Everyone has seen personal trainers and fitness professionals around. Maybe you seem them at the gym, on the beach, or at the grocery store but what is the difference between them and is one better than the other? Do they all have the same experience and certifications? NO. Not all fitness professionals are created equal.
I HIGHLY suggest looking into a fitness professional if you haven't already, but I caution you to do it wisely. The fitness industry is a booming industry. This is great for our economy but can cost you a lot of money and time if you don't choose the right one. Training is growing exponentially and some fitness professionals are more qualified than others. I am going to tell you what to look for when choosing a fitness professional.
1) Do your research!!! Make sure the fitness professional that you are going to work with is QUALIFIED! Legally in Illinois, personal trainers do not have to be certified to personal train. You MUST make sure your trainer has his/her certification for your own safety. Don't be afraid to ask.
2) What certification do they have? This actually matters! There are so many certifications for personal training that the value of them can be watered down. However, there are a handful of reputable certifications. I personally would ONLY train with trainers who hold a certification in either, NASM, ACSM, ACE, NSCA, AFPA, NPTI, or ISSA.
3) Do they have a degree in a related field? Has your trainer studied kinesiology? Do they know their anatomy? I teach personal training to trainees and I ALWAYS stress continued education. Not only do trainers need this to keep their certifications current, but it keeps them on top of their industry.
4) Specialties? Most trainers should have something they specialize in. You want someone to be passionate about something in the field, and this will set them apart from other trainers.
5) They may have all the certifications in the world, but can they actually train? Before starting with a trainer, take some time to observe them from afar. How do they act with other clients? Are they attentive? Do they seem to know what they are doing? Can they think on their feet if something goes wrong? Are they creative? Is the client "enjoying" themselves? All these are good things to pay attention to.
6) Last but not least, does the trainer take care of themselves? I know this sounds superficial, but if you are going to spend the money for someone to tell you what to do with your body, they better be practicing what they preach!!! It is OK to ask your trainer if they workout and what they do to stay on top of their personal health and fitness.
I highly suggest trying a fitness professional out, but just be careful about WHO you pick. Trainers can help you increase your fitness performance, change your body composition and take you to a new level mentally and physically. Always communicate with your trainer and tell them how you feel - we are not mind readers! Let us know how your fitness experiences have gone with trainers!
In good health,
Cristina Walterman, owner of CW Physique, let's you in on fitness and nutrition tips, recipes, exercises and much more. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, she loves to inspire and motivate individuals. She always practices what she preaches and leads by example.