Finding the Best Certified Personal Fitness Trainer: What you need to know.

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Finding the Best Certified Personal Fitness Trainer: What you need to know.

Not all certified personal trainers are created equal. Hiring a certified personal trainer can be the best thing you've done for yourself in a long time. But hiring the wrong personal trainer can be a big waste of time and money, or worse, leave you injured. Outside of the fitness industry, most people are unfamiliar with what to look for in a certified personal trainer. What separates the best from the worst? And where can you get the most value for your money? Here's what you need to know.

Certification & Education

Did you know that to become a Certified Personal Trainer, you don't need a college degree? Most personal trainers take a weeklong course, study for a few weeks and take an exam. If they pass, they can then call themselves “certified.”

A smaller percentage for certified personal trainers in St. Louis have college degrees in Exercise Science, Kinesiology or other exercise major. This preparation can be an invaluable asset, especially if you need more specialized attention. i.e. those with chronic disease like Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis or those needing rehabilitation, etc.

For the same hourly fee you'd pay a certified personal trainer with no degree, you can hire one with a college degree. They can offer you the most value because they have an encyclopedia of knowledge on exercise and injury prevention, and can educate you on proper exercise and injury prevention, and can educate you on proper exercise form. Completing exercises with proper form means that you'll see faster results and won't get hurt in the process.

Most certified personal trainers do not possess college degrees in an exercise related field. That said, this doesn't mean those personal trainers can't deliver results. But if a certified personal trainer does not have a college or graduate degree in an exercise related field, look for years of experience and current client referrals. Do they live the philosophy? Do they appear healthy and in-shape? Have they worked with various types of clientele and more importantly, clients that have similar fitness goals to yours? Also, if you begin to get hurt post workouts – wrist, back, shoulder, or knee pain – and you've discussed this with your trainer with no improvement, consider a change.

At Evolution Fitness, all of our certified personal trainers have college degrees in an exercise related field or college degrees in non-exercise related fields with years of experience in personal training. All have a proven track record and outstanding references.

Other factors to consider include:

  • Professional Liability Insurance – be sure that any certified personal trainer you work with is insured.  You can ask to see a current Certificate of Insurance.  If one is not provided, consider other candidates.
  • Personality – do you feel comfortable with your potential trainer.  Is s/he attentive? Are they listening to your goals or are they pushing their goals on you? Are they asking for your feedback on soreness, whether an exercise feels right, whether the weight seems ok, whether an exercise is bothering a particular area of your body with a prior injury?  These types of questions demonstrate commitment to a client’s goals and wellbeing, and prevent injury.  If you begin training with someone, and they are spending time on their mobile phone, texting throughout your session, or carrying on conversation with others in the gym, consider finding another certified personal trainer.
  • Rates – The hourly rate you pay should be competitive.  Rates for personal training vary, depending on whether you decide to train at a facility, the quality of the facility, or if you are training in-home, where you are located.  The median range is usually between $65 and $75 per hour, with or without a college degree.  Be cautious when selecting inexpensive packages.  Many times, you will be paying a lesser amount per hour because you’ll be working with a certified personal trainer that neither has the experience nor the education. And while you may save a few dollars, you may end up injured or sacrifice results in exchange.

So shop around and compare candidates. Consider the trainer’s level of experience and education.  Observe your personal trainer.  Do they seem engaged or is their attention elsewhere?  Do they explain proper exercise form and correct you when needed?  Do they change your workout routine? Do they motivate you?  Are you getting hurt?  Or are you seeing results?  Answering these questions will help you find the right certified personal trainer and get you on your way to meeting your fitness goals safely.

Read 3589 times Last modified on Tuesday, 20 May 2014 19:48

Evolution Fitness

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