That's the first question you should ask when interviewing, yes interviewing a personal trainer. Below you will find a breakdown of additional questions.
The reason for this blog is to make you aware of who you've entrusted your health and well being to and what to look for in a personal trainer.
I take my certification seriously and am very passionate about what I do. I am not too happy when I hear about 'trainers' working with clients without a certification. Sadly, there are those out there. If this is the case, I hope the 'trainer' makes their clients aware of such.
Seminole Community College, who at the time, offered a classroom setting for my 6 week certification course. This course was all day, every Sunday, in the Sanford location. I had textbook in the morning and hands on in their gym in the afternoon.
In addition to the course, to receive my W.I.T.S. (World Instructor Training School) certification, it was required of me to intern for so many hours and become CPR/AED certified.
I did my internship through Florida Hospital's Fitness Center. Best experience ever; learned so much from the trainer at that site. The clientele there were mostly elderly men and women. I remember having to check their blood pressure, among other things, the minute they stepped through the door.
Now that you know a little more about my personal training certification, let's discuss other key areas to ask the trainer during your interview with them.
*Are they Certified?
*Who are they certified through? Trainers are to pass an exam through nationally accredited organizations.
*What other certifications do they have?
*Have they re-certified or has it expired?
*Are they CPR certified and is it current?
Not only should you ask if they are certified, you should ask to see their certificate or the wallet sized card, we all receive one. These will show you the date issued along with the expiration date.
Yes, certifications expire. Is their certification active or dead? Mine lasts two years. Before the two years are up, I re-certify through their extensive continuing education courses. They are not easy and they are very time consuming. However, they are very informative and helpful for my career and a must for staying certified. They range from Nutritional Concepts to Business Management.
CPR: Trainer's are not able to receive their certification if they are not CPR certified.
*How long have they been certified? Do you want to be, as we say, "their guinea pig?" Do you want someone who has been around and has perfected their programs?
I have been certified for 8 years. I've even gone further with my career by entering several body building competitions. A great way for me to learn more about my physique and nutrition in hopes of passing that along to my clients.
Ask your trainer about their past Experiences. Ask them about their current physical activities or their notable achievements.
Has the trainer ever weight trained? Don't laugh, this one is important too as part of experience. Do an impromptu; ask them to show you a few chest exercises, back exercises, etc., Does the trainer you are interviewing know what an incline chest press is? Have them show you.
I would like to add here; modifications. Does your trainer know, right off the top of their head, a modification for an exercise you may not be able to perform due to an injury? Put your trainer through the test.
What do they specialize in?
I have worked with the youth as well as middle aged men and women from weight training, sport specific training to training for a 5k. Besides entering body building competitions, I have run several 5k's and marathons. Knowing what they are passionate about will also indicate that they are aware of the 'sweat and tears' and have a vested interest into those types of training. There is a bit more to this, but wanted to briefly mention.
*What style is your trainer?
*A screamer or a cheerleader?
Find someone that works best for you, ask them what style they are. Consider what motivates you.
Don't be afraid to ask to observe a group session they are conducting or ask for a free training session. See if you are comfortable with him/her.
I could go more in depth with this one as well, but again, wanted to briefly mention.
*Will the program your trainer creates be geared specifically for your goals?
*Will he/she document your progress?
*Do they have a tracking method?
For my clients, I offer a fitness assessment and a fitness test. Especially if I am unaware of their physical abilities. My fitness test consist of a muscular strength test, endurance, flexibility, and sit up test. I also measure, weigh and take before photos of my clients. Once I've completed the above steps, I create a personalized exercise program and track their progress so they can see their hard work is paying off.
Location, Availability and Cost:
Below are additional things to consider when choosing a trainer.
*How far are you willing to travel to stay motivated and committed to your training program?
*Where do they train?
*Do you prefer a big gym setting and feed off the energy of others around you?
*Do you prefer a small studio or are you more comfortable in your own home?
*How busy are they?
*Is the trainer available for you to remain consistent?
*What is his/her cancellation policy?
Cost: A couple options available; one on one, semi-private or group classes. If choosing a package, keep in mind, the more sessions purchased the lower the per session rate. If one on one is not in your budget, ask about their semi - private rates. I personally do not train (weight train) more than 2 people at a time for this option. Lastly, ask about group sessions.
Consistency, consistency, consistency! Whatever it takes from the above to get you started, keep you on track and committed.