How To Choose The Best Personal Trainer

African American Black male personal trainer

( – A personal trainer has the potential to be either a great investment or a waste of money, so the decision should be made carefully.

While the right personal trainer can motivate you to reach your fitness goals, the wrong one can cause frustration and even be unqualified. Personal trainers can be found everywhere, but how do you know which one is best for your personal needs? Follow these simple guidelines to pick a personal trainer that is right for you:

Define your goals. Before you start looking, know what you’re looking to accomplish. Do you want to lose weight? Gain muscle? Become more flexible? Work on a certain problem area? Identifying your target goal will help narrow down your choices when you’re looking at hundreds of personal trainers — all with different kinds of specialties.

Check for a current certification. Once you start looking, make sure that your personal trainer is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).  This certification will give you the assurance that you are working with a professional who has demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to provide you with a safe and effective workout.

Do your research. Be sure to ask for references and testimonials.

Look for a partner. Talk to or meet with multiple trainers and see who you click with. The trainer you choose should be someone you like and who you think can genuinely help you achieve your fitness goals. Compatibility is key.

Don’t forget the fine print. Be sure to inquire about a trainer’s rates, training locations, liability insurance (especially because many trainers work as independent contractors and are not employees of a fitness facility) and billing policies — including session length and cancellation fees.

Know your body. Remember, this is all about you! Be sure to ask about the years of experience a trainer has working with clients. More importantly, ask about the trainer’s expertise working with individuals with your needs or limitations. If you have a medical condition or a past injury, a personal trainer should design a session that accounts for this. If you are under a doctor’s care, a personal trainer should gain your consent to discuss exercise concerns with your doctor, and should ask the doctor for a medical clearance.

Get a consultation. Most trainers will offer a free assessment or initial consultation. This allows you to meet the trainer, define your goals and ensure both trainer and trainee make a connection. Trainers must be in tune with your body, so it’s important that you feel comfortable and trust your trainer before beginning your program.

Use your resources. Lastly, use available tools that allow you to find personal trainers in your area. Online resources can allow you to search for personal trainers by zip code and view profiles, locations, rates, certifications, training philosophies, experiences and specializations.

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