Will Your Personal Trainer Help You Achieve Your Goals?
Hiring a personal trainer can be a significant investment - even with hourly rates differing vastly across regions and countries - you are still paying a fair amount of money for the expert knowledge that will help you achieve your health and fitness goals and look after one of, if not, THE most important assets you have - your body.
So how should you choose a personal trainer and what are the things you need to look out for, ask them and receive from them?
First and foremost, you MUST ensure your personal trainer is fully and properly qualified. This means they should hold, at the very least, the following:
A CPR certification - if you do have any accidents or problems your personal trainer must know how to deal with them and ensure your safety to the best of their ability.
A recognised personal training qualification - this obviously differs from country to country and there are only a few internationally-recognised qualifications. Most countries have a self-regulating body - in the UK this is REPS (the Register of Exercise Professionals) and you should ensure your personal trainer is registered here before you even consider hiring them. If in doubt, ask your trainer which qualifications they have - most won't be offended but will be keen to show them off.
Once you are satisfied they hold the necessary qualifications, here are a few pointers to look out for. A 'good' versus a 'bad' personal trainer should:
1. Carry out initial health & fitness assessments. You should be asked to complete a PAR-Q (Physical Activity Readiness questionnaire) at a minimum and your trainer should perform some basic tests such as weight, blood pressure, perhaps body composition, girth measurements, lung capacity and aerobic fitness or strength. This is essential if you want to know whether what you've paid them has been worth it - if you can't see the progress or differences working with a trainer has made because they forgot to measure a baseline when you started with them, then although you may feel fitter, slimmer or stronger you won't have hard facts & figures to prove it.
2. Discuss your goals with you and adjust any unrealistic expectations you may have. To get your business, a trainer may promise that you will lose half a stone of fat in 2 weeks or you'll get the body of your dreams in a month even though you've never exercised before and are 3 stone overweight - this does you no good. You will have unrealistic expectations & goals from the outset and will be much more likely to become de-motivated & disillusioned when you realise you haven't lost a stone in a week. Whilst a good trainer will not discourage you from your ultimate goals, they should at least educate you on the realistic progressions you are likely to make.
3. Design a programme that is tailored especially to your needs and your body. This may sound obvious but I have seen plenty of trainers run through identical training sessions with every one of their clients. This ties in with the first point - if they haven't completed assessments & initial tests on you, then they won't know what your individual needs are. You are paying them to provide you with a fully customised service - that's why it's called 'personal'.
4. Track your progress at every session - you may not see them carrying a clipboard or doing this during the session but your trainer should know when they need to adjust your programme and what adjustments to make. If they've been winging your sessions and haven't been planning & tracking your progress, how will they know what adjustments to make after a few weeks?
5. Show you how to exercise safely & correctly - again this may seem a given but if your trainer gives you a programme and then just leaves you to it, they are putting you at risk and not only will you probably struggle to achieve your goals without their attention, you may even injure yourself. Similarly, even if they are supervising you, they should constantly be giving you tips, adjustments or even just positive affirmations that you are performing your exercises correctly - not watching the sport on TV or chatting to other staff & clients.
6. Advise you on your diet & nutrition. Exercise is only part of the equation - a good personal trainer will ensure they are also taking a look at your dietary needs to compliment your training programme and ensure you are eating the right things, at the right times to achieve your goals.
All of the above are nothing however, if you don't actually get on with your personal trainer! They may be the most highly qualified person you can find - but if spending an hour with them (sometimes 3 times a week) is like spending an hour in the dentist's chair or worse, then you probably aren't going to get the full benefit of working with a trainer. They don't have to be your best buddy, just ensure that you feel comfortable with them, can trust them and that you do enjoy your sessions - in a masochistic kind of way!
Lea Woodward is a qualified personal trainer and director of activOne ltd in the UK. activOne provides personal training, diet & nutrition advice and massage therapy to private clients & corporate wellbeing services in the UK as well as virtual training to clients worldwide. Check out the website http://www.activone.co.uk or http://www.activone.com
6 Things A Norwegian Fable Teaches Us About Healthy Perseverance Part 1
Author, H. Besser, in his book, "Perseverance:How To Develop It," shares a Norwegian fable about a man who left his hometown to rejoinhis fiancée.
