edited by STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT
I found this particular article on the about.com site, and as it’s been written with a bias towards prudence when choosing a personal trainer, I thought it was quite apt. SM.
Why Use a Personal Trainer?
Everyone knows that regular exercise is the best way to lose weight, tone up the body and reduce unwanted fat. A well maintained exercise routine can also help reduce many health risks, including diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart disease. Fitness training also helps to build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints, can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, and reduces stress and increases energy.
No Time To Train?
Then why, if the benefits are so self-evident, isn’t everyone out there jogging or hitting the weights in order to achieve their fitness goals? Some of the excuses that people make are lack of commitment and motivation, busy lifestyle, lack of proper knowledge to safely and effectively exercise – all are warranted but all are easily overcome when employing the services of a personal trainer. A trainer acts as a guide and consultant, assisting clients in a variety of capacities to enable them to lead a healthier life. People who hire personal trainers are looking to optimize their invested time and effort, and minimize their risk.
Just Starting Out
If you’re just starting out, a personal trainer will put together a well-balanced fitness program, guiding you through each phase with step-by-step instruction, and giving you the requisite knowledge and tools needed to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle. For those just getting started, regular sessions with a personal trainer serve as the catalyst to incorporate exercise into a busy lifestyle.
Perhaps you already exercise regularly, but are not achieving the results you had hoped for. It’s common for the benefits of exercise to ‘plateau’ as your body becomes accustomed to an exercise program. When all the hard work and sweat are not having the desired effect it’s often hard to stay motivated. Employing the services of a personal trainer can ‘shake up’ your fitness regime by adding variety to your exercise program, re-focusing your goals, and providing you with that much-needed extra edge.
Everyone Can Benefit
Whether you’re young or old, a beginner or have worked out for years, the most effective way to achieve any fitness goal is to have a personal trainer guide, monitor and motivate you along the way. Personal trainers aren’t for everyone, but a trainer provides certain benefits that you can’t find when working out on your own. Here are ten reasons a personal trainer may be right for you.
One of the main reasons people benefit from a personal trainer is that they lose the motivation to stick with a consistent exercise program. Certified personal trainers can provide structure and accountability, and help you develop a lifestyle that encourages health.
2 Individualized program
If you have any chronic health conditions, injuries or training goals (running a marathon, for example) a trainer will work with you and your health care provider to plan a safe, efficient program that considers these needs and enable you to reach your health goals.
Personal Trainers help you focus on results and stop wasting your time doing inefficient workouts. A personal trainer has a plan and will help you get maximum results in minimum time.
4 Improve technical skills
If you play a particular sport, the right personal trainer will help you improve your skill by showing you new training techniques specific to your sport. The Trainer will incorporate skills training into your program so you improve not only your strength and endurance, but your agility and mental focus as well.
5 You are new to exercise
If you are an absolute beginner, a personal trainer is the ultimate fitness coach. A good trainer will introduce you to a very simple, effective routine and build efficiently so before you know it, you have the confidence and knowledge to decide what is right for yourself.
6 Break through plateaus
Ok, you are already in pretty decent shape, but you’ve been there for years. If you are stuck in the same routine and want to break out of a rut, a personal trainer is the perfect solution. A trainer will jump start, not only your motivation, but your routine as well.
7 Learn how to go it alone
If you ultimately want to learn all the facets of designing your own routines so you don’t need to use a personal trainer, going for a few months may be all you need. All good personal trainers will teach you the basics of building and modifying a fitness program to achieve maximum results.
8 Workout Safely
A personal trainer watches your form, monitors your vitals and can provide objective feedback about your limits and strengths. Most of us tend to ignore some of the subtle signals our body provides. We either push through pain or give up too soon. Because a personal trainer can watch what you are doing while you are doing it, they can help push you or slow you down as necessary.
9Workout at home
Many personal trainers make house calls. If you don’t have the type or interest in going to a gym, but have a hard time knowing what to do on your own at home, a personal trainer can bring fitness into your living room.
10 Lose Weight
There is a good reason that the number one reason people hire personal trainers is to lose weight and get into shape — it works. If you made a resolution to lose the fat and build the muscle, a trainer can keep you on track and help you realize that goal.
Before you hire a personal trainer you should ask the following questions:
What are your qualifications and certification?
A qualified personal trainer has an education in physiology, health promotion, athletic training, kinesiology or a similar field. They should have medic first aid and CPR certification as well as certification from an independant organization such as VTCT, YMCA, or similar.
Do you have liability insurance?
The answer should be yes.
What are your policies and procedures?
A personal trainer should have a documented policy explaining their services, costs, cancellations, length of contract, and emergency procedures. They should also require a medical clearance form to be completed before they work with you.
Finally, why use a personal trainer? Well, you should feel comfortable with the trainer, his/her style of communication and the expectations of your time together.