As an ACE-certified personal trainer, I’ve worked with many different clients. While I’m certainly qualified to assist a variety of individuals, the truth is that I’m not the right trainer for everyone. No trainer is, and that’s ok! There are many different types of personal trainers with various specialties. While I specialize in weight loss and general fitness, other trainers have a passion for working with athletes, senior citizens, body builders, or figure competitors, just to name a few. It’s my belief that every client has a “perfect match” – that trainer who understands their issues and makes them feel comfortable. When you’re looking to select your personal trainer, these are some factors to consider. They’re sure to help you find your “perfect match.”

Specialties Are Important As You Select Your Personal Trainer

The first factor to consider when selecting your personal trainer is a personal trainer’s specialty. It’s important that your chosen trainer is well-equipped to help you meet your goals. For example, if you want to compete in a bodybuilding competition, a trainer who specializes in weight loss would not be the right fit for you. Don’t be afraid to ask personal trainers about their areas of interest and track record. Ask them how they’ve helped clients with similar goals and characteristics. A good personal trainer will have a proven record of success and the ability to explain how they’ve helped clients reach their goals.

Certifications Are A Must-Have

It’s important to find a personal trainer who is certified by a reliable, NCCA-accredited organization. Some of the more well-known personal training certification organizations are: the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA), and the National Federation for Professional Trainers (NFPT). Many of these organizations have informative websites where you can search for certified trainers in your area.

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Depending upon your goals and interests, you may also need a trainer with additional certifications. For example, if you want to learn more about yoga or kettlebell training, it’s important to find a trainer who has additional education in these specialties, as these modalities are not covered by a basic personal training education. Additionally, if you have medical limitations, mobility problems, or nutrition-related issues (including obesity), you may wish to hire a trainer with a degree in exercise physiology, kinesiology, or nutrition, as these trainers have a deeper understanding of biomechanics and diet.

Personality Will Bring You The Distance

After you’ve considered the “technical stuff” (certifications, specialties, college education, etc.) as you select your personal trainer, next consider personality. Don’t be afraid to meet with different trainers and see who makes you feel comfortable. Every client is different. If you’re a serious athlete, you may want to hire a personal trainer who acts more like a coach. Conversely, if you’re just looking to shape up and lose a few pounds, a personal trainer with a light-hearted sense of humor may be a better fit. It’s important to find a trainer who makes you feel comfortable, yet can still push you out of your comfort zone.

Don’t Overlook Gender

Don’t disregard your preference for having a man or a woman when you select a personal trainer either. Some of us are just more comfortable with someone of the same sex (or, perhaps, the opposite sex), especially during exercise. It’s likely your trainer will take your measurements and ask personal questions, so don’t be afraid to search for a trainer with the gender that makes you feel comfortable.

Demonstrates Respect For Your Needs

A client should always feel respected by their personal trainer. While a trainer is there to challenge you, it’s also important that they respect any existing injuries or medical limitations you may have. Clients instinctively know the difference between “pain” and “burn”. If you’re experiencing pain, a good trainer will respect your body and modify or change the exercise to suit your needs. After all, personal training is all about YOU.

Clashing Schedules

This is a bit of a no-brainer when you go to select your personal trainer, but it’s important to make sure that your chosen trainer is available when you need them. If you want to train before work, someone who only works evenings would not be a good fit. Make sure that your schedules are compatible.

Don’t Be Shy As You Go Through The Process

Remember that your trainer works for YOU. Don’t be shy about interviewing personal trainers. Ask lots of questions. You may meet with a few people before finding the right match. That’s ok! A good trainer will respect your willingness to find the right fit.

Personal Training is a Priceless Investment

Personal training is priceless. It’s about creating a program specifically for you; a program that helps you improve your most precious possession: your body. Without your health, life becomes unenjoyable – at times, even impossible. By keeping all of the above in mind, you can find your “perfect match” and select a personal trainer who will help you reach your goals.

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