you in shape. Look for a trainer with qualifications such as a college degree in Exercise Science (or a related field) and/or a certification from a reputable fitness organization such as ACE, NASM, ACSM or ISSA to name a few. Also, consider how long the trainer has been working in the field. While years in the field does not automatically make someone a good trainer (especially in a field where techniques and ideas evolve quickly) experience can help you determine if a trainer is effective and truly dedicated to helping her clients.
3)Does the trainer have a specialty they focus on? – If your goal is general health and fitness this may not be much of an issue for you but if you have a specific goal you want to achieve finding a trainer that specializes in that area is critical to your success. For example, I can be the best trainer in the world, but if you want to lower your golf score and I don’t know anything about golf fitness training I won’t be able make you as successful as you could be if you worked with a trainer who specializes in golf fitness.
4)Know what you are looking for – Before meeting with a trainer be sure you know what your goals are (weight loss, running a marathon, increased muscle mass, etc) so you can have an open discussion about whether the trainer has the proper experience, credentials and specialized training to meet your needs.
5)Compatibility and rapport – Do not underestimate the importance of having a good rapport with your trainer. Smooth, respectful and honest communication between client and trainer is required for a training program to be effective. I have been the beneficiary of many a client because their personality and communication style was not compatible with their previous trainer. You need to be comfortable enough to give your trainer feedback about your program and you need to respect and trust your trainer enough to let them guide your progress. The trainer also needs to be able to communicate openly with you. You do not need to become BFFs with your trainer but you should hire a personal trainer that you like on a personal level. Exercise is hard enough without having to contend with feelings of dread when it comes to spending an hour with your trainer.
6)Don’t settle – Finding the right trainer for you is the best way to ensure you get a good program that is targeted to your specific goals, keeps you motivated and focused, helps you maintain a fitness regimen and helps keep you healthy and injury free. There are plenty of personal trainers in the industry so it is important that you do not settle for a trainer that does not meet all of your requirements.
A few other tips:
-Do not be afraid to ask for testimonials or references from past or current clients.
-If you are not sure if a trainer is the right fit, ask if they offer a complimentary initial evaluation or session. This will give you an opportunity to assess if their personality and skills are a match with you.
-Choose a trainer that offers some flexibility to your needs. Not everyone wants to work with their trainer 3 days a week, if this describes you then make sure the trainer is willing to train you 1 day each week and allow you to workout the other days on your own. If you travel frequently, ask if the trainer will write you an “on the road” program that you can do in your hotel room (expect to pay an extra fee or the price of 1 session for the trainer’s time to write the program).
-Know the price for training up front and what is included in any packages before committing.
There are many factors that go into choosing a personal trainer, but if you follow these tips you will be well on your way to hiring a personal trainer that can help you achieve your health and fitness goals.