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How to Find a Good Personal Trainer

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by Brendan Wan (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer who enjoys travel & culture.Enjoy more writings from me by visiting my blog at
Published July 4th 2011
It seems like Personal Trainers are everywhere these days. Just go to your local park in the afternoon and you will see a well-built trainer cheering on their client to do that one more push up.
Whether you are wanting to lose a few kilos, build up those guns or just simply stay in shape, hiring a Personal Trainer is a great chance for you to fulfill those fitness goals.
However, finding the ideal Personal Trainer can be difficult and at times, just plain intimidating. How do we go about finding the right Personal Trainer? By providing some insight on what to expect from a personal trainer, here are a few handy tips on choosing the right one for you.

What Your Goals Are

The most important aspect in finding the right Personal Trainer is to understand what you want out of these sessions. Is your goal to lose weight or put more gain and tone into your muscles?
A good personal trainer will help you with your goals and tailor the session around your needs. If your goals are related to medical problems, ask your personal trainer if they have had any experience with the problem.
Remember to be realistic about your fitness goals; those sexy washboard abs won't appear overnight. Realizing your fitness goals takes patience and a lot of hard work.

Education and Experience
Always ask your personal trainer about their credentials and their experiences. Where did they get their certificate from and is the institute reputable. Try and go for personal trainers who have had at least a minimum of two years experience in their specialized field.

In Australia, Personal Trainers are required to hold a minimum qualification of 'Certificate IV in Fitness', and be a registered member with a governing body – Fitness Australia or Kinnect. Many Personal Trainers hold additional credentials in specialized fields, such as qualifications in weight loss, strength training, kid's fitness, or nutrition.
In USA, the most highly regarded schools that offer different certifications for trainers are: The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Another good point to look out for is whether or not the Personal Trainer has a background in physical education or exercise science. A trainer with this kind of background is essential if you have a previous medical condition, as they will fully understand your capabilities and limitations.
Also, if a Personal Trainer asks to speak with your doctor about your medical problems, you can be assured that this is a good sign as it showcases they're professionalism and concern for your health and wellbeing.

Work Well Together
Your Personal Trainer is someone who will be taking you on a physical journey. You should be able to trust them with your fitness goals, so be sure when finding your Personal Trainer, that you two are a good match. You don't have to be the best of friends, but you should be at least having fun with them while working out. Sometimes personalities just don't match, the trainers teaching style isn't what you want, or you have completely learnt everything from them; whatever the reason, you should be looking for someone who is able keep you motivated and make exercise fun.

Be Listening and Attentive
A good trainer should listen to what you want out of the training session, and not impose what they want from you. They're not exactly drill sergeants yelling you into shape - although there are gyms that offer Bootcamps, if you into that sort of stuff.
A Personal Trainer should also be keeping tabs on your progress and be flexible in changing your routine when necessary. You should be their only interest in that training session, therefore the sessions should be entirely focused on you and your goals.

Motivational Trainer
When we train with a Personal Trainer, we don't do it because we're out to make friends. We're here to train. One of the main reasons for people hiring Personal Trainers is the need to be motivated. A Personal Trainer should help you with your training and motivate you go that extra mile.
A real professional would also be up to date on the latest training programs and strategies, and would try and utilizes this into the sessions. Finding new and creative ways to spice up monotonous exercise is fundamental in keeping you motivated. If you're having fun exercising, you'd likely to continue it.

The Trainer Should have Good Fitness
You'd be surprised by how many unfit and overweight trainers there are out there in the market. It might be a very simple one, but ideally you'd want someone who is relatively fit and healthy. A trainer should be able to teach what they preach, which effectively helps you to succeed in your goals. They don't have a body of a Greek god, but they should be healthy looking and are able to apply smart training techniques into your routine.

Be Cautious about Supplements and Diet Advice
A Personal Trainers job is to assist you with your physical fitness. Unless they hold a qualification on nutrition, a Personal trainer is really not qualified to give you advice on what to eat and which supplements to take. Some trainers and gyms do form partnerships with health food companies, where in most cases, trainers who sell their health food product will gain commission on the sales made to clients.
Your success doesn't depend on supplements, only good motivation and hard work.
If you need advice on dieting, it's always best consult with your local doctor or a registered dietitian.

Ask and Ask and Ask
Don't be afraid to ask questions to your Personal Trainer, no matter how large their biceps are. If you don't feel comfortable with doing something, ask them if they can provide an alternative. Find out about what other exercise you can do at home, which area of the body does this machine work on, ask about everything and nothing. As a paying client, you deserve to have a positive experience.

Hiring a Personal Trainer is the right step in helping you with your fitness goals. With this knowledge in mind, you are ready to find the right Personal Trainer for you. The journey to realize your health and fitness goals begin right now, by getting off your lazy bottoms and asking around. Search and search until you have found someone you are comfortable with and you're on your way to those washboard abs.
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Why? It's time to drop those pounds and gain that shinning body you've dreamt of
When: They should be able to work with your schedule
Cost: Depends on the Personal Trainer
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