Weight Loss, Bodybuilding, and Exercise Tips - Keeping Your Body-fat Low: Part 2 of 10
My name is Greg Ryan. I am a fitness expert, professional bodybuilder, personal, trainer to movie stars, former employee of Kathy Smith and over 50, 000 hours of paid personal training sessions under my belt.
Overcoming Resistance to Exercise
Are You Destined to Sit on the Couch?If someone mentions exercise do you think, "I hate to exercise. There's no way I'm doing that.
The History of Pilates - It All Began With One Sickly Child
A look into the history of Pilates helps you understand the tremendous power that this form of exercise has to help strengthen and transform your body. Unlike yoga, which has a tradition that goes back thousands of years, one individual developed the Pilates Method at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Bodybuilding, Weight Loss, and Exercise Tips - Goal Setting for Long Term Results
My name is Greg Ryan. I am a fitness expert, professional bodybuilder, personal trainer to movie stars, former employee of Kathy Smith and have over 50,000 hours of paid personal training sessions under my belt.
10 User Friendly Habits for Successful Home Gym Training
Are you dissatisfied with your current training program? Are you not achieving the results you had hoped for when you started training? If you are you stuck on a fitness plateau and are in need of some tips on how to start seeing progress then keep reading.I am sure you want to see results from your training program (why would you do it if you didn't want to see results, right?).
Should You Train Before Bedtime?
A Japanese study found that if you exercise at night you will be less tired the next day. Apparently it increases testosterone levels.
Try Different Forms of Exercise for Success
If you have always used free weights, then switch it up and try training with machines like "Hammer Strength" or "Nautilus". These are excellent weight resistance machines and they will really work your muscles from different angles and different intensities.
Bodybuilding Training Tips - To be a Champion!
Twenty two years ago I fell into the world of bodybuilding by accident. I had absolutely no discipline, determination or confidence in myself.
Weight Loss and Fitness - Facts not Fiction
The world of weight loss and fitness is certainly vast, and theAmerican consumer can absolutely get lost in the thousands ofeasy effortless and ostly useless ads if not careful. With mybooks and research I want to clear the air about the variousmyths and false statements regarding our health and fitness thathave clearly muddied the waters for many Americans.
Exercise: How To Keep Your Kids Moovin and Groovin
One out of five American kids is obese and the numbers keep going up. Lack of exercise is one reason for the obesity epidemic and it's a true epidemic that threatens health.
Avoid These Top 5 Workout Myths
Do you know the health and fitness industry is plagued by an over abundance of workout myths? A myth is a fiction or half truth, especially one that forms part of an ideology. Rob tells Jen about a new fitness program that is suppose to deliver amazing results; Jen tells Ted, and Ted then tells Pam, but only half of what Rob said.
How to Supercharge Your Energy Levels through Exercise
Your energy levels will depend on several factors, including genetics, nutrition, sleep habits, and emotional stress. Some of these you have no control over But there is one VERY important factor that you do have control over and that is your ability to take part in physical exercise.
How to Choose a Good Jogging Stroller
If you lead an active lifestyle and you want to include your new family additions in your outdoor activity then you need to consider getting yourself a good jogging stroller.Choosing a jogging stroller can be like trying to decide on what car to buy.
Exercise - Anxiety & Panic
Yes, all I'm afraid this does play a part in reducing anxiety and depression. As much as you may not like doing it (I've never been a huge fan of it myself) but once you get into it, you certainly feel better for it afterwards.
When Exercising Right Looks Wrong III (Back)
Hopefully, if you read my last article I got you thinking. Thinking about different ways to train, not necessarily using machines, but using your entire body with each exercise.
The Truth about Spot Reduction
At any point, we can pick up the latest fitness magazine or see a television ad for the newest "abdominal reducer" exercise. These gimmicks are feeding on society's obsession with a "six pack" and everyone is searching for the answer to lose those love handles.
Working Out - Its Good For You
When we think about the life in the country, there is always something rosy about it. What is it that the people in the country have that we do not? When you ponder about it you find that those lucky souls eat good food, they work really hard, by work I mean real physical work and they have good night's sleep.
The exercise program you choose depends entirely on your fitness goals. The exercises you will be doing and the approach you take in performing these exercises will depend on whether you wish to gain muscle and strength, tone and lose weight or just stay in shape and be healthy.
Different Exercises Schedule to Combat Hypertension, Obesity, and Asthma!
Different Health Problems generally do not allow us to do traditional exercises. Above all, one type of exercise cant be effective to each group facing different challenges.