Monday, May 3, 2010

Personal Trainers: What to Look For

Before I started Your Fitness Quest, I used to think that personal trainers were absolute experts when it came to fitness and exercise. Over time I found out that some trainers are self appointed and had little or no experience. It's not like being a doctor where extensive qualifications and certification are required. Many people make the mistake of assuming that if someone has a good physique then they must be a good trainer. As in all industries, there are competent professionals who provide excellent service and there are those who give the profession a bad name.

In 2001 I started working as a trainer. I got certified with The International Sports and Sciences Association, The National Academy of Sports Medicine, and The American Council on Exercise. I enjoyed what I learned from each organization and thought it was very helpful, although I admit it is not as demanding or thorough as earning an actual degree in physical education, exercise physiology, or nutrition.

Here are a some things to watch out for when shopping around for a trainer. Avoid a trainer if they:

*Have little or no experience
*Are not certified or have expired certifications
*Do not have First Aid or CPR training
*Don't cater and customize workouts to your ability and goals
*Push you harder than is safe or don't listen to your feedback
*Ignore you during your sessions while socializing with others
*Try to sell you supplements or some other products
*Touch you in an inappropriate manner or flirt with you
*Step outside of their range of competence and training. A trainer should not try to be a physician, dietician, or physical therapist.

Trainers should design programs, educate, teach proper technique, and help you track your progress and provide encouragement and accountability. Accountability and support is what helps Weight Watchers, A.A, or any other support group participant succeed. I recommend using a certified trainer to help you achieve your fitness goals. Just make sure you shop around first and find a good one that is right for you.

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