Wednesday, December 10, 2008


When do I know it's time to hire a Personal Trainer & How do I find the right one for me?

In my job as a personal trainer, I have found a common theme, many people start looking for a trainer after they have lost all motivation to workout on their own. However, this new burst of motivation to get back in-shape usually arrives when they have some event approaching where they need to look their best: reunion, wedding, summer vacation where they will be sporting a bikini or back in the dating arena.

They are now ready for change. They want to be leaner, lighter, healthier, stronger, fitter, more energized or even sexier.

If your goal is to shape up, then you have a multitude of choices and options as to how you might approach the getting in-shape process. However, everyone knows starting an exercise program isn't always easy and sticking to one is even more difficult.

That is why in the city that never sleeps, everyone from new moms to busy executives are relying on personal trainers to help get them in tip top shape. A trainer can provide education, motivation, structure and accountability. But how do you find the right trainer for you?

The best way to find a quality trainer is by referral. If you have a friend who is getting great results with their trainer, then start by asking who their trainer is. Another way to find a trainer is through your gym. In fact, most gyms offer you one free personal training session when you sign up for a membership. Take advantage of this opportunity and you might find that you like the trainer you have been assigned.

Don't be shy to try multiple personal trainers at the beginning to ensure you find the best fit. Since training is a one-on-one relationship, make sure you find a trainer who you are comfortable with in terms of style of working together and level of effort with which they are going to push you. When you are at the gym, observe the behavior of the personal trainers who are working with other clients. Are they on their cell phone, looking around or constantly chatting with their client or other members. Obviously this is not the personal trainer who is going to provide you with the level of service to get you the results you want. Try and find a trainer who is completely devoted to their client by constantly watching their client’s form and providing the right amount of encouragement. You can also ask other members at your gym who you see working with a personal trainer if they like their personal trainer and about their trainer’s style.

Once you have found a trainer who will motivate and encourage you, make sure they are appropriately certified, experienced, insured, competent, professional and that they have good teaching and communication skills.

Good trainers come in all shapes and sizes. A male trainer who has huge muscles or a female trainer who is a size zero does not necessarily indicate they are better trainers. Sport's Medicine expert, Nicholas DiNubile, from the University of Pennsylvania warns some personal trainer's appearance can be deceiving. "If you look good, people assume you know what you are doing. And that's not necessarily true, you could be gifted genetically…". Just make sure you find a trainer that practices what they preach.

Now don't wait for the motivation to kick in. When you lack motivation (and you will because you are human), take yourself to the gym anyway or start your search to find a personal trainer that's right for you.

Laura Foss


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