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Quality Personal Training

Dec 1, 2017

What should you expect from a quality personal trainer?

As I can imagine many people are very new to the concept of working out and who better to hire than a personal trainer. After training in several gyms in the area, using a few different personal trainers myself and conducting research about the types of trainers I've found that every personal trainer is very different. Personal trainers vary in their education, type of certification, experience, and training methods. Here are some pointers to look for when finding a great personal trainer that can get you to where you want to be.

Certification and Education.

A quality Personal Trainer should hold a Degree in an Exercise Science related field which provides knowledge and hands on experience in classes such as Exercise Physiology, Anatomy, Exercise Testing, and, Kinesiology, and Nutrition. They should maintain certification from a reputable organization, such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Although not required a degree indicates that a Personal Trainer is capable of taking initiative to develop quality programs that will use methods of research and investigation while developing your program. A certification indicates that a Personal Trainer is keeping current with trends in the fitness industry.

Watches Closely. Technique can make or break a client. A quality Personal Trainer watches a client closely to correct technique and body positioning, maintain safety and to watch for signs of overexertion.

Networks with Medical Professionals. A quality Personal Trainer DOES NOT act independently to treat sports injuries or recommend diets, drugs or supplements. When a client reports pain, there should always be a reference to obtaining the proper medical help from a physician. Ideally, a Personal Trainer who is helping someone return from a sports injury is working with a client who has seen an Orthopedic Specialist and a Physical Therapist or Chiropractor. Only a physician can diagnose medical problems and direct the most effective treatment plan. However, since Personal Trainers are often observing clients for greater time periods, they are often very effective in contributing to the diagnosis and treatment strategy. Whenever a diet, drug or supplement is discussed, a quality Personal Trainer will also recommend that proper medical help from a physician be obtained.

Programming. Programming can have many components: cardiovascular endurance, weight control, strength training, flexibility and sports specificity (coordination, speed, skill acquisition). A Personal Trainer adjusts the combinations according to your daily life activities, goals and needs. A personal trainer should always have an answer to why you’re doing something and what its working!

Evaluation/Assessment. When beginning a training program, a quality Personal Trainer will take you through an evaluation of current fitness statistics (aerobic capacity or maximum oxygen uptake, body composition, posture, blood pressure, etc.). Knowing how you rate, can help you understand where you are going with your goals and when you can expect to reach your goals. A quality Personal Trainer also knows risk factors, signs and symptoms that may bring a recommendation to visit a physician.

Stays Current. A quality Personal Trainer does not rush into every latest fitness fad or hype, but should stay current on new fitness information.

Keeps Personal Testimonial in Check. What's good for your trainer may or may not be good for you. Human bodies are as unique as they are similar. No two pairs of legs are exactly the same, except in identical twins. Bone length, knee angles, joint range of motion, muscle attachments are often different. Quality Personal Trainers will mention what works personally for themselves, but they should not be obsessed that their way is the only way to train. Watch out for Personal Trainers that don't give both sides (the advantages and disadvantages) to the science behind a training technique. Watch out for simplistic, short answers with scare tactics that don't teach the rationale of your program.

Upholds Communication. If your Personal Trainer doesn't listen to what you want, you might not get the program that addresses your needs. Likewise, if a Personal Trainer can't communicate effectively, you won't be able to understand what to do. Also, your trainer should motivate you by positive, not negative, reinforcement. A quality Personal Trainer will never make you feel inadequate or incompetent, but some discipline is necessary to keep sessions from turning into mostly chat and no work.

Has the Experience. A quality Personal Trainer must have the experience to bring a wealth of information to your program. There are no magical minimum years of experience, since some trainers have better organizational skills and pick up the routines faster than others. Most importantly, whatever the experience level, a Personal Trainer should not pretend to know everything. A good Personal Trainer will admit when they don't have an answer, but can follow through with good resources behind the scenes. These resources include speaking with other Personal Trainers, Health Professionals, looking up topics in their own Personal Library, or checking legitimate Internet sites.

Find someone you trust. When all is said and done, you have to get along with your Personal Trainer and trust your Personal Trainer. A quality Personal Trainer can adjust to most types of personalities and can advise according to individual learning styles. But, some Personal Trainers may have too much or too little personality for their clients.


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