Do you have the right personal trainer?
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.