If you want to lose weight, get healthy and/or build muscle, hiring a personal trainer can be a step in the right direction. A good trainer can help you set up a program that meets your goals and teach you the best way to exercise. Finding and choosing a trainer can be a little confusing and, for some, intimidating. It's not easy asking for help, but going in with more knowledge about how personal training works can make it a little easier.
What is a Personal Trainer?
A personal trainer should be, at the least, educated and certified through a reputable fitness organization (see below). This person's job is to assess your fitness level, figure out what your goals are (or help you set goals) set up a program and keep you motivated. He or she will push you past your comfort level--something difficult to do on your own. A trainer also provides:
What is a Session Like?
Each session usually lasts about an hour. The first meeting is devoted to assessing fitness level, body measurements, exercise and health history and goals. Be prepared to step on the scale, have your body fat tested and answer specific questions about your goals. After that, you'll spend each session doing cardio, weight training, flexibility or other activities depending on what your goals are. Your trainer will show you how to do the exercises, help you figure out how much weight to use and give you pointers for getting the most out of each exercise.
What to Look for In a Personal Trainer
Personality is important too since you'll be working very closely with this person. Make sure you get along with your trainer and feel comfortable asking questions.
How to Find a Personal Trainer
One place to look is your local gym. Most gyms have personal trainers on staff and offer attractive packages for personal training. You can also look in your yellow pages, use Personal Trainer Finder or IDEA Fitness Connect to find trainers in your area, or search for local personal training studios. The cost will vary depending on where you live and your trainer's experience and education. Typically, the cost will be anywhere from $30 to $100 a session.
At some clubs, you may get assigned a trainer. However, one of my readers sent me these tips for doing a bit of investigation before you take the plunge: