The field of personal training and fitness leadership remains a bit of a mystery when one is choosing to hire a personal trainer. Sadly, there is no law that prevents anyone from hanging a shingle on their door and calling themselves a personal trainer, counsellor, or nutritionist. Some trainers may be formally educated and have a formal education in kinesiology while others may have a certificate in personal training (and not all certificates are created equal). From on-line courses and one day workshops to certificates that take up to one year to complete, unless we are vigilant and informed, we may be placing our health and well-being in the hands of the untrained and inexperienced.
Below are 10 important questions to ask a potential personal trainer before signing on that dotted line with the expectation of looking like an “after” picture in less than 8-12 weeks…
1. Is This Trainer Certified?
Personal training certifications are definitely not created equal. From nationally and globally recognized certifications (like the American Council on Exercise) to local courses offered through fitness centers, it is important for the consumer to have an awareness of the differences. While some offer a weekend training event from start to finish, others may create a step by step process expanding a year in length.
The important thing to consider is the quality of trainer education in exercise science, program design, biomechanics, and the like. The longer the training process the more experience and practice the trainer may have with designing, implementing, and monitoring exercise.