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Five Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Personal Trainer

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Five Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Personal Trainer

If getting fit is on your list (and it is for many Americans), now is the time to start making your plan.

How will you accomplish your weight loss goals? Will you join a fitness center? Start a specific workout program? Pair up with a friend and go walking or jogging together? Have you considered working with a personal trainer?

No matter your fitness goals, a personal trainer can help you devise a plan to reach those goals. A trainer can also help hold you accountable, and ensure that you are working out the healthy way with correct technique, in order to prevent injury.

How do you know if a trainer is right for you? Unfortunately, there are no online matchmaking services to fit you with the perfect trainer, but Cooper Fitness Center’s Director of Fitness, Mary Edwards shares five questions you should ask before choosing a personal trainer.

  1. Get schooled. Education is the most important thing to ask about. Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainers are required to have a 4-year degree in exercise science or an exercise science-related field and hold at least one nationally accredited certification. Why? Having a degree gives the trainer the science background they need to understand exercise, benefits of exercise and training adaptations. Trainers can select a certification in line with his or her specific niche within the field. Experience is also an important part of this equation. Has the trainer ever worked with someone who has the same injury or limitation as you? When looking for a trainer, ask specific questions about education, certifications and experience.
  2. Philosophy matters. After education and experience, you’ll want to ask about training philosophy or style. A trainer’s specific philosophy or style will play a direct role in your experience working with a trainer. At Cooper Fitness Center, all trainers share the same philosophy, although there is freedom for trainers in how they choose to design a fitness program for their clients. Understanding a trainer’s philosophy allows you to understand why they do what they do. Training philosophy helps to promote commitment to the client’s exercise plan and creates consistency, which in turn, helps the client see the results they want to see.
  3. Personality test. Trainer/client chemistry is important. You want to like your trainer and to get along with them. You need to develop trust, accountability and open lines of communication with your trainer. The workout is important but how the trainer explains things and approach the session matches up with your needs is also important. This often aligns with the trainer’s philosophy or style. An intense trainer will likely have an intense personality. If you want someone detail-oriented, they’ll probably be more apt to consider how they set up your workout, how they work around your injuries or limitations.
  4. Aches, pains and injuries. Finally, it’s important to know how a prospective trainer will deal with any existing limitations or potential future injuries. Does the trainer have any experience working with someone with similar limitations? From an achy shoulder to a sore back, aches, pains and ailments are common, and a trainer should know how to deal with them without causing further injury. You should be confident your trainer has experience with your specific ailments and limitations. Rather than taking a break from working out when the soreness hits, your trainer should promote exercise as a lifestyle and mindset and help you work around your limitations.
  5. Is training a hobby or a career? Personal trainers who are serious about training will come to the table with the above-mentioned things in mind. Training should be the trainer’s career, not just his or her hobby. Choose a trainer who is passionate about training and doing it as a living. When they are serious about being excellent at what they do, they will be constantly striving to get better.

Are you ready to establish a plan for your New Year’s fitness resolution? Want to join a fitness center and try working with a trainer? When you join Cooper Fitness Center, you will be directed to our new member orientation classes and receive three complimentary sessions with a Cooper Fitness Center personal trainer. Following those sessions, you will have the option to start training regularly with that trainer, choose a different trainer or select one (or several) of our many Cooper Fitness group exercise classes.

Click here for more information on Cooper Fitness Center membership plans.

Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.