A fitness trainer certification and a great personality are two things to look for when you are choosing a personal trainer. Being selective and finding a trainer that works well for you can be challenging, but in the long run, you will be happy that you put the extra effort forth. It is important to find a trainer that you enjoy being with, and who is good at working you to meet your goals.
Fitness Trainer Certifications
Any personal trainer you choose should be certified through a reputable personal training organization. It is critical to find out what organization issued your trainer’s certification, as there are approximately 400 organizations in the US that certify personal fitness trainers. However, only a handful of those are considered legitimate by professionals.
The most respected organizations are the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). These organizations stand out because their requirements are based on tested and practical knowledge, continuing education, and mandatory retesting at renewal periods. Additionally, the ACSM has begun requiring that its trainers have a degree in exercise science or a related field. Though this is not necessary for an effective trainer, the more experience and education they have, the better equipped they will be to deal with your specific situation.
Personality in Personal Training
Once you find the right trainer, you will be working closely with them over a period of time, so personality is very important. The relationship between you and your personal trainer is not one of friendship, but since you will be spending a few hours a week with them, make sure it is someone you like. Make sure that you get along with your trainer and feel comfortable asking them questions before you commit to a long-term arrangement.
Many trainers have a low or discounted rate for the first session, and it is recommended that you try out any potential trainer before you book a block of sessions.