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Splurge on your Personal Trainer for Best Results

When you’re looking for help reaching elusive fitness and health goals, hiring a personal trainer is an obvious starting point but be selective and invest in one with the proper education and experience.

Whether you’re working for improved overall health or addressing a specific need like rehab from an injury or training for a marathon, the right one will get you where you need to go much more quickly and safely.

At minimum, a trainer should provide health and fitness assessments, a training plan built around your abilities and goals, workouts in either a gym, home or workplace setting with supervision for proper form, and nutrition plans. They act as your training partner.

What else to look for:

Education/certification

There is no standardized credential for personal trainers, but keep an eye out for those certified by such reputable organizations as the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise or the International Sports Sciences Association.

Beyond that you can narrow the field further by prioritizing candidates with an associate or bachelor’s degree in exercise science, physical education, kinesiology or a related field.

Experience

You shouldn’t just consider the number of years they’ve been in the field, but the kind of clients they’ve had.

Seek out those who have worked with people at the same fitness level and with generally the same goals as you — referrals can be a great way to track these people down. Certifications and degrees aren’t always correlated to the right trainer for you, so look at the whole person.

Motivational style

One of your trainer’s main functions is to motivate you and not just because you’re paying them and meeting at a specific time.

They should motivate you while you’re together through encouragement, constructive comments and inspiration to push yourself beyond your previous limits.

This can be hard to ascertain before you start, but talking with them ahead of time can signal whether you’re dealing with a drill sergeant or nurturing teacher — know which approach works best for you.

Communication

Your trainer should be an excellent communicator, able to clearly explain every exercise and why you’re doing it. They need to be approachable enough for you to ask any question you want and personable for you to want to hang out with them.

It should be clear they’re focused on your current fitness level and helping you progress in the most efficient way possible.

Commitment

Find a trainer who strives to improve beyond just keeping their certification up to date (usually every two years). You want someone genuinely curious about new developments in the field and how to incorporate them into their sessions with clients.

They should be dedicated to learning more about you and your goals rather than assuming they know everything. Your trainer needs to consistently introduce new exercises that help you progress toward your goal.

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