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Question
Posted by: Pie | 2006/04/19

trainer

How does one go about choosing the right personal trainer?

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Our expert says:
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hi Pie

It's a difficult one because i know that there are so many personal trainers around and so you are probably spoiled for choice, but an unfortunate side effect of having very many trainers is that there are some who are quite bluntly put, not up to standard.

I think that you can never do better than a one on one meeting though. the most vital thing is that you clarify your goals for yourself - what is it that you are trying to achieve, and what are you willing to do to achieve them? once you know this, and know it well, then you can begin to work out what role the trainer will take in the big picture. For example, if you know absolutely nothing about training and you don't even know how to go about setting a goal, or what you should be doing, then you are going to hand over just about 100% of the control to that trainer - they will say what to do, when to do it and how to do it. in this case, you are well advised to make really sure that the trainer knows what they are doing and is well qualified. In this regard, things like years of experience, training background and values are vital. There are a number of different courses that a trainer can do - some do ETA courses, others are qualified with a diploma from other accredited training 'schools'. i can't comment on specific ones, but what I will say is that it's probably better to find a trainer who has a recognized diploma, and secondly, one which is not obtained in a month or two. i know from experience, and I pretty much guarantee that someone who claims to be an expert having studied for maybe 6 months is not really an expert. It takes years and years of learning to even get to grips with the concepts and how to apply them. Therefore, the better bets when you have to choose a personal trainer to guide the entire process are those people who have clearly studied hard and worked in the field for a while, and you can find this out by finding out how they qualified and what experience they have.

If, on the other hand, you are pretty comfortable doing your training, you know what you want and you just need someone to facilitate your training, then you need someone who is good at motivating and knows the little details that make the difference - the small things that you might need, a word of encouragement, a change in the programme here and there. This is something a lot harder to measure or find out, but as I have said, if you spend a little time around the person, you will know what you ar egetting. So the best thing is to do one or two sessions with the person before you commit and get a feel for what they are doing or advising. if it smells rotten, it most likely is.

Good luck!

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