Are you at a point in your life where you would like to get back in shape? Are you considering hiring a personal trainer to help you get started? When considering hiring a personal trainer to help you reach your potential, here are a few essential questions that will help you identify his/her professional competency:
1. How long have you been a Certified Personal Trainer?
2. How long have you been actively taking care of your own body and your own health? (Is it clear to you that this person is active, healthy, and fit themselves?)
3. What are your credentials?
4. How many years or hours did it take to acquire these credentials? This is an important one! Many personal trainers are now able to become certified in a weekend course or by an online questionnaire. As crazy as this may sound, unfortunately, this is the truth, and has become the “industry standard.” Having experience in managing a team of 15 personal trainers at one of the largest health clubs in Pinellas County, I was very disappointed to learn how low the standards have become in the fitness industry. Going to a trainer today is like going to an orthopedic surgeon who just graduated from school over the weekend…it can be a rather scary experience! How would you feel about having someone who just graduated from a weekend course perform brain surgery on your mother, father, daughter, or son? The fact is that personal trainers are given a certification which essentially provides the trainer “permission” to put more resistance on the human body than ANY other health care professional in the world including doctors, physical therapists, etc. However, the fitness industry has one of the lowest standards of credentialing there is. Therefore, I always encourage anyone who is investigating the possibility of working with a personal trainer to be sure to go out of your way to find out exactly WHO you are allowing to make decisions about how much weight you should be lifting and what kinds of exercises are right for YOUR body. After all, is anyone’s body exactly like yours? Each of our body's are as unique as our fingerprints, and therefore require specific, individualized exercises and program design strategies to ensure optimal results.
For these reasons, I recommend ensuring that your personal trainer has at least several advanced degrees or some level of higher education that demonstrates they are well trained and competent to keep you healthy, fit, and injury free. The most complete and comprehensive training program that I have found that certifies personal trainers is provided by a company called the C.H.E.K Institute. C.H.E.K Practitioners are trained to assess your unique goals and needs, and design safe and effective programs for their accomplishment. More information is available at the C.H.E.K Institute website, or by contacting me or any other C.H.E.K Trained Professional. I hope this article has been helpful to you.