personal trainer used to seem an expense of time and money
reserved for the rich and famous.
with so much emphasis on healthful living and an array of
training options, even everyday workout warriors are going the
trainer has never been easier. Most gyms have trainers on staff,
as do many companies as part of their employee wellness
programs. There are also private practice fitness experts who
will come to your home or gym to coach you. And apps such as
"Find Your Trainer" serve as matchmakers between you
and local trainers.
To get the
most out of your investment, do some legwork before you get
started. Here are some tips, from Lisa Ferguson-Stegall, an
exercise physiologist and assistant professor of biology at
Hamline University, on how to find the right trainer for you:
their credentials. Qualifications vary widely among personal
trainers, so ask what certifications a trainer has and whether
they’ve stayed current with their training. The four main
national accreditation organizations are: American College of
Sports Medicine; National Strength and Conditioning Association;
American Council on Exercise, and National Academy of Sports
Medicine. "If you see someone with one of these, you know
that person has had proper training," Ferguson-Stegall
said, noting that all of these groups require at least a
bachelor’s degree in exercise science.
about coaching style. "The key word in personal trainer is
the ‘person’ part," Ferguson-Stegall said. Determining
whether a trainer’s personality meshes with your own is
crucial. Some trainers take a stern approach while others use
encouragement to affirm and motivate clients. "Personally,
I wouldn’t want someone screaming in my face like boot camp,
but for some people, that motivates them," she said.
about your goals. Do you want to lose weight? Are you looking
for someone to help you train for your first marathon?
Identifying your goals will help you find a trainer with the
expertise you need to accomplish them. The high school athlete
looking for help training for a race has different needs than a
60-year-old who has not been exercising regularly and wants to
start working out for better health, Ferguson-Stegall said.
down. Generally, it will cost you less for personal training
sessions at a gym where you already have a membership. For some
people, just meeting with a trainer a few times to talk about
their goals and get on the right track is enough. That’s a
nice compromise that allows you to receive technical help in
making a good fitness plan without having to invest in more
training sessions than you need, Ferguson-Stegall said.