Six Important Things to Contemplate When Hiring a Personal Trainer
Personal training has become the fastest growing aspect of the fitness industry. Much of this is due to the hectic nature of our lives today. We have little time to ourselves, and we need convenience, motivation, accountability and safety in our workouts. Personal trainers are the ideal professionals to help create and monitor exercise programs that can assist you in reaching your wellness goals; but how do you know that the trainer you hire is qualified and experienced? How do you know that the relationship between you and your trainer will be the right one for you?
Before you hire a personal fitness trainer, make sure that you have all the answers to these six compelling questions.
1. Is the personal trainer certified, or does he/she have a college degree in a related field?
Personal training has come a long way from the days when "gym rats" morphed into trainers. Every trainer must have at least a comprehensive certification. But beware. There are many correspondence courses which certify personal trainers—these are not generally acceptable. Your personal trainer's certification should include scientific and practical testing and should have required extensive studying. Luckily, this field has now become very popular, and many top-notch schools of personal training have developed into extremely rigorous and professional programs.
2. Does the personal trainer have years of experience with clients like you?
Extensive experience along with a certification or degree is a must, but it is also a great idea to ensure that your trainer has trained clients specifically like you with needs like those your attempting to address. Don't hire a personal trainer that specializes in working with bodybuilders if you are a 50-year-old non-exerciser and are looking for some weight loss, functional training and strengthening.
3. Does the personal trainer educate himself/herself on a regular basis?
All certifications require that the trainer take continuing education courses to maintain their personal trainer certification, but your trainer should also be excited about furthering their education and researching the latest exercise and medical information on their own. Learning the latest information and techniques should be a joy, not just a requirement.
4. Does the personal trainer take a careful medical history and perform evaluative tests to assess your health and fitness status prior to beginning your training?
All trainers should get robust wellness metrics for each client prior to your training relationship. You will know that you have a qualified trainer if they engage in a comprehensive wellness assessment with you and then take the time to review the findings. A comprehensive assessment will include at least all of the following metrics: First, your trainer should have you fill out a clear medical, exercise and nutritional history. Second, your trainer should administer a number of pre-exercise evaluations such as postural assessments, flexibility testing, body composition, cardiovascular efficiency, body fat percentage, circumference measurements, and more. Finally, your trainer should help you set specific goals and offer a nutritional Q&A since nutrition is 85% of all healthy weight loss. Without these, you cannot be sure your program will be safe and effective and there will be no way to assess your progress.
5. Are you willing and able to make the necessary lifestyle changes the trainer will ask of you?
So often when hiring a personal trainer, many clients forget the most important factor: their personal commitment to a positive lifestyle change. In fact, positive, sustained change can often be challenging and inconvenient, so prior to hiring a personal trainer you must "count the cost" and ask some difficult questions. You can begin by asking yourself a few simple questions similar to those I have listed here. Do you hate exercise? Are you unwilling to eat fruits and vegetables and give up or cut back greatly on donuts and beer? Are you willing to eat less calories each day if it is determined as a necessary component of your program? Are you dedicated to physical movement at least some part of every day? If your answers to the questions listed above are mostly in the "No" category, then you are not ready to hire a personal trainer just yet. Remember, NO ONE can make you change unless YOU are ready, willing and able.
6. Have you seen your physician for a recent medical physical and for an exercise clearance?
You should never start a new exercise program without visiting your physician to check in and get an evaluation. Yes, do your homework first—see your doctor to ensure that your exercise program will be beneficial and not counterproductive by injuring you or causing further injury or illness.
About Nolan Ferraro, Owner, Salire Fitness and Wellness
Certified personal trainer and licensed wellness coach Nolan Ferraro has been recognized as the #1 Best Personal Trainer in New Orleans.
Nolan counts Chef Susan Spicer among the thousands of New Orleanians who have gotten in shape with Salire's Private Personal Training and high-impact fitness Boot camp programs like "Power in the Park", a month-long cross-training boot camp in City Park. He has also added a new high intensity interval training class, Body Blitz, at his studio.
Visit www.salirefitness.com for more information on Nolan and Salire Fitness & Wellness.