Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Four Things to Look For In Choosing a Personal Trainer

Is it time?

Time to quit making excuses for not exercising regularly?

Or - if you have been working out regularly - is it time to start seeing 
more results from all your hard work?

If your answer to either of those questions is "yes," then it just might be 
time to hire a personal trainer.

A personal trainer can be a great way to jump-start or improve a regular 
exercise routine. Hiring the right trainer can be motivating. It can make 
you accountable. Plus, a good personal trainer can teach you the proper 
way to exercise your way to a healthy, fit body.

But hiring the right personal trainer can be a bit tricky. Here are four 
things to look for when choosing a trainer who is right for you:

1. Experience- Get referrals from satisfied clients. Someone you already 
know who has had successful results working with this trainer. Find a 
personal trainer who knows how to teach strength training, cardio, and 
stretching, because you will need them all. All the certifications and 
degrees mean nothing if the trainer doesn't have a history of training 
many different levels of clients.

The trainer also needs maturity. You should also know that the level of 
instructional training can vary. Some personal trainers have exercise 
physiology degrees while others may have any number of personal 
training certificates. Choose someone who has a great deal of 
instructional training.

Interview the trainer; ask for a complimentary training session. The 
trainer should do a thorough assessment of your health and give you a 
demonstration of his/her training style.

2. Personal Appearance - You want someone whose personal 
appearance motivates you. Don't choose a trainer who is overweight or 
noticeably underweight. Choose someone who, for his/her age and sex, 
is obviously aware of the training, nutrition, and lifestyle that go into 
being in good physical shape.

Does a woman in excellent physical shape inspire or intimidate you? If 
you are a woman, female trainers will be especially sensitive to female 
concerns - things like hormones, menopause, motherhood, and other 
age-related body changes.

In choosing a male trainer, if you are a male, choose someone with the 
physical strength to take you to a level of lifting heavier weights. And, if 
you are a female, realize that a male will always be stronger and bigger 
than you, but he isn't going to turn you into a mini version of him.

3. Compatible Personality - Know what kind of training style will work 
best for you. Do you need a drill sergeant with little room for small talk? 
Do you prefer a firm, kind approach? Find someone you can build a 
relationship with.

Also, recognize this is your time. You may need to talk as you work out, 
to unwind and focus. Choose a trainer who always leaves you feeling 
better physically, and emotionally, when you leave your session.

4. Dependability - You're paying for a service that has little room for 
fluctuating changes, re-arranged times, and tardiness. Look for a trainer 
who identifies the days and time that will work best for you. A good 
trainer will hold you accountable for those times.

You should expect a signed agreement from the trainer that gives you a 
reasonable amount of time for a cancellation or rescheduling of your 
session without a charge. Trainers know that unexpected changes come 
up. They also know it is easy to bail because you're just not "in the 
mood." The trainer loses income if you depart from your schedule. Most 
importantly, you lose if you choose a trainer who doesn't hold you 

Don't settle for a trainer who walks away and leaves you on a machine. 
No trainer should be grabbing a meal as he/she trains you. The same 
goes for taking phone calls. Unacceptable. The right trainer will give you 
his undivided attention to meet your needs.

It's your time to take direction and work hard. You should feel 
comfortable talking to your trainer without compromising your workout.

Watch out for the trainer who is checking himself out in the mirror more 
than making sure your form is correct. Speaking of mirrors, embrace 
them. You will quickly identify posture, correct form, and translate this 
over to working out on your own.

Working out can be a blast! Just be sure you choose the right personal 
trainer for YOU. If you do, you'll be more likely to stick to those workouts 
that will produce amazing results.

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