Saturday, March 21, 2015

Finding a Personal Trainer

Before working in the fitness world, I had a lot of misconceptions about what a good personal trainer should be like. As long as they look great, what they're doing must be working, right??

Unfortunately, not so much. I saw this great article and had some thoughts. There are so many people out there who got a little lucky genetically or who stumbled upon a good workout routine and worked their way to a rockin bod who still have no idea how to safely help people improve their lives and fitness levels.

First, many fitness certifications aren't regulated. You can take a little joke of a test online and print out your shiny certificate that says you're ready to train people. Even the ones that are legit often don't require more than a HS diploma and a little studying to pass a test. While this is a great educational opportunity, it doesn't necessarily prepare you for the ins and outs of taking someone's health and safety into your hands. So my first piece of advice would be to look into the educational background of a personal trainer you might be considering. Did they go to college for this? Just how many certifications do they have, and from which certifying body did they get those certifications? How long have they been doing this? Overall, just make sure the person knows what they are doing and has actual science to back it up.

Second, do they try pushing specific supplements, fad diets, or crazy workout regimens? If so, run for your life. While people are free to try these things (good luck with that), your personal trainer should stick to research-backed exercises, plans, and progressions... not magic pills and potions. And if they try to push ideas that they got out of a fitness magazine.... just don't.

Third, if your PT tries to write you a meal plan, get out. Only Registered Dietitians are legally allowed to do so, and any personal trainer who tries to pass that off is way out of line. Fitness (and a little bit of general nutrition advice) is the PT's domain. That's it.

Personal trainers can be an amazing tool in your health and fitness journey (people who use them lose more weight, on average), but just make sure you choose the right one :)

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