A personal trainer provides expert instruction, support, accountability, and motivation to help clients achieve their fitness goals. They assess a client’s current fitness level, take body measurements and discuss their goals to create an exercise training program for them. The trainer also instructs the client on the safe use of exercise equipment and provides them with a variety of exercises to help meet their goals. They work with a wide range of clients, from children to professional athletes.
When choosing a personal trainer, it’s important to find someone you can get along with and who is genuinely interested in helping you succeed. Look for a trainer with whom you feel comfortable communicating and ask about their background and experience. Find out how many years they’ve been in business, what other qualifications they have and whether they specialize in anything in particular. If you have a medical condition, such as a heart condition or diabetes, look for a trainer who is knowledgeable in these issues and can work with your doctor.
A good personal trainer should have a solid understanding of anatomy and exercise physiology, and how to apply that knowledge to developing a workout routine for a specific client. They should have a high school diploma or GED certificate, and be CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED)-certified. They should also have liability insurance and a copy of their policies and procedures for services, costs, cancellations and refunds.
While most personal training certification programs cover the basics of nutrition, exercise physiology and how to train the general population, some focus more heavily on specific areas, such as training elite athletes or working with people with special needs. An International Sports Sciences Association Personal Trainer Certification, for example, dives deeply into the body’s musculature and skeletal structure and how to build programs that maximize results while minimizing injuries.
Many trainers start out in the industry by working with a friend or family member before taking on paying clients. This can be a great way to gain the experience and confidence needed to become a successful trainer. It can also help to have a mentor who can guide you and offer insight into the business of training.
Once a personal trainer is established, they can choose to own their own gym or operate as an independent trainer. Many of these professionals pursue additional education and certification to become business coaches or even fitness nutritionists.
Before hiring a personal trainer, consider how many sessions per week you’re looking for and your trainer’s availability. A one-hour session will allow enough time for the trainer to perform a workout with you, take body measurements and talk about your goals and expectations. It should also give them a chance to explain their methodology and show you how they would approach your exercise program. A longer session allows them to incorporate the warm-up and cool-down portions of the workout, which are essential to preventing injury and providing feedback during the session. personal training