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By Ambrianna Freeze

What to look for in a personal trainer

Hiring a personal trainer can be an intimidating step, but the rewards are innumerable. Finding ways to get in shape is a difficult task, especially without help from someone with experience. Many people are seeking out personal trainers to help them get fit; in fact, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of personal trainers in America will jump 24 percent by 2020.

What is a personal trainer?

A personal trainer is someone in charge of training someone else. It sounds simple, but a talented trainer takes time to develop his or her skills so that he can truly help others. Trainers guide their clients to their personal fitness goals.

What skills should a personal trainer have?

  • Patience
    • A good trainer will push their client, but also understand that training takes time. They should never lose their patience with their client.
  • Communication
    • Communication plays a large part in the trainer-client relationship. Without being able to talk to their client compassionately and concisely, the trainer cannot evaluate the needs of the client.
  • Professionalism
    • Demonstrating professionalism is a must in any trainer. The trainer should be polite, neat, organized and experienced. These qualities will come across in their conversation and body language. The trainer should never use his or her looks to elicit clients. A trainer should be in shape, but he should also stay professional at all times.
  • Education and credentials
    • There are many different ways a personal trainer can prepare for their line of work. However, there are some hard and fast requirements. While a degree in sports medicine might be helpful, the most important qualification of a professional personal trainer is their certification. In most cases, the program they completed must be accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The trainer should also have up-to-date CPR and AED certifications, as well as knowledge of first aid, just in case something were to happen during a personal training session.
  • Personality
    • In order for a client to succeed in reaching their goals through personal training, their trainer's personality must be compatible with their own, at least when it comes to fitness. The client should evaluate their preferences for personal training, and make sure that the trainer understands their goals and needs. A shy, soft-spoken client, for example, may not benefit from an outspoken, demanding trainer.
  • Cost
    • Personal training can be expensive, so any new client must be sure to check that the price of their new trainer is manageable. They should also be aware that a high price does not always guarantee quality service. Instead of focusing on what the trainer charges, first look at references, and then decide if the price is worth the experience.
  • Availability
    • Above all, the trainer should have availability that matches their client's. There is no point in hiring a personal trainer if there is never time to meet with him or her. Check their availability initially to keep from wasting time with a trainer who cannot take a new client.

Finding a personal trainer is not difficult – the trick is to find one that has all the right qualities of a great personal trainer. There are plenty of amateurs in the workforce, but with the right checklist of qualifications and some determination, hiring a personal trainer is one of the best investments to make. After all, a healthy lifestyle is one of the greatest rewards of all.

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