Getting A Little Help From Your Fitness Friends

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Weights A few months ago I wrote a post titled, ‘Your Road to Fitness, or Dangerous Curves’. In it, I talked about personal trainers, how they get their credentials, what to watch out for and some suggestions on how to find a trainer that’s right for you.

I suspect that there are many trainers who come to their profession because they want to help people get fit. However, I suspect a significant percentage find their way to personal training because they have a more personal interest in fitness – their own. This isn’t to say there aren’t some really good, well qualified trainers out there, with the best intentions and a real empathy for the average Joe (or Jane), but I can’t help but surmise from what I’ve seen and experienced over the last 25 years that too many are focused on achieving their own super human body and a little less interested in figuring out what works and is best for their clients.

So, I think its worth mentioning again. Look for a trainer who understands you, one that understands your fitness needs and goals. One that understands the biological and endocrinological issues around women’s weight loss. Most importantly, find one that doesn’t make you feel guilty if you don’t want your body fat percentage to meet Olympic standards. Here are a few more things to think about when selecting a fitness trainer:

1. Is the trainer certified? There are many professional organizations which certify fitness trainers. Remember, some certifications are not that hard to acquire, so make sure you ask questions of the trainer and the gym you belong to.

2. Most universities offer degrees in exercise physiology and courses for those entering the field of fitness training. Ask what your gym requires in terms of their trainers and their training. It’s always a good idea to ask for references.

3. Although the gym is a place meant to get people healthy, it’s also a place where accidents can happen. Not to mention more serious events such as heart attacks. Is your trainer qualified to deal with these kinds of situations? Also check to see how clean your gym appears. How often do they clean equipment? Are members required to clean their equipment after they finish a work out? What measures are taken to prevent such nasty bugs as staph?

4. It’s important to like and respect the person who is going to help you through those inevitable moments of frustration and low motivation. Is this a person you’re going to enjoy spending time with? Do they make you feel confident and motivated? A good trainer will want to meet with you before they sign you up. They will take the time to ask questions of you, get to know what you want and need from your fitness experience and share their own fitness philosophy.

Source: ASCM

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