When a person makes the decision to work with a personal trainer, a very difficult task lies ahead. The process of selecting the right trainer is one that should not be taken lightly and is also one that could determine your own success. Unfortunately, many people don’t know where to look or what to look for in a potential trainer and they end up settling or choosing a person who is not the right fit. The personal training industry is one without a real governing body. Anyone can call them self a trainer. This means that there is a very broad range of people to out there, some with tremendous credentials and others with little or no legitimate experience. This is a problem that brings down the industry as a whole because for every legitimate trainer out there, there is one with no business working with people.
At a bare minimum, there are two things that a personal trainer must have. A trainer must have a current personal trainers certification and current CPR certification. There are many personal trainers certifications but only a handful are seriously recognized within the industry. Another blog will be devoted to this subject but some of the major ones are, NASM, NSCA, ACSM, ACE and ISSA. The certification should be current and the trainer should have documents to prove this. Most certifications require that trainers take continuing education courses to keep the certification and it is important that any trainer is actively involved in increasing his or her knowledge base. CPR is also important because you want to be sure that the trainer has life saving skills in the case of an emergency.
Once we get past these two basic requirements, there are plenty of other factors in the decision making process. The next thing to consider is your own personal health history. Are there any medical problems or injuries that could have an impact on the training regiment? If there are, then you need to be medically cleared by a doctor. Your trainer should have direct knowledge about whatever the medical problem is and he or she should know how to train people with whatever the condition may be. Don’t be afraid to quiz the trainer or ask questions.
The next thing to consider are your goals. Some goals, like general fitness or a little weight loss should be easy for even a novice trainer to work with while others may require some kind of specialization. If you want to improve your golf game, for example, you are going to want a trainer with specific knowledge in that area. Professionalism is a quality that every trainer must have. You want someone who is 100% focused on you when they are working with you and not themselves, other people or their cell phone. The trainer should be on time, not cancel frequently. With all that has been said above, the single most important factor in a successful client- trainer relationship is the connection between you and the trainer. This is someone with whom you will spend a lot of time with, a person who you are making responsible for a huge aspect of your life. Make sure that you pick someone who you enjoy being around and who makes you feel comfortable.
There are other things to consider when searching for the right trainer but those are usually more specific to the person looking, these guidelines should be the base level when you begin this search.