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What to Look for in a Trainer


So you found someone you ‘d like to train you… how do you know if he/she is qualified? Here are some general guidelines for your safety….

Check for certification. Your trainer should be certified by at least one nationally recognized organization, such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) or the National Strength and Conditioning Council (NSCC).

Make sure that they are also certified in CPR training and first aid. Also, that they are insured.

You also want to know what kind of training style they have… what kinds of training and motivational techniques they will incorporate and use to help you reach your goals. 

You want to know what kind of plan they will develop for you… and more importantly, how often they will change it up for you. A good trainer will change it up every 3-4 weeks. 

You also want to know if they have any current clients that you can contact as a reference. 

You want to know what you can realistically expect as far as results from your trainer, and in what time frame.

Also, know what YOU WANT... I always wanted to get to a point of competing, which was MY goal… and whatever YOUR goal is, you have to find the right trainer to get you where you want to be. The key is that you need to know what you want. Be specific and communicate with your trainer what those goals are. Let them help you set a realistic time frame for meeting those goals too. Your time frame may not be all that doable. Also, pick someone to train with that has a similar body type to yours, and similar interests. If you like biking and would like to do a century bike ride (100 mile ride), then find a trainer that also bikes in his/her spare time. If you want to do a triathalon, then find a trainer that has done them as well. A bodybuilder will probably not be able to effectively train you for a marathon any more than a marathon runner can train you for a bodybuilding show.

Some ask about trainers of the same sex or opposite sex. That is entirely up to you and what you are comfortable with. Some women only want other women trainers, while other women like having men trainers. 

Regardless of your goals and preferences, it is imperative to find a trainer that you really connect with, that pushes you hard and brings out things in you that you didn’t know you were capable of….