Do you need a personal trainer? That is the first question that you should be asking yourself. The answer is quite simple... If you walk into the gym and feel lost or confused, then you definitely need a personal trainer. Or, if you pretty much know what you're doing but are seeing very little or no results, you should consult a personal trainer to help make the difference. Believe it or not, even experienced exercise enthusiasts seek out the assistance of personal trainers when they seem to be unable to make any more gains from their daily workouts.
Personal trainers are supposed to be the sole resource necessary to succeed in the gym. The time and education that is required to obtain a certification as a personal trainer is definitely not easy. You should be able to consult your gym's personal trainer regarding your current workout routine and your goals. They should be able to give you suggestions, guidance, and instruction, as well as show you where you are making mistakes.
Most personal trainers also have and in-depth knowledge of dietary needs and requirements, and should be able to give you guidance in those areas as well. In fact, many trainers also compete in body-building or fitness competitions. These trainers are extremely focused on dietary requirements as their body fat content must be extremely minimal during an actual competition. They can give you dietary guidance that is worth its weight in platinum, so pay heed.
Sometimes, you will get lucky and will find a personal trainer that has prior military experience, possibly even Special Forces, who can give you guidance that you couldn't get from your traditionally educated trainers. Believe it or not, most Special Forces groups in the United States Armed Forces go through the same training programs. The Navy SEALS, Army, Marine Corps, & Coast Guard all go to the same Dive School to obtain their dive certification. The physical training that they undergo is grueling to say the least. The same can be said for airborne certification schools that are hosted by the U.S. Army. Every step of the way involves more and more physical training that ensures that their bodies are perfectly tuned for the difficult and continuous abuse of combat, and that they are conditioned for any situation that may arise in the area of their certification. They are the best of the best for that reason, and a personal trainer with that background is an extremely valuable resource.
Some personal trainers aren't so valuable. When the personal training arena became a national craze, a lot of weak certification programs sprung up across the nation. Some people saw personal training certifications as a money maker, and rushed programs into existence to take advantage of the market. This enabled masses of people to take a cheaper course and to acquire their certification in less time. Experience with personal trainers will give you the ability to discern between the two. Having a properly educated personal trainer is a wholesome and completely different experience than having someone trying to train you that knows only a little more than you do. If you have one of these trainers at your gym, avoid them like the plague. Always use a personal trainer with the knowledge to help you, because the lack of this knowledge can literally hurt you.
In the end, your fitness goals must be achieved. If a personal trainer is not helping you to make any gains or improvements, don't be afraid to try someone else. Sometimes a trainer's area of expertise may not coincide with your current fitness needs. Believe it or not, experience depicts how effective that a personal trainer is in certain areas. In this way, personal trainers are very much like Physicians because they can specialize.
Many personal trainers have experience with dealing with certain body types or types of metabolisms. Someone that constantly trains body-builders may not be the trainer for you if you are a beginner or have a higher body fat content than most people... Don't be afraid to ask any and all questions that you may have, including questions regarding the personal trainer's experience. They should be unafraid to hand you off to another trainer that is skilled better to assist you with your current fitness needs. Make sure that you have the right personal trainer for you, and you will see nothing but continued success!