If you have never had a personal fitness trainer, it’s probably good to get some idea of what you should expect from personal training – and what to ask any potential trainer, to make sure that you get a qualified trainer who understands your goals. Careful research and asking the right questions will help you avoid having an unpleasant experience that may lead to abandonment of your fitness or weight loss goals.
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Finding a good personal fitness trainer takes time and effort on your part. But the research and time you put into finding the right personal trainer could make all the difference in whether or not you get results from your weight loss or fitness program.
A good personal trainer is one who will help you keep your fitness program interesting, so you won’t become bored, only to quit and not stick to your fitness program at all. Your personal trainer should incorporate a variety of different exercise programs and equipment – including the use of dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls, and maybe even kettlebells, ropes or sandbags. And if any of those sound unfamiliar to you, then there’s even more reason to hire a personal trainer to help you and teach you the most effective exercises for losing weight and improving your fitness level.
Once you have decided to hire a personal fitness trainer, he or she should match your requirements. And your expectations should be extremely high. Don’t skimp on the quality of the personal training to save money. Any money is wasted if you don’t get results.
Ask the personal trainers you are considering for a complimentary session or “test drive.” if you are going to invest a lot of money and time into a personal training program, you deserve to know what you are getting before you hand over the money. Any good trainer would be thrilled to introduce you to his/her training style with a free session or two, to familiarize yourself with the facility, his methods, and his qualifications.
Most trainers will offer an hour workout while others just one half hour. Some trainers will offer you workout sessions at your home, or personal training sessions in a professional studio or a gym. Whatever you decide, choose a comfortable environment, where you are confident that you will feel motivated, energized, and are able to be consistent with your fitness program. If it’s a place you don’t like to be, the chances are good that you won’t want to go. And that means that your chance of success is low.
When seeking out personal training, always verify your professional fitness trainer’s credentials. Always. And don’t assume that a certification is enough. A good trainer is more than a smart guy who passed a paper test about anatomy or physiology. He or she is personable, friendly, motivating and encouraging. Many personal trainers have knowledge about fitness but may not be able to teach you what they know or lack communication skills that make it easy for you to not only do what they say, but understand the reasons why.
Most professional personal fitness trainers will have you fill out a medical questionnaire before starting any program of fitness. Be accurate and honest in your answers. Next you may be asked to perform a series of exercises to assess your fitness level. That will determine, for the most part, where your weaknesses and strengths are.
You should have to have your height, weight recorded along with other measurements before you start your program. This is for the personal fitness trainer to keep track of your progress as you begin your fitness training and to make appropriate recommendations as he or she creates your personalized fitness program. The preferred method is bioelectrical impedance, just for the convenience of it, although it only provides an estimate of body fat percentage, and isn’t 100% reliable or accurate. But it’s a good start. If your trainer doesn’t know what bioelectrical impedance is – run for the hills. Calipers is another good way to measure, but will fluctuate based on how / who conducts the caliper test for body fat. Either way – you just need to know where you are when you start so you can measure progress over time.
Some people are wary of getting “before” pictures taken. If you’re uncomfortable having a personal trainer take your photo, then do one at home. Strip down to shorts, or running bra, or even swimsuit for the brave. I highly recommend this. That photo will be of great value to you later. I can’t tell you how many of my personal training clients say the WISH they had listened to me and taken a photo before their amazing transformation. That photo is a LOT less embarrassing months later, when you look great, confident and 20 pounds lighter!
Keeping a record of your diet is essential to a fitness program. We don’t always eat as well as we should. We have Busy lives, eating lots of fast foods can be unhealthy and your personal fitness trainer will let you know, and can suggest better alternatives for your goals of staying fit. Keeping a nutrition journal is crucial. Ask your trainer if they provide clients with a personalized nutrition and exercise journal that they fill out and show to their personal trainer on a regular basis. The act of journaling your food and keeping a diet journal can be a powerful tool for helping your success in getting results from personal training.
Certified personal fitness trainers should be educated in the areas of nutrition, and a proper diet, in addition to exercise, physiology and strength exercise.
They should be willing to create the right diet for you to follow and encourage you to follow your goals.
It’s always important that any personal fitness trainer is certified and carries insurance. But remember that not all certifications are the same. Some personal trainers are ‘certified’ online, or even by their facility. There are no strict regulations in the personal training industry for trainers – so don’t just take a certification as being a qualification. Look for a well recognized national certification with strict requirements, mandatory continuing education, and proof of actual practical experience.
Another advantage of working with a trainer if you are in a gym or health club, is that working with a personal trainer often means no waiting or taking turns on machines or other fitness equipment.
Having a scheduled appointment for your training encourages you to attend your program regularly, and having a set personal training schedule with your trainer will increase your chances of consistency and success with weight loss.
A personal fitness trainer makes your appointments, sets time aside just for you, and keeps track of your progress by assessing your body fat and weight over time.
He/she will know your progress, and know what your endurance is, in order to prevent injuries from pushing yourself too much. Knowing your progress and having it recorded will give you feedback about how you’re doing, and what you need to change.
Having a personal fitness trainer helps, motivates and encourages you to stay with your fitness program, helping with both physical and mental health. And above all – will help you get faster weight loss and fitness results that you can maintain for the rest of your life.