Drug testing

6 Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Personal Trainer

Once reserved only for the rich and famous, personal fitness training has hit the mainstream. A personal trainer is now as common as a pair of good cross trainers and a water bottle.

But unlike your hair stylist, your fitness trainer doesn't need to be tested and licensed by a state licensing board. Someone with little more than a great body--but no experience--can print business cards, call themselves a personal trainer, and take your money.

So if you're looking for a trainer, you're on your own. Here are six questions to ask trainers either in person or by phone before hiring them.

1. Can I have references?

This is the best way to get honest information. A prospective trainer should be more than happy to give you a list of at least three clients whom you can contact. Ask the references if they achieved their goals, how the trainer helped them to do so, and what they liked best about the trainer.

If the trainer refuses to give references or acts as though it is a major inconvenience, look elsewhere.

2. Through what organization are you certified?

Certification is a credential given by an agency or institution with its own educational and testing procedures. Quality credentialing agencies require a thorough, and often expensive, process of certifying trainers. Usually this includes written, oral and practical exam components. Other agencies will literally "sell" a certification as long as the check clears.

Current popular and reputable certification associations include the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and American Council on Exercise (ACE). Certification from any of these organizations doesn't guarantee trainer excellence but shows only that the person successfully passed the minimum requirements for certification. While important, certification is a factor that should be used in combination with all of the other information that you are collecting.

The trainer also should also be certified in CPR/First Aid and be able to show you the credentials.

3. What is your training/exercise philosophy?

A credible trainer should be able to explain a philosophy of exercise training. You don't need a doctoral dissertation here, only a description of how they help clients reach their goals. How do they train clients? How do they motivate them? Is there an assessment process? Find out as much as you can about how they work with clients to achieve goals.

What you are looking for here is a reflection of trainer credibility. If the trainer says something like "I kick my clients' butts?No pain, no gain, dude," thank them for their time and move on. Be an intelligent consumer. Ask for specifics and clarification if you don't understand something. This person is going to tell you how to exercise, give you lifestyle information and hold very heavy weights over your head.

3. How much do you charge and how do you expect payment?

Prices for personal fitness instruction vary widely based on where you live and trainer qualification and experience. As with everything else, you usually get what you pay for, but there'a no guarantee that the most expensive trainer will be the best suited for you and your goals.

Talk to other people who have used fitness trainers. Or call health clubs near you to determine the average rate in your area. If the trainer is meeting you at your home, expect to pay slightly more than average. If you are meeting at a health club, prepare to cover the cost of a guest fee if there is one.

Get specifics on all fees and how payment is to be made. Some trainers charge on a per session basis, while others offer packages and discounted rates for a given number of pre-paid sessions. Some accept only cash. Others accept checks and credit cards. Most fitness trainers have some sort of cancellation policy. Agree on all financial obligations before the first session and insist that both parties sign a billing contract.

Avoid at all costs the trainer who responds to a question about fees with statements like "How much can you afford?" or "How much are you looking to spend?" This is someone who has their wallet-not your fitness goals-in mind.

5. How do they look?

You should never base your selection solely on physical appearance. A person with a flawless-looking body may not know the first thing about safely teaching you how to achieve your own goals. This is especially true if they have achieved their own results through things like drugs, eating disorders or exercise obsession.

The person you hire will be teaching you skills and lifestyle habits and doesn't need to look like a model in a fitness magazine. But trainers do need to practice what they preach. Let's face it. Are you really going to respect someone's opinion if you're in better shape than they are? Probably not.

6. What's your comfort level?

Above all, make sure you choose a trainer with whom you feel comfortable and whether their personality is a good match with yours. Above all, trust your instincts. Hiring someone with superior training knowledge is worthless if you don't feel comfortable. You need to trust, respect and feel at ease with them.

You wouldn't buy a pair of exercise shoes without at least trying them on to see if they're comfortable. The same concept holds for hiring a personal fitness trainer. Set up an interview, ask the right questions, and follow your instincts for the perfect fit.

About The Author

Jon Gestl, CSCS, is a personal fitness trainer and instructor in Chicago specializing in in-home and in-office fitness training. He is a United States National Aerobic Champion silver and bronze medalist and world-ranked sportaerobic competitor. He can be contacted at jongestl@jongestl.com.

limousine chicago service
In The News:

Treadmills Prove Health Concerns Are No Longer An Excuse Not To Exercise

Walking has long been praised for its health benefits. It... Read More

Pro-Form 765i Interactive Trainer Treadmill

For under $1000 you can purchase the Pro-Form 765i interactive... Read More

Epic Treadmills ? Good Value Or Not?

Epic treadmills are well known in the treadmill market for... Read More

Sheep Treadmills

The term sheep treadmills refers nowadays to the exercise devices... Read More

Discount Treadmill: 3 Ways To Save When Buying A Treadmill

Most people looking to buy a treadmill are interested in... Read More

Have a Ball With Stability Ball Exercise

Whether you call them a stability ball, swiss ball, or... Read More

Treadmill Best Recommended List

Runner's World Magazine conducts an evaluation, to come up with... Read More

Monitor Your Way to a Healthy Heart and Better Body

Of the many fitness-oriented pieces of equipment available today, one... Read More

Try A Landice Treadmill

Landice treadmills receive rave reviews from consumers and exercise magazines.... Read More

Wholesale Room Humidifier

Room HumidifierA room humidifier can help raise the level of... Read More

Treadmill Comparison: 3 Things You Must Know

Buying a treadmill? You'll probably be making several treadmill comparisons... Read More

5 Sure-Fire Tips To Save You $1000s On Your Home Gym

It always amazes me when people say "Home Gyms are... Read More

Life Fitness Equipment for Every Type of Workout

Life Fitness equipment is among the best in the world.... Read More

?So You Want To Build A Home Gym?

I walked into the commercial gym yesterday after a long... Read More

Want To Compare Treadmills? Have You Done Your Homework First?

Buying a treadmill can be daunting experience. Aren't there a... Read More

Proform Elliptical Trainers Are Not For The Serious

Though many people seem to like their Proform ellipticals, these... Read More

Research is Key When Buying a Treadmill - Check Out the Best Treadmill Ratings and Reviews Online!

A home treadmill offers many advantages ? just imagine, no... Read More

Buying A Treadmill - 3 Essential Tips

If you're buying a treadmill, chances are you've done lots... Read More

Treadmills ? Keep On Running

There are benefits to the use of treadmills as part... Read More

Elliptical Exercise Machines Provide Low Impact, Total Body Workouts While Improving Cardiovascular

Elliptical Exercise Machines Provide Low Impact, Total Body Workouts While... Read More

Tanita Body Fat Monitors

An ordinary scale can tell you your weight, but what... Read More

How a Bowflex saved a Marriage

I am a recent newlywed, still dumbfounded by the collosal... Read More

Russian Kettlebell Workout

Russian Kettlebells are amazing! These kettlebell workouts may be the... Read More

A Gorgeous Flooring for Yoga and Exercise, Tatami Interlocking Mats

Tatami interlocking floor mats are presented by InterlockingFloorMat.com. This Tatami... Read More

Why Exercise Balls Are The Wonder Exercise Equipment

Exercise balls are the latest invention in exercise equipments. These... Read More