Personal trainers abound in nearly every urban area now, but which one is right for you? Pick up the local paper, check the online classifieds, even pop into your neighborhood gym and you'll find dozens of people who promise you results -- they'll slim your waistline, bulge your muscles, drop you a dress size.
However, there are National Board standards and processes for certification that personal trainers can go through -- but they don't have to. Anyone can throw out his or her shingle and say that he is a personal trainer, but is that what you really want? Make sure to ask if they are nationally certified. This national certification ensures your trainer has taken classes in exercise physiology. They are required to know the body, required to know what exercises work what muscle, and in return, what exercises might hurt you if you, say, have a bad back.
What should I ask a personal trainer?
Ask to see a personal trainer’s qualifications and references. A certified trainer will be more than happy to show you. Even if the trainer is not certified, the ability to present references might be enough to assure this person knows what they are doing.
Also, beware of gyms that have trainers on staff who are not fully qualified. Some gyms do not require any experience at all for their trainers. These trainers are sometimes hourly workers given shirts that say “Trainer” on the back, but who are not required to have trained a single person or have certification as a trainer. They may have experience, but those qualifications are not always required. Some national gym chains do require certification by the National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT), among others.
All in all, the best advice on choosing a personal trainer is to meet with him or her, ask about qualifications and references, and go through a sample workout. Most trainers will sit down with you to discuss your goals and then will design a plan. If you don't find this on your initial consultation, you might want to find another trainer.
Also, oftentimes, personal trainers will have some background in nutrition as well and can help clients come up with healthy eating plans. As you know, it is diet and exercise that really get the best results.
Which certifications should a personal trainer have?
There are several schools and courses that give trainers their certification, but the NFPT is one of the most recognized. If a facility requires certification, most note that this body is the one they look for first. The NFPT has rigorous courses and a comprehensive test that students must pass in order to get their certificate. The classes aren't cheap, so it’s fair to say a person has to be serious to go through with the program.
However, it's not all about certifications and paper. You want a personal trainer that goes beyond "the job," one that cares about your health, and one that will push, motivate you and support you.
If you are looking for an Amarillo personal trainer, contact Ralph Roberts. Ralph is a nationally certified fitness trainer (CFT) through the ISSA and has attended many national fitness conferences and seminars so he can stay up-to-date on exercises, trends and advances in fitness and health. Ralph works with a variety of clients, men, women and teenagers, athletes and non-athletes. He truly cares about all of his clients, and he can work with you so you can meet your fitness goals.
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