How to hire a personal fitness trainer

Updated on Oct 02, 2004 04:56 PM IST

Once reserved only for the rich and famous, personal fitness training has hit the mainstream. There are many benefits to hiring a personal trainer.

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PTI | ByKiran Sawhney

Once reserved only for the rich and famous, personal fitness training has hit the mainstream. There are many benefits to hiring a personal trainer. In general, people hire a personal trainer for that trainer's knowledge of exercise, nutrition, the fitness industry, sports, etc. Working with a trainer is one of the fastest, easiest, most successful ways to improve your health and fitness.

 

You don't have to be rich or famous to reap the benefits of hiring a personal trainer. More and more people, novice and veteran exercisers alike are working with personal trainers because they offer a practical and affordable means of getting and staying healthy. You may also consider hiring a personal trainer if you are aiming toward a specific goal, wish to update your exercise programme, are returning to exercising after an illness or injury, need motivation or have been inactive and feel out of shape.

 

A truly professional trainer will realize that the service they offer is more about health than it is about exercise. The medical community is finally starting to realize the incredible preventive and recuperative effects that regular exercise has on patients, and the concept of being "in shape" is rapidly becoming synonymous with being healthy.

 

There are a number of issues you need to discuss with personal trainers to know if he or she is qualified and likely to meet your individual needs before you spend any of your money. Make sure your goals and objectives are very clear and make sure each of the personal trainers you interview really understand your goals and objectives. Following things will help you choose your fitness trainer.

 

Certification

 

A personal trainer should be certified because that's your assurance you're working with a trainer who has the knowledge to provide you with a safe and effective workout. Not just any certification will do. Certification is more than a piece of paper. The person you choose as your personal trainer should not only be certified from a reputed organization, but should also have passion for fitness.

 

Everyday there is new research. So he or she should keep updating himself or herself with it through continuing education programmes, workshops, seminars, etc. While asking for certifications also ask about CEC's (Continuing education). Don't hesitate to see the certificates and even references of other clients. The person should be knowledgeable in exercise science and programming knowledge, including anatomy, kinesiology, health screening, basic nutrition and instructional methods. The trainer also should be certified in CPR or First Aid and be able to show you the credentials.

 

Looks

 

You should never base your selection solely on physical appearance. A person with a washboard abs 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.

 

Charges

 

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. Whereas in US the charges vary from $40 an hour to $150 an hour, in Delhi, a qualified trainer would charge you between Rs 500 to Rs 1,500 per hour. And trust me it is an amount worth spending. 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 wallet and not your fitness goals in mind.

 

The personal trainer you select should motivate you by positive, not negative, reinforcement. Even more important, that trainer should be someone you like. Ask yourself if you think you could get along well with the trainer. Ask yourself, too, if you think the trainer is genuinely interested in helping you. The personal trainer who best measures up is the one to hire.Because that's the professional who will help you get the best results.

 

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.

(The author is a certified personal fitness trainer)

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