Personal Training

The Definitive Guide To Personal Training

01. Introduction

02. What Is a Personal Trainer?

03. History of the Personal Trainer Profession

04. Purpose of a Personal Trainer

05. Desired Education and Qualifications for a Personal Trainer

06. What Traits Make for a Great Personal Trainer?

07. Benefits and Disadvantages of Having a Personal Trainer

08. What to Ask When Hiring a Personal Trainer

09. A Personal Trainer in the Home

10. Personal Trainers in Fitness Centers

11. Technical Aspects of the Personal Trainer Profession

12. Conclusion

13. Resources

Introduction

Fitness has become a popular subject of discussion in recent years, but most people find it difficult to know where to begin. There is so much to learn about exercise and nutrition programs that it is easy get sidetracked with theory. Many people are inconsistent, jumping around from one idea to the next without giving anything time to work. To make progress, though, you have to have a plan and a direction.

Enter the personal trainer. With this person on your side, you will soon have the guidance you have been looking for and be on your way to a healthier you. The personal attention you will get can help you improve your fitness in ways no solo program ever could. That is what having a personal trainer is all about.

These fitness professionals have been credited with helping people from all walks of life to meet their health and wellness goals. You do not have to be an elite athlete to have a personal trainer, and you do not have to be wealthy either. The average person can benefit from having a personal trainer as much as anyone else. You just have to arrive with an open mind and a sense of commitment to becoming fitter.

Having your own personal trainer is a wonderful path to fitness. Yet, it is best not to go into it blindly. To be a savvy consumer, you need to know how to choose a personal trainer, what to expect from one once you start training, and problems to avoid. There is good and bad in every profession, and the field of personal training is a subject most people are unfamiliar with unless they have already used the service.  In this Definitive Guide to Personal Trainers, you will learn about the subject so that you can deal intelligently with people in the profession.

What Is a Personal Trainer

A personal trainer is a fitness professional who works with individuals. He usually works in a gym, but may also work in private homes. This type of trainer will assess baseline fitness, build exercise programs, recommend nutritional plans, and provide encouragement and motivation. He will work with each person on a one-to-one basis, usually for a long-term program.

Individuals meet their personal trainers regularly, most often between one and five times per week, depending on the person’s needs, availability and budget. The sessions often last about one hour, and may include planning. The personal trainer may need to spend time discussing problems with the program or reevaluating long term and short term goals.

Workouts are nearly always on the agenda. Some exercises in the workout may be common and easy to understand. Others may be more difficult or rely on the use of unfamiliar equipment. The personal trainer will often spend time demonstrating new equipment and exercises until the client feels comfortable with them.

A personal trainer is dedicated to improving health and wellbeing of his clients, but he is not a medical professional. If he sees a medical problem, it will be out of his area of expertise. He should refer you to someone who is trained in that type of treatment. Yet, he can help you improve your health as much as is possible through diet and exercise.

Finally, a personal trainer is someone who gets to know you and understand your strengths and weaknesses. Because of this, he has an inside track on the type of help you will need to accomplish your goals. The personal trainer, then, could become a very valuable person in your life. Many people find that hiring and working with a personal trainer is a sound investment towards living a healthy and happy life.

History of the Personal Training Profession

The history of the personal training profession can be seen as a long one or a fairly short one. It all depends on what events you count. The Chinese understood that fitness was correlated with the prevention of disease between 2500 BC and 250 BC. Kung Fu was encouraged as a way to become healthier.

Fitness was an issue in the Greek civilization before the days when the ancient Greeks were training for the first Olympics. The Spartans required exercise regimens for children as young as 6. These and many other early fitness movements around the world were brought about as a means to prepare soldiers for battle. Such programs, of course, still exist.

In the 1800’s people began going away from home to visit health spas. They sometimes took extended vacations. The spas were designed to cater to the wellbeing of the entire body. There was some excitement about exercising to improve health, but workers at these spas were poorly trained and ill-equipped to teach people anything of value about the subject.

The Physical Culture Movement of the late 1800s got many people interested in physical activities such as weightlifting to increase muscle size. At around the same time, an attempt at building physical superiority for national gain resulted in many major advances in gymnastics by two German men. The two men, the first Johann Guts Muths and the second Friedrich Jahn, were pioneers in gymnastics training methods.

However, personal training as a profession did not begin until sometime in the 1900s. Jack Lalanne was the founder of modern fitness training, and was the first to provide personal training in his own chain of gyms.

