How Can I Find The Right Certified Personal Trainer?

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question-icon-newI am looking for someone to help my brother. He is 20 years old, 5’11” and weighs 350 pounds. He has tried a lot of different ways to lose weight and he thinks the only thing that will help him is surgery. My mom and I have tried helping him in every way we know possible. He has agreed to try one last thing which is to get a personal trainer. We just really need someone to encourage him. He is very depressed, insecure, and thinks nothing can help him lose weight! I know that he would feel very uncomfortable going into a gym where everyone will look at him, so my mom and I are looking for someone who could work with him at home. If he could lose just 5 pounds, I think he could see that he would really get motivated to lose the rest!

answer-icon-newYour brother could definitely benefit from a personal trainer. A quality trainer will be able to give him the professional advice, motivation and assistance needed to start a sold fitness plan and achieve his desired results. I recommend contacting a local gym and ask them if they have any trainers who can work with your brother at home. Many trainers assist clients outside the gym, so this is your best bet for getting the much-needed help for your brother. I will provide general advice below and you can relay this to your brother for his specific needs and wants.

If you can’t find any local gyms that offer this in-home service, you can do a simple Google search for private personal fitness trainers in your area. There are many certified trainers and fitness professionals that work as independent contractors and own their own businesses in the field of health and fitness. The important thing when searching for private fitness trainers is to first make sure they are actually certified through a reputable association. You can do this by asking them which specific association they currently hold their certificate with and then search the association’s website to make sure their name is listed as a current member. There are some trainers who will let their certificates expire, so it’s important that they are up current with their license and the association’s websites should list this. If it’s not on the website, call the association directly and inquire about the personal trainer.

Some of the most popular personal training associations are:

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)
  • ACE Fitness

personal-fitness-trainersAlong with checking up on their current certification with the association, you should always ask your potential trainer about a list of personal references from other clients they have trained. If they are a reputable trainer, they will have no issue with supplying you with a list of names and numbers who you can contact. Legit fitness trainers who have happy clients will easily provide you with this list since they are very proud of providing excellent service and they want you to feel comfortable knowing that you’re making the right decision by going with them.

Don’t be afraid to interview 4-5 personal trainers before deciding on one to choose. Different trainers have different personalities and different ways of teaching, so you need to make sure their style will mesh with what you need and want out of your fitness program and your trainer. It also depends on what type of person you are. Are you a person who needs to be yelled at and really pushed hard in order to get into your workout routine and really succeed? Or, are you the type of person on the softer side that needs to have their hand held a little more? Remember, this is personal training so make sure you understand that in order to make progress, you will need to be pushed to some degree.

Here are some additional tips to help you when searching for a good personal trainer:

One of the most important things to remember is to avoid signing a long-term agreement with any personal trainer until you are sure that the person you are choosing is someone you want to be with for 6-12 months. Like any relationship, it might take several sessions in order to really get a vibe about your personal trainer and to decide if it’s someone you want to associate with several times a week. The last thing you want to do is sign a long 1-year agreement and then realize in the first month that you can’t stand being around this person. Not only will it annoy you to see this person every week but your physique will suffer since you will lack the desire and motivation to do the work needed in order to make progress and reach your fitness goals. Finding a perfect match can take a while, so don’t worry if you go through several certified fitness trainers before finding just the right one that you make a connection with.

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