When you’re looking to get in shape and live a healthier life, you don’t have to go at it alone.
Many choose to work with a personal trainer to help them achieve their fitness goals, and there are many benefits to collaborating with a qualified professional.
“A personal trainer can hold you accountable and help motivate you to get to the gym on days when you do not feel like it,” said Eric White, regional coach at Anytime Fitness. “Personal trainers also create programs and routines tailored to each individual client, which takes out all of the guesswork. Most importantly, a personal trainer cares about your goals and will help their clients reach them.”
Like with many things, the education process associated with fitness is ongoing, which is one of the reasons working with a personal trainer isn’t limited to people just starting to exercise.
“I absolutely recommend working with a trainer though if you are new to the fitness world or even if you are experienced,” White said. “There is always something you can learn from working with a trainer. Even I have my own trainer. We should always be learning.”
And White offers some advice.
“Finding the right personal trainer is similar to finding the right therapist,” White said. “You should work with someone who is understanding and trustworthy.”
It’s also important to make sure the person you’re working with has the proper credentials to help you in your fitness journey.
White recommends trainers who have certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE).
“They are the most respected,” White said.
Those who have certifications have completed various training and courses necessary to offer health and fitness advice.
“To become ACE certified, aspiring professionals have to pass a rigorous exam that tests their knowledge of exercise science, nutrition, exercise programming, instructional techniques and a host of other specialties,” according to ACE. “Each of our four primary certifications are also accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, which helps set the standard for certification programs in a variety of industries nationwide.”
When searching for a trainer, the NASM offers a method to validate credentials. People can visit www.nasm.org/resources/validate-credentials and enter the names of prospective trainers.
White said there are other websites people can use to learn more about a trainer they are considering.
“The Anytime Fitness website (www.anytimefitness.com) contains all of our locations, and each location has a specific trainer working there,” White said. “We include their biography as well as a photo for people to view prior to signing up for any training.”
He said www.bark.com is another site used by many to find a professional trainer.
Even after finding a trainer to work with, there is another important step to make sure you are compatible with the person.
“I recommend meeting with your trainer prior to signing up for training with them,” White said. “It is important to find a trainer that cares about your goals while building a relationship.”