Guide to Choosing a Fitness Trainer

Written by Joan Price

Success in finding a personal trainer.Advice from fitness expert Joan Price.certifications and qualifications of good fitness trainers 

"Personal trainer." Do these words make you shudder with an image of a sweaty, sadistic gym rat barking orders in your ear and forcing you to do pushups until your tears stain the mat?

Let go of that outdated image. A personal trainer can help you make fitness gains more effectively and quickly than if you were working out on your own

Trainer Advice
Pick a Trainer who you know will motivate you.
Choose a trainer who listens to you and your goals.
Check a trainer's certification and education. They should know about injury prevention and exercise science.
Check out a trainer's certification on the web.
Your trainer should come across as professional
Painless Workout Advice  
"A good personal trainer is more than just a repetition counter," says Tony Rodriguez, head coach at A trainer will set you up with a personalized exercise program based on realistic goals; teach you proper form, skills, and technique; track your progress, and tweak your program so you keep progressing.

Rather than a strict taskmaster, a good personal trainer will be your cheerleader, motivating you to stick to your program and patiently moving you past personal roadblocks.

A trainer will cost you from $40 to $100 a session, depending on your location (big cities and resorts are higher) and your trainer's reputation, education, experience and availability.

More than a financial investment, working with a personal trainer is an investment of your time and self-esteem, so it's important to choose one who's right for you.

Check their credentials.

A professional trainer should have a four-year degree in a fitness-related field, or be certified by a major organization, such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Council on Exercise (ACE), or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
Certification from a major organization means that the trainer has been tested on knowledge of exercise science, health screening, instructional methodology and injury prevention. These certifications also require continuing education and CPR training.

There are plenty of good certifications, but there are others with lower requirements, such as taking a weekend workshop or a brief correspondence course. It isn't enough that a trainer is "certified." Find out which certification and what it means.

If the trainer has a certification that you don't recognize, ask what she or he had to do to get it, and look it up on the Web.

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