After the American College of Sports Medicine was established in 1954, they began certifying personal trainers as a part of their push to increase fitness and health in the country. As time went by, the requirements for being certified increased and became stricter.

Another fitness guru of the 1900s was Ken H. Cooper. He defined and explained aerobics and introduced the concept into the popular culture. He also helped to establish the connection between disease prevention and fitness. He showed how fitness could be improved through a healthy diet and an appropriate exercise plan.

Personal trainers made great strides in the following years, and by 1980, the profession had begun to come into the spotlight. More people were interested in fitness, and more people wanted personal instruction.

New certifications from different agencies were available all through the 1990s. For example, in 1996, the National Strength and Conditioning Association decided to recognize and accredit personal training as a profession. As of 2011, there are 14 or more certifying agencies which recognize this area of expertise.

People in the last century have become increasingly sedentary. Most people must make it a point to participate in an exercise program in order to get in the physical activity they need to stay healthy. For this reason among others, the future looks bright for the personal training career path.

Purpose of a Personal Trainer

A personal trainer can fulfill many purposes for his clients. He can guide them to a level of fitness they may have never dreamed possible. By meeting these needs, the personal trainer provides a valuable service.

Assesses

The first thing a personal trainer does is to assess the fitness level of the new client. One purpose of having a personal trainer is to have someone who knows how to take the measurements and do the tests to gauge your baseline of fitness. When you know where you are, you can begin to know where you need to go. Then, reassessments along the way will point out the progress you have made.

Helps Define Goals

People often approach fitness with broad or meaningless goals. They want to “get into shape,” or they want to be stronger. While you might notice a difference when working with goals like this, you will never have a specific, accurate measure of when you have accomplished your goal. A personal trainer’s purpose is to help you set specific goals so you will know how to pursue them, and you will know when you have achieved them.

Plans Overall Fitness Program

Once your goals have been established, the personal trainer goes on to his next purpose, which is to plan your fitness program. He will develop a program for you that will include both diet and exercise. In his plan, there should be an overall direction for workouts – the types of exercises that will be done and the type of schedule you will keep.

Designs Individual Workouts

The personal trainer has the job of designing each workout for your program. He will refer to your overall plan in order to choose your daily exercises. He will tell you his prescription for you in terms of types of exercises. He will also tell you how many times you need to do them and how heavy your loads should be. He will regularly alter the workout routine to meet your changing needs.

Instruct

A good personal trainer has a wide knowledge of subjects like body mechanics, equipment use and nutrition. He should teach you how to make wise choices in your diet. One of the main missions of the personal trainer is to explain exercises, demonstrate how they are done, and watch your form to see that you are doing them correctly. Anyone can watch an exercise video and copy the exercises on it; but if you have a personal trainer, he will spot trouble when you are going them incorrectly.

Motivate and Encourage

Just having someone to check in with may be enough to motivate you, but a personal trainer can do so much more. He can help you keep your eye on the goal, and remind you of the benefits you will receive. He can encourage you to keep going as well. If you are working by yourself with no clear goals, you might not see your progress as much. A personal trainer should point out any advancement you make and help you celebrate each success.

Desired Education and Qualifications for a Personal Trainer

The first step in finding the best personal trainer is learning what kinds of education and qualifications you should expect. With such information, you can assess the training and experience of each candidate before you sign up with one. Consider these desired qualifications.

1. Age

Certifying agencies generally require personal trainers to be at least 18 years of age or older. Because personal trainers need insurance, it is unlikely that they would be able to work without at least being considered an adult. Besides this, most people would choose a personal trainer with at least that much life experience under his belt.

2. Degrees in Exercise Science

The Master’s in Exercise Physiology or Kinesiology is the most desired degree for personal trainers. It teaches them everything they need to know about body physiology, mechanics, and coordination. It helps students understand how to encourage a healthy lifestyle, how to facilitate rehabilitation, and how to explain proper nutrition. Another appropriate degree is the Bachelor’s in Exercise Science.

3. Lesser Degrees

Although a Master’s or Bachelor’s in one of the exercise science disciplines is the most desired degree, there are alternate routes to the profession. Some people may have certificates or Associates Degrees as well, showing that they have studied fitness to a certain extent. Most certifying agencies only require a high school or equivalent. They then offer certification classes and test for competency in important facets of fitness.

