Hiring a personal trainer
is like hiring a professional to do any other job or service.
March 2015 marks 22 years in the fitness industry for me. Yes, even I find it hard
To believe that time has flown so quickly. I have seen so many trends come and go in the fitness world. Fitness fashion has gone through leotards, shiny tights, slouchy socks and spandex (on men as well) to lycra capris, tanks and barely there socks. Group exercise classes have gone from the bouncy high/low and step aerobics to kickboxing and Zumba.
Personal training and group training have also become more popular. The personal training field has changed dramatically over the years. Not only are some certifications More extensive and intense, but college degree programs have also increased. Personal training programs that were the “no pain, no gain” concept were discovered to possibly be doing more harm than good.
Trends in exercise have evolved, as well. Research and studies have increased in the
Health and fitness fields Diets, exercises and even stretching have been studied and modified to be more effective and safer for athletes and individuals looking for healthier lifestyle choices. So now more than ever, whether you are training on your own or working with a trainer is it so important to know what you are doing and who you hire as your trainer.
After doing group exercise for some years, I got into the personal training business in the mid-‘90s. Trainers can encourage their clients, correct their form and provide the program to help their clients reach their goals. I remember doing basic exercise programs, and thinking back now, the programs were a bit sporadic.
When I would train, there were always people giving me their input and opinion of what I should be doing. I read fitness magazines and took information I always believed to be true from them.
Later, I hired a trainer. He pushed me hard and showed me some different exercises. I
Learned so much from him when I first started with him, he met with me and we sat down and went over my goals. He asked me to write down everything I was eating and drinking. He went over how the program could be tough and asked if I was willing to do the work.
He then gave me some forms to complete and informed me he was certified and what
Agency he was certified under. I thought he was very professional. After I trained with
Him, I continued to learn as much as I could as the years progressed. I focused on group exercise, but I kept being pulled toward personal training. I decided I wanted to make it part of my career.
I have now been training for many years, and I am currently certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE); sport and fitness management was my choice in the education track. I have attended different conferences over the years to add to my continuing education. I have attended conferences by ACE, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the National Association of Sports Medicine
(NASM) IDEA Institute the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and a few others.
I have learned so much going to these conferences, listening to the speakers and participating in the hands-on sessions. In 2007, while at the ACE conference, I decided I finally wanted to start competing in fitness competitions. By making this decision, my knowledge and experience in personal training were going to change even more.
I started training under a coach for my competitions. However, before I started training under their program, I wanted to know who was going to be training me. I learned what the program was like, how long they had been training, what their education and certifications were, had they competed and how well they had done and what other competitors they may have trained. After learning all of this, I got started and pressed on.
After two years, I won the title of Ms. Fitness Arizona two years in a row, and I have qualified and competed in many national competitions. In 2014, I won my pro card with the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion Federation (WBFF). I have switched coaches and now train with a coach who has trained figure, fitness and bikini pro competitors. I have learned so much from all of them, but I always made it a point to ask about all of them when it came to their backgrounds. I wanted to know that this was the right trainer/ coach for me.
There are so many trainers and coaches in different areas of the fitness world. It is important to determine what type of activity you will be doing. Whether it is Cross Fit, small group training or one-on-one training, it is important to know who is training you and what their background is like.
Ask them what type of certification they have, and if it is a specialty certification, and what other education or experience they have. If you want to compete in any type of fitness category, ask if they have won any awards or if any of their clients have, and how long they have been training in the field.
There are, unfortunately, many individuals calling themselves “coaches” who pull a lot of their programs from magazines, YouTube or somewhere else on the Internet. For me and many trainers I know, it is not a matter of can an exercise be performed, but should it be performed, especially by their client.
The Internet has created a pool of information, videos and social media clips of exercises and individuals doing exercises that are challenging, but not always safe. Magazines can provide us with a great amount of information, but can also contain information that may be misinterpreted. For example, a magazine may give details on a study that was completed to provide information to the reader. However, what it may not tell you is who paid for the study, who the participants in the study were, what the factors were and any other pertinent information that may affect the interpretation of the study.
Along with the Internet and social media, fitness participants may receive information from a trainer, coach or other fitness participant that is not always accurate. Always look at different options and ask around to find who may be the best fit for your choice of activity. This includes nutritional tips, as well.
I have enjoyed training all of my clients. Whether it was one-on-one training or group training, I have had some great experiences. Hiring a trainer can be so beneficial and effective in a fitness program. Hiring a personal trainer is like hiring a professional to do any other job or service.
So just like you do the work to find the right professional to do car work or even hair services, look for the right trainer who can help you with the most important service: reaching your goals.
All Fitness __ Hiring a personal trainer
Nerissa Figueroa Atkisson is a WBFF fitness pro, a certified personal trainer and a group fitness instructor. For more information, contact her at email@example.com