Accepting the fact that you might need some help exercising is not an easy thing to do. Maybe you’ve never exercised and you’re not sure where to start. Maybe you’ve exercised before but you’re looking for something new. Maybe, you know exactly what you should do, but you just don’t have the drive to get it done. A personal trainer may be what you need, but how do you know which trainer is right for you?
First, a trainer must be qualified. Look for at least a 4-year degree in an exercise related field, i.e. exercise physiology, kinesiology, exercise science. Next, look for certifications from one of the major certifying bodies, NASM, ACE, NSCA, ACSM. I like NASM for training the general population. They focus on rehabilitative exercise and proper progressions, correcting muscle imbalances through exercise and other modalities.
Second, it’s important to understand that every trainer has a different style of training. One style is not necessarily right or wrong. Instead, a trainer’s style may be right or wrong for you. Some trainers are laid-back and let their clients push themselves while providing support and guidance. Some trainers are drill sergeants, pushing their clients to the limit each and every workout. Some trainers are both, depending on the client or on the client’s mental state. Always ask a trainer for a small package to begin with, so you can tell if a trainer’s style is right for you.
Third, ask your trainer questions. Ask them questions before you begin training with them, and keep asking once you’re with them on a regular basis. You should always question why a trainer is having you follow a certain exercise routine, or a certain nutrition program. Ask them about everything. A trainer should be trying their best to know everything, but be humble enough to admit when they don’t.
If a personal trainer is not right for you, seek the help of a coach or support group, like the S.P.E.E.D. Weight Loss Club.