4. Certification

There are many certifying agencies overseeing the personal trainer profession. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) are just two of the certifying agencies approved by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Always look for personal trainers certified by agencies approved by the NCCA.

5. CPR and AED

Most certifying agencies require cardio pulmonary resuscitation training (CPR) as well as training in the use of automated external defibrillators (AED). When your personal trainer has these skills, you can enjoy a safer, more secure environment. Your trainer should be able to handle basic emergencies if you have a problem during a workout, so you do not have to be afraid to give it your all. Make sure the trainer you hire has these certifications and that they are up-to-date.

6. Internships

Internships are available through colleges or sometimes through fitness centers or gyms. They are designed to give fitness workers real working knowledge of what it means to be a personal trainer. Someone who has served an internship in the field of personal training has a better grasp of how to work with clients than someone who is starting out without that advantage. He will have learned from his mentor how to deal with many of the challenges of day to day fitness programs. He will know more about what motivates people and how best to encourage them. Always look for a personal trainer with the best training and qualifications.

What Traits Make for a Great Personal Trainer?

Once you know the objective measures of a personal trainer’s qualifications, it is time to consider the traits that will make him a great fitness professional for your needs. There are several things to look at when you observe someone before hiring him for the job.

1. Safety-Oriented

Watch the personal trainer in action. Notice whether he practices spotting techniques when someone is lifting heavy weights. Listen for him to correct exercise form to prevent injuries. Watch to see if he pays close attention while the client is working out. All of these actions will add up to a safer exercise program.

2. Patient

Unless you are already in top physical condition, there will probably be times when you need extra help in learning an exercise. There will probably be moments when you have a bad attitude and want to quit. On the other hand, you may get bored or anxious to move on. A great personal trainer will have the patience to work with all these attitudes, help you feel better about your program, and continue to help you until you have mastered each exercise as it comes along.

3. Realistic

A personal trainer with an overblown ideal of the perfect body or the perfect outcome may be detrimental to your health. He will likely take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as he sings the praises of his own program, only to make you feel bad when you do not measure up. A realistic personal trainer is a much better choice. He will guide you in a program that is possible for you and he will be clearer about what you can expect.

4. Positive Attitude

Although you will want a realistic personal trainer, he should also have a positive attitude. He should plan each day with the expectation of the best possible outcome. He should greet you with enthusiasm and respect.

5. Current

New breakthroughs are constantly being made in the field of fitness and exercise science. A great personal trainer will stay abreast of all the new information and use it whenever appropriate. He does not need to bend to every fad, but he does need to keep current on his specialty.

6. Communicative

If you cannot communicate with your personal trainer, there is no safety, no accurate assessments, no appropriate planning of exercise programs, and no help with workouts. Not only will you miss important information and have a program that is not suited to you, but it is likely that you will also feel like you are all alone in your program.

7. Motivating

A great personal trainer knows how to motivate people. He may have studied the subject of motivation in college, or he may just be a natural at providing clients with incentives to improve. You need someone to present challenges and encourage you to meet them. A great personal trainer can do that.

8. Reliable

Finally, a great personal trainer is reliable. Ask any of his clients if he is always there for his personal training appointments. Find out if he is on time, and if he has daily workouts prepared for his clients when they arrive. You cannot progress without some regularity and constancy. The best personal trainer will be there for you with all the traits to help you succeed.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Having a Personal Trainer

Having a personal trainer is a great way to improve your fitness. There are many advantages to this kind of program over others. Most people would be hard put to find any disadvantages to working with a personal trainer, but there are a few drawbacks. It is best to consider both before you start training.

Advantages

1. Reduction of Injuries

With a personal trainer guiding you to use the proper form in your exercises, you have less chance of sustaining injuries during workouts. What is more, your personal trainer keeps you working out at a level of intensity and volume that is suited to your fitness level. Because of this, you are less likely to get hurt from overtraining and overstress.

2. Accountability

When you are enrolled in a gym and going there on your own, nobody really notices whether you show up or not. It is actually easier for the gym to run with less people participating, so owners and managers rarely spend much time encouraging people to maintain a regular schedule. With a personal trainer, though, you are held accountable for your presence at every workout. You may be charged a fee if you do not show up without notifying your trainer. Besides that, your personal trainer will not ignore the problem when you miss workouts repeatedly.

