by Written by Amanda Hagel
Have you ever hired a personal trainer before? Have you thought about doing it but aren’t sure what to look for? In the world of health and wellness, personal trainers also known as personal fitness coaches, have become a valuable asset to those looking to improve health and state of wellness. You may not know where to begin, how to fit and exercise plan in to your already busy schedule or you may have become unmotivated and frustrated with your current fitness routine. Whatever the reason, a properly certified, experienced and professional personal trainer will be able to guide and motivate you every step of the way. Here are some very specific guidelines to follow when choosing the right personal trainer!
Credentials and Certifications
It is imperative that the PT you hire has up to date certification in the health and wellness industry. I know firsthand that online courses for personal training do exist but this does not necessarily mean the individual has the practical experience or an appropriate educational background to properly prescribe fitness routines. All kinds of fancy letters behind a name are great for show but it’s your right to ask what these letters mean and request to see up to date proof of certification. The ones you see on many health professionals office walls. Look for nationally recognized educational bodies like CSEP (Canadian society of exercise physiology) or Can Fit PRO (Canadian Fitness Professionals) in Canada. These organizations have programs that require both written and practical testing methods to ensure those who become certified as trainers are ready to begin working with potential clients.
Experience and Background
This may be an obvious observation but does the PT you are looking at hiring “walk the walk” and not just “talk the talk”? In other words does he or she exercise regularly and practice good lifestyle habits? My personal attitude towards exercise prescription is I will never prescribe exercise routines to individuals I haven’t first tried myself. Personal experience goes a long way! Another important area to look for is the extra education and courses the trainer has participated in. Examples would be things like bosu ball training,TRX training, kettle bell, functional fitness courses, nutritional courses, older adult fitness and even sports and activities the PT enjoys on a personal level. This tells you that the PT is not only educated but has a personal and invested interest in certain areas.
The Power of Observation
I’ve had many clients over the years tell me they chose to hire me as a trainer after observing me either working with a client or exercising on my own. This is where I’ll say it’s okay to “creep” on someone at a fitness club. Pay close attention to how they interact with clients and others around them. Do they look and act like a professional should? I’ll say just for the record that it’s not okay for a trainer to be on his/her smart phone while with a client. Ask other people who have hired the personal trainer what kind of experience they had. Positive referrals are the best way to ensure you are going to be hiring someone who you can trust and learn from.