The role of a personal trainer is to help their clients achieve the best results possible for whatever their primary fitness goal may be. From professional athletes to someone just starting out, personal training can help you maximize your time spent with a safe and well-structured routine, designed exclusively for you.
Most people who work out spend years attending the gym, with minimal results. I know, because I’ve seen them. They may be very dedicated, but the results just don’t seem to match the time spent. There are lots of reasons this happens, and a qualified personal trainer should be able to identify what needs to be done to help break any plateau that may have developed.
Each client will have their own personal fitness goal, requiring a customized routine. Obviously, an overweight client wanting to shed 30 lbs will require a different approach than a skinny guy trying to add 10 lbs of muscle. It’s your personal trainer’s job to design a routine for you that will give you safe results in the shortest amount of time.
Here Are Some Benefits You Should Expect From A Personal Trainer
- Motivation and accountability
- A structured schedule
- A customized exercise routine
- Dietary advice
- Learning proper form and technique
- Forced reps, increased intensity
- Optimized effort for time spent
- Loss of body fat
- Increased lean muscle
- Improved flexibility
- Improved endurance
- Better balance and coordination
- Maximized body shaping results
What To Look For In A Personal Trainer
Qualified personal trainers should have one or more of the following credentials: a 4 year degree in either a nutritional, medical, or fitness field; an accredited certificate from a nationally recognized personal training institution; and at least 3 years of a personal training background. These requirements will seem lax to some, or even unnecessary to others, but the fact is that fitness training can cover a wide range of areas, and I have known outstanding personal trainers with minimal credentials who were very dedicated to their clients.
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I’ve listed below some questions to ask and things to consider before hiring:
Contracts and fees:
It needs to be in your price range for sure, and there should be a discount for any contract longer than 4 weeks. Maybe they’ll have an introductory special to let you try them out. Whatever the case, don’t accept a contract that will not allow you to cancel at any time.
Be sure that you understand the full scope of services for the fee you’re paying. Dietary advice, progress charts, length of workout, etc.
Ask for a list of clients or referrals before committing. Nothing worse than finding out 3 weeks into your program that your trainer has an evil twin to contend with…
Your trainer should have an exercise and fitness philosophy that mirrors yours. There’s no sense in hiring the personal trainer for the next Mr. Universe if you’re trying to lose fat and gain tone.
I mentioned this earlier, and it should be on your list to ask. There are many gifted and talented instructors out there without 4 year degrees, but they should definitely have a specialized certificate for personal training.
What If A Personal Trainer Just Isn’t For Me?
If you think you could benefit from a personal trainer but it’s just not an option, consider getting a workout partner. A workout partner can actually give you many of the same benefits you would get from hiring a personal trainer; excluding, of course, the expert advice and professionally designed training routine.
But, if hiring a pro just isn’t in the cards, chances are your gym owner or manager will probably help you and your buddy get on the right track, with a basic but very effective workout plan for the two of you. The commitment you make to each other will give you accountability, motivation and intensity if you are both serious. Not to mention, it could be a lot of fun at the same time!