3. Continuing Instruction

Whether you work out alone in a gym or exercise at home to fitness videos, you rarely have the opportunity for learning more than the basic information. At a gym, an instructor might tell you how to use the machines once, but after that it will be up to you to get it right. It is not likely that you would have any help in working out the fine points of using a piece of equipment or doing a new exercise. You would have no one to answer your questions.

A personal trainer keeps teaching you all through your program. Anytime you have questions, he is there to supply the answers. The more you learn about how to do the exercises, the more he will help you refine your form. You can never learn too much about fitness, and a personal trainer can take you on that journey of discovery.

4. Assessment and Monitoring

After assessing your fitness, the personal trainer will design your program. Then, he will monitor your progress to make sure everything is going according to plan. If you are not advancing as expected or are making faster progress than you ever dreamed, he can adjust your program accordingly. Without a personal trainer, it is very difficult to judge your progress so that you can take action to accommodate it.

5. Motivation, Challenge and Encouragement

Some people are able to find their own challenges and muster their own motivation to reach their goals. Most need help developing the right mental attitude necessary to work out successfully and improve their fitness. A personal trainer can point you in the right path, and hold your hand all the way there.

Disadvantages

1. Less Freedom in Workouts

When you are working out on your own, you have total freedom to do any exercises at any level you want to do them. It may be difficult to accomplish anything or to keep from getting injured, but you do not answer to anyone for the choices you make.

2. More Expensive

If you work out at home, you can get fit for less money than if you hire a personal trainer. That is assuming that you have all the equipment you need and a place to work out. If cost is a concern for you and you are considering joining a gym to save money, check prices for all kinds of programs. Working with a personal trainer is often as inexpensive as, or even sometimes cheaper than getting a full blown gym membership.

3. Set Schedule

A personal trainer may have a flexible schedule, but he will likely have one of some kind. Most people cannot just walk into their personal trainer’s office and demand a workout on the spur of the moment and expect him to drop everything to help them. If you do not like to plan ahead, you might prefer to exercise on your own.

4. Possible Overexertion

There have been at least two cases where clients were pushed so hard by a personal trainer that they developed rhabdomyolysis. This is a serious medical condition where the muscle fibers break down, poison from the process enters the bloodstream, and the kidneys are damaged. This is a very rare event, and most personal trainers will keep you from overexerting yourself rather than encourage it.

All in all, there are more advantages than disadvantages to having a personal trainer. If getting fitter is a high priority for you, working with a personal trainer will put you on track to achieve your goals in as little time as possible.

What to Ask When Hiring a Personal Trainer

One thing you must always remember when you are looking for a personal trainer is that he will be your employee. You are hiring him to do a job. As such, you will want to conduct an interview to find out his strengths and weaknesses just as if he were working for your company. After you ask the basic questions about education and certification, there are a few more questions you should ask.

What is your experience as a personal trainer?

Find out how long the person has worked as a personal trainer. Ask whether he has worked in gyms, homes, fitness centers, or has a variety of experiences. Ask what kinds of clients he has had, whether elite athletes, people who were in fairly good shape to begin with, or people who started out with a long way to go.

Do you have personal sports or fitness achievements of your own?

Whether a personal trainer has personal achievements in sports or exercise is very telling. You do not need someone who has won the Olympics to be your trainer. However, if he has proven himself on some field of competition, he is easier to respect and follow.

What is your philosophy of personal training?

The person you are interviewing should be ready with an answer about how he approaches fitness. Perhaps it is his philosophy that health is more important than beauty. Maybe his guiding principle is finding balance in all aspects of fitness. Whatever it is, make sure you can agree.

What do you expect from your clients?

Ask what is expected of you. You will get a sense of whether the personal trainer is going to work you too hard. If he proclaims low expectations, you have to wonder whether he will actually challenge you to progress.

What would you do if I was injured before, during or after a session?

Pay close attention, because the wrong answer could lead to serious problems. The answer should be that injury is outside the scope of personal training. If you were injured, the trainer should suggest medical help rather than trying to fix it himself.

Do you carry insurance?

You are putting yourself in the personal trainer’s hands during your sessions. If anything goes wrong, you want to know that he can cover the costs with his insurance. If possible, ask for some proof of insurance before you begin training.

What are your rates and fees?

A personal trainer will be only too glad to tell you his basic rates as soon as you ask. Make sure you know if there are any hidden fees. You may have to pay for special workout attire or equipment, or you may have to pay a fee when you miss a session without notification.

