6 Things to Look For When Hiring A Personal Trainer

Interested in reaching your fitness goals? You look to your health care professional when you are sick so why shouldn’t you look for a personal trainer when you want a certain fitness level? They are the professionals in accomplishing fitness goals. They know the tricks, the methods, and the protocols to get you where you want to be – physically. So don’t pass them by thinking they are a luxury. Take control of your life, ask for help, and reach your fitness goals! Here are some things to look for when you are hiring a personal trainer.

6 Things to look for when finding a personal trainer:
1. Background – look for someone with a recognized certification, experience, and education. Does their area of specialty and interest match your goals.

2. Education – Certifications, workshops, and continuing education are all ways a personal trainer can stay up-to-date on industry changes. It is not necessary that your trainer has a related degree, but it can help. Look for an exercise science background and fitness testing background.

3. Experience – prior training experience is a plus, and a must with someone who does not have a related degree. Be leery of a trainer who claims their personal workout is the best. A good trainer should be able to create individualized programs for you.

4. Check the Internet for certifications – there are many. Beginning summer 2005 Personal Trainers will have an option of taking a national board test – this website can point you towards certifications the test accepts – these certifications have to pass acceptance through the non-profit organization, the National Board of Fitness Examiners (www.nbfe.org) and a third party accreditation.

5. Your trainer should not push supplements, fad diet plans, our work outside their areas of expertise. (e.g. A trainer with no nutritional background should not be analyzing your diet and making complicated recommendations – especially if you are taking any medications, herbs, or other types of supplements that could be affected by the changes.) Most trainers have basic nutrition in their backgrounds and are comfortable telling you when you need to get help from another professional.

6. Look for someone who is willing to work with your health care professionals, and someone willing to listen to you. A good trainer will see the value of a team environment to help you reach your goals.

What is Body Fat?

big guy weighing himself in the morning and shocked by what he sees

What is a better indicator of health and fitness success – how much you weigh or what your body fat percentage is? Many people don’t like thinking about their fat but its an important factor to be considered when working on your fitness.

Body fat is a measurement used to indicate health. There are a number of ways to measure body fat, all differentiate between your body fat vs your lean mass. Lean mass is everything but the fat, your blood, tissues, fluids, bones, muscles, everything else. When you jump on the scale you are measuring everything, which is not a great indicator of health. Think about a bodybuilder, they may have lots of lean mass and not much fat mass, but they will weigh more, likewise, a person who is thin with low body weight may have higher fat mass and may not be as healthy. Fitness professionals use it to determine goals for clients and how to approach training.
When looking for a professional to read your body fat, keep some limitations in mind. There are many types of body fat tests, and some tests are more accurate. Tester experience is a must. Tests can be less accurate due to your hydration levels, when you worked out last, who is performing the test, and the amount of sites taken (depends on test). The best way to get an accurate picture of your body fat is to begin with one tester, one method, and stick to it. Measure at the same time of the month and same time each time you test.

Following these guidelines will allow you to track your progress in a more controlled environment. Remember, bottom line is, if you are moving, you are on your way to health!