Do you have the right per­sonal trainer?

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

If you’ve de­cided to get fit (bravo!), work­ing with a per­sonal trainer can help you get started. And if you’re al­ready in shape, you can still likely ben­e­fit. But how do you find a per­sonal trainer who can make sure your work­outs are both ef­fec­tive and safe? Af­ter all, not all train­ers are qual­i­fied or skill­ful enough to de­sign an ap­pro­pri­ate fit­ness pro­gramme that matches your needs. A good way to find a per­sonal trainer is to ask some­one you trust – a friend, rel­a­tive, co-worker, or health­care provider. And if you are con­sid­er­ing a par­tic­u­lar trainer, don’t be shy about get­ting ref­er­ences. Though some gyms give some free ini­tial ses­sions, per­sonal train­ers

don’t come cheap. Here’s what to ask a po­ten­tial per­sonal trainer be­fore pick­ing up the dumb­bells:

What is your ed­u­ca­tional and train­ing back­ground, and are you cer­ti­fied?

Whether em­ployed at fit­ness and health club fa­cil­i­ties or in pri­vate prac­tice, per­sonal train­ers of­ten have a fit­ness-re­lated bach­e­lor’s (or higher) de­gree and some sort of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. The level of knowl­edge needed to get cer­ti­fied varies widely among the or­ga­ni­za­tions – from hav­ing a de­gree in ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­ogy and pass­ing a com­pre­hen­sive exam to sim­ply lay­ing out the cash and tak­ing an on­line open-book test.

Which or­ga­ni­za­tion is the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from?

Among the most re­spected cer­ti­fiy­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions are the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Na­tional Strength and Con­di­tion­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (NSCA), which re­quire per­sonal train­ers to pass an ex­ten­sive exam, main­tain con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion cred­its once cer­ti­fied, and be cer­ti­fied in CPR (car­diopul­monary re­sus­ci­ta­tion). The same cer­tifi­cate is ap­plied for In­dian in­sti­tutes too. While many cer­ti­fi­ca­tions, like NSCA, re­quire a bach­e­lor’s de­gree, oth­ers like ACSM and the Amer­i­can Coun­cil on Ex­er­cise (ACE) re­quire only a high school diploma or equiv­a­lency cer­tifi­cate. A good re­source for dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing be­tween the cer­ti­fi­ca­tions would be to check the in­ter­net.

Do you have a spe­cialty area?

Does the trainer mostly work with hard­core ath­letes (such as marathon­ers and body­builders), se­niors, preg­nant women, or peo­ple with biome­chan­i­cal is­sues (such as knee and back prob­lems)? If you have a med­i­cal con­di­tion that can af­fect your abil­ity to ex­er­cise safely, such as os­teo­poro­sis, se­vere sco­l­io­sis, asthma, or a prior heart at­tack, make sure to tell the trainer and find out if he or she has ex­pe­ri­ence in that area. Some cer­ti­fy­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions give train­ers the op­por­tu­nity to at­tain a spe­cialty cer­ti­fi­ca­tion or more ed­u­ca­tion in a spe­cial area.

How long have you been a trainer?

Look for a trainer who has at least a cou­ple of years of hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence (or at least some­one not brand new to the job). But other im­por­tant fac­tors to con­sider are if the trainer com­mu­ni­cates well, is sup­port­ive and mo­ti­vat­ing, suits your per­son­al­ity, and can help you meet your fit­ness goals.

If you have a med­i­cal con­di­tion that can af­fect your abil­ity to ex­er­cise safely, such as os­teo­poro­sis, se­vere sco­l­io­sis, asthma, or a prior heart at­tack, make trainer sure to tell the he or and find out if she has ex­pe­ri­ence in that area.

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