How do I choose a personal trainer?

You’ve joined a gym, you’ve kept your promise to yourself to make your health a priority, yet you find yourself getting bored with doing 45 minutes on the elliptical 4 times per week. You’ve seen the selectorized equipment and the cables and have even ventured into the free weight area, only to feel overwhelmed and return to the safe cardio section.

What to do?

How about a personal trainer?

What better way to introduce yourself to the plethora of options in the realm of strength training, core training, functional training, you name it and there’s a trainer, coach, or instructor out there who can help you.

But how do you tell if the fitness professional you’re considering hiring is worth it? Or, possibly even more importantly, if they know what they’re doing and can get you to your goals effectively (not to mention safely)!

Are they certified through a reputable organization? Unfortunately, simply stating that one is ‘certified’ doesn’t mean much these days. There are ‘certifications’ that one can earn simply by ordering a workbook from the back of a fitness magazine, filling out a simple multiple-choice Q&A and sending in some cash! Look for ACSM, NASM and NSCA Certifications.

Do they at least have a BS in Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology or something related to fitness?

If your friend has a trainer he or she loves, check out that one. Often, word of mouth is the best way of learning about the best-kept secret!

That way, you’re not committed to weeks or months of working with someone unqualified or someone who simply is not a good match for you.

The bottom line is that you’ve got to find someone who’s not only qualified, but who you get along well with. It is, after all, personal!