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Today's Tip: What to Consider Before Hiring a Trainer

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Updated February 15, 2014

woman at gym who is sad

Hiring a personal trainer is a smart decision if you find your motivation wanes after a few sessions on your own.

Image: © [2009] Jupiterimages Corporation

Are you thinking about hiring a trainer? The decision to hire a personal trainer should be treated the same as making any major purchase: You'll want to do some research and ask some questions before signing on the dotted line. This article will explain several points you will need to consider before making a decision about hiring a personal trainer.

Federal law does not currently regulate or oversee certification programs for personal trainers. While some states require personal trainers to hold a health-related bachelor's degree, others allow certification in a matter of weeks. Several well-known organizations offer trainer qualifications and choosing a trainer with a certificate from one of these reputable organizations is certainly preferable.

That said, before hiring a trainer, you should also:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Meet with your potential trainer and discuss his or her educational background, experiences, and procedures.
  • Ask the trainer for references from a number of different clients. Request specific examples of experiences from the references.
  • Find out if he or she is trained in CPR and first aid skills.
  • Get a feel for the trainer's personality -- look for patience and good listening skills (especially if you are an exercise newbie!).
  • Ask your doctor for a referral.
  • Make the trainer aware of any health problems or previous injuries you have suffered.

At the beginning of your sessions, you should:

 

 

  • Make sure your trainer gets your input on setting small, attainable goals as well as long-term ones.
  • Never be afraid or shy to ask questions if you feel confused or uncomfortable about anything.

There is a lot of helpful information here at About.com on hiring a trainer. My picks are 10 Reasons to Hire a Personal Trainer and Choosing a Personal Trainer, from exercise Guide Paige, and Do You Need a Personal Trainer? from sports medicine Guide Elizabeth.

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