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See ten commercial gyms or gym and ask them why you should use a fitness expert and you’ll get ten different answers, based around why you should use a fitness expert from their facility. The issue with the advice you are receiving from these skilled sales people, is that the information is driven by earnings targets and is designed to help build the companies of their resident Personal Trainers.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a personal trainer seattle working out of a big commercial fitness center and I also need to build by business. Gaining access to gym members who have been sold on the merits and values of private training surely makes that task so much easier. But, I would much rather have my clients opt to use a Personal Trainer (preferably me) for legitimate reasons and with a realistic view of what they can expect to receive in return for their hard-earned bucks.

Let’s begin at the beginning; why is it best to workout with a Personal Trainer? Basically, there are ten reasons why most people choose to engage a Personal Trainer and they are:

  1. You aren’t seeing results. Many people would begin an exercise regime with a general goal in mind, usually weight loss, and work like mad for weeks, months and even years without having any discernible results. A good Personal Trainer will begin your journey with a comprehensive Pre-Exercise Screening questionnaire and will have an in depth discussion with you about your objectives, motivation and previous exercise history. Only then, after gaining an understanding of where you currently are and where you want to get to, will they start formulating a workout and nutrition plan specifically for you.
  2. You don’t know where to begin. No Personal Trainer worth spending your money on will assume that you have any prior knowledge of anatomy & physiology, nutrition or exercise science. The reason is that if we assume that each and every customer is a blank canvas and produce the workouts based on the principles of sound technique and progression, every client has the opportunity to learn the safest, most efficient way in which to build their strength, cardio vascular fitness and insure against unnecessary injuries. Most people who join fitness centers don’t understand how to exercise effectively or safely and there is no-one better to teach you how to do that than your Personal Trainer. A high number of people will download a templated workout from their favourite website or get advice from their”fit” friends. The problem with this approach is you can not know how to use the equipment safely and the workout hasn’t been tailored to match your individual needs and/or limitations.
  3. You are bored with the same old workouts. I know from personal experience that should you not change your workout on a regular basis, or add intriguing cross-training choices into the mix, you become very bored with the exercise and are less likely to even try to do it. Bang, there goes your motivation. If any, or all, of these indicators show signs of plateauing or you are less motivated, he’ll alter your routine and add some variety in your workout to keep it interesting and to continually challenge your body.
  4. You will need to be challenged. If you’re like the majority of the exercising population, there will be days when you just don’t feel like pushing yourself to your limits or, you just feel like slacking off. A Personal Trainer won’t let you bring out the BS excuses to not workout. He will push you to complete that last two repetitions and encourage you through the set when the weight seems far too heavy.
  5. You want to understand how to exercise on your own. Even if you want to exercise by yourself, it’s a excellent idea to engage a Personal Trainer for a few sessions to learn the ideal way to exercise. This is especially true if you want to learn about the muscles in your body, how to target those muscles and how to complete the exercises with good technique. Only a couple sessions can teach you about your body, how it functions and what you can do the get the best out of it through exercise.
  6. You need accountability and motivation. You’re investing both money and time in your health and fitness and there is nothing like a standing appointment to get you off your butt and moving. A good Personal Trainer will also provide accountability; so in case you don’t turn up for an appointment, they’ll be straight to you to discover if you did the missed coaching in your own time. They will regularly quiz you in your eating and sleeping habits to make sure you are staying on track.
  7. You have a certain illness, injury or illness. If you have specific conditions like, Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, arthritis or old injuries, working with a fitness expert, who will work with your physician, Physiotherapist or Chiropractor, can help you find a program that suits your specific circumstances, help heal injuries and, avoid further issues. Bear in mind that you want to find a trainer who has experience with your issues and be certain that trainer works closely with your physician and/or physical therapist for the best experience.
  8. You are training for a game or event. If you’re training for a marathon, the football season another sort of sport or event, an experienced Personal Trainer can help you decide what you need to do to stay strong without detracting from your other training. Just make sure he is experienced in the game you’re training for since not all trainers do sport-specific training.
  9. You want supervision and support. Some people do know how to exercise for best results and do understand how to exercise safely but still wish a Personal Trainer around to oversee their workout and provide support (including spotting heavy weights) throughout the workout. The Personal Trainer then becomes more of a training partner.
  10. You need to workout at home. Many individuals have a fantastic collection of workout equipment at home but are not certain how to use what they have or, lack the motivation and discipline to actually exercise. A Personal Trainer can show you precisely how to use what you’ve got and the knowledge that your Trainer will be arriving at a particular time in the designated day will help motivate you to do the job.

Now that you have some really compelling reasons why you should use a Personal Trainer, another question is: How do you pick the best one?

I could be facetious and simply say,”pick me!” But there are some fundamental, and non-negotiable, criteria that you should insist on seeing. As an absolute minimum, the Personal Trainer must possess a Certificate III & IV in Fitness. When they have a Diploma in Fitness or Under Graduate Degree in Sports or Exercise Science, then so much the better.

Secondly, if they don’t have additional qualifications, e.g. Certificate or Diploma level, in Nutrition or Dietetics, they shouldn’t be offering nutritional or dietary advice beyond the scope of the National Dietary Guidelines. If, on the other hand, they do have additional qualifications in Nutrition and/or Dietetics, they can help you analyse your diet plan and give nutritional guidance and advice.

The third factor to consider is that their specialisation. Every Personal Trainer has been educated to a level that will allow them to provide support and advice to a wide range of people with a broad assortment of objectives and challenges. However, I’ve yet to meet one Personal Trainer who doesn’t have a specialisation or, a taste for a particular type of training. The experience could be underwhelming and frustrating for both parties.

Finally, compatibility is an integral element in deciding who you should entrust with your health and fitness journey. You might have discovered the best Personal Trainer on the planet but if he’s got a huge ego and has difficulty about you, in your level, he’s not the man for you. Spend the time to sit back and have a conversation, find out something about the Trainer’s background, their personal fitness journey and what they enjoy doing in the fitness center. If you find a kindred soul who has all the qualifications and a specialisation that meets your needs, they are the Trainer for you.