Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

4 Tips for Choosing a Certified Personal Trainer

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 @ 01:56 PM

Finding the right personal trainer means taking a good long look at a lot of different things.When it comes to keeping up with your exercise and diet programs and meeting your weight loss goals, few things are as important as having the support of others. Having a personal trainer can give you the support you need to make it through your health fitness program without missing a proverbial beat. The challenge, however, is finding the right personal trainer to help you.

Not every personal trainer will have the right qualifications, training, and experience to help you meet your personal goals. So, how do you find the right personal trainer?

There are actually a number of things to consider when choosing a personal trainer. To help you find the right one, we here at Step Ahead Wellness have compiled a short list of tips for choosing a personal trainer here4:

Tip #1: Check the Trainer’s Certifications

When looking at a trainer’s résumé, see what certifications they have. For example, does the trainer have an ACSM personal training certification from the American College of Sports Medicine? Furthermore, what certifications does that trainer have? On the ACSM’s certification page, they list several different types of certifications for health fitness, clinical, and other specialties. Examples of their health fitness certifications (the category aimed at personal training) include the ACSM Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) and the ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist (HFS).

A personal trainer with either of these certifications is knowledgeable when it comes to creating personalized exercise regimens to help others meet fitness and weight loss goals. The primary difference between the two is that the HFS certification indicates that the trainer is rated to develop exercise programs for people who have medically controlled conditions.

If a personal trainer cannot list any certifications, it may be time to look for another trainer.

Tip #2: Ask Past Clients about Their Experience

Talk to others who have used a personal trainer's services in the past. You can get a lot of great information about them this way.Sometimes, the details on a résumé can only tell you so much about a personal trainer, even one with all of the right certifications and experience. A big part of a successful personal training experience is being able to get along with your personal trainer. To learn if a given trainer is the right person to help you, look at what some of their past clients say about them.

Reviews of personal trainers can often be found on online business review sites (such as Yelp!) or on specialized trainer search sites. When reading reviews, look at both the positive and the negative ones. When a review is positive, see what it is that that person liked about his or her experience. When a review is negative, try to find out why that person was dissatisfied with the trainer.

For example, was the trainer insistent that clients make a specific lifestyle change? An important part of meeting weight loss goals is to break some of the bad habits that hold you back from being healthier. However, not all clients may have appreciated being told to change their lifestyle. As a result, the clients who were willing to make the necessary changes ended up being much more satisfied with their experience than the clients who didn’t want to make such changes.

Knowing what caused others to be either very happy or unhappy with a personal trainer can tell you a lot about whether or not that trainer will be right for you.

Tip #3: Find out What Kind of Training You Want to do

Different personal trainers will have different specialties when it comes to making exercise plans. Before you start looking at trainers, consider your goals and preferences.

For example, is your goal simply to get your BMI into a healthy range, or are you trying to get into athletic shape? Your ultimate goal will affect the types of training you’ll be doing, as well as the intensity of your training.

Also, consider whether you want to do private personal training, or if you want to be a part of a group. Some trainers specialize in one-on-one training sessions, while others are trained to manage whole groups of people who are exercising at a time.

Knowing your goals before trying to find a trainer can help you focus your efforts and better screen trainers who may not have the certifications/specializations that are needed to create the best results.

Tip #4: Consider the Gym/Fitness Facilities the Trainer Uses, if Applicable

If a trainer is a part of a gym or other fitness facility, see if the costs of using said facility are included in the trainer’s fees. When you go to that trainer’s gym, do you have to provide your own equipment, pay for rentals, or are equipment costs included? Do you need a separate membership to the gym on top of the trainer’s fees? These items can all add your personal training costs unexpectedly.

Beyond the facility and its costs, also check to see what services the trainer can provide, such as nutrition planning or lifestyle coaching. There are fitness programs out there, such as Step Ahead’s own OPTIFAST program, where trainers, lifestyle coaches, and other support personnel are all included in your personal training costs.

With some time and effort, you can find the perfect personal trainer with the right program to help you meet your health fitness goals. Learn more about Step Ahead Wellness’ health fitness programs today!

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Tags: Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Fitness, personal training