The more you know about a personal trainer, the easier it will be for you to make an informed decision. Ask the right questions and pay attention to the answers you get. The right personal trainer is out there waiting for you.

A Personal Trainer in the Home

Working with a personal trainer can be inconvenient, especially for someone who works at home. The good news is that more trainers are setting up businesses where they have their sessions at the clients’ private residences.

A personal trainer can come into your home for the same or less than the cost of seeing one at a gym or fitness center. The quality of instruction and inspiration is just as good. In fact, you might find that you get more personal attention and have a better experience without the distractions of the gym.

One of the best parts of working out at home is that there are no strangers around watching you or judging you. The sessions are as private as you want them to be. You can get down to work without feeling self-conscious or shy.

Depending on your home workout area, you will probably have a more limited variety of equipment to use during your workouts than at a gym. A great personal trainer can work around that. He might bring portable equipment like dumbbells, physio-balls, a jump rope, or resistance bands. He may use features of your home, such as stairs for climbing. He may also design bodyweight workouts that will challenge you to progress in your fitness. Of course, any gym equipment you have, such as a treadmill or elliptical, can be put to good use as well.

A distinct advantage of having a personal trainer coming into your home is that it is much easier to make your training sessions on time. Since the trainer comes to you, you do not have to worry about being late or getting caught in traffic. All you have to do is open the door and ask the trainer where to begin with your workout.

However, working with a personal trainer in your home is somewhat different from working out in a gym. It is best to consider the difference in your attitudes, behavior and environment. Here are a few tips to think about before hiring a personal trainer for sessions in your home.

Tips for Working with a Personal Trainer in Your Home

1. Talk with the personal trainer’s references before inviting him to train you in your home.

2. Make sure the room where you will work out is clear of obstacles and breakables. Keep it clean.

3. Make sure kids and pets are not going to interfere with the training session. If a child or a pet jumps on you while you are exercising, you could be injured quite easily. They are also a distraction.

4. Turn off the TV if you are not a multi-tasker. Some people can leave the TV on and still pay attention to their trainer and workout. Others get sidetracked and lose focus. Be aware of which you are and do the right thing.

5. If you cannot afford one-to-one personal training, you may be able to get the next best thing by having a personal trainer work in your home with you and one friend.

Personal Trainers in Fitness Centers

It seems natural to work with a personal trainer in a fitness center. After all, trainers are employed to work on site by clients of the center or gym. Since they are right there, it makes sense to take advantage of their expertise when you go. Yet, there are some things you should know about working with a personal trainer in a fitness center before you sign up.

Free Sessions

Many fitness centers offer free personal training sessions as a bonus for signing up with the gym. It seems like a generous offer, but be careful that you get what you are promised. Sometimes, the free sessions are conducted by the sales staff rather than the regular personal trainers. This can result in an ineffective workout, or even injury. You cannot expect much from one free session, but you should expect to meet with a real, qualified personal trainer for a legitimate session.

Credentials

Do not make the mistake of thinking that any personal trainer who works at a fitness center is qualified for the job. There are personal trainers with excellent credentials working in gyms all over the country, but there are also some people in that role who are not well-qualified. The fitness center should keep the copies of diplomas and certifications for each personal trainer. This information is often kept in a folder which you can look at if you request to see it.

Equipment

Fitness centers usually have all the equipment a personal trainer needs to put together any type of workout for you. This is one of the major advantages of working at a fitness center. When you choose the gym, talk to the trainer and ask what equipment you will be using and whether there will be any problems with availability when you get ready to use it.

Distractions

There are many distractions in gyms, not only for you but also for the personal trainers. Other people are working out, TVs may be going, music may be playing, and classes may be in session. Make sure you keep your mind on your own workout, and make certain that your personal trainer is giving you his full attention as well.

Know When to Say When

Even with the best education and credentials, a personal trainer can make mistakes. You should expect better, but be prepared for the worst. If you are truly in pain or feel a kind of discomfort that goes beyond normal workout exertion, do not hesitate to stop the session. You look to your personal trainer for guidance, motivation, and encouragement. Yet, there may be times when you have to pull back and quit for the day. A great personal trainer will be able to identify the difference between laziness and real physical distress, but you have the final control.

Recognition

Working in a fitness center gives you the advantage of letting others know about your accomplishments. If you are someone who thrives on praise and recognition, a gym might be just right for you. The personal trainer might post your best accomplishments on a board or announce them to the gym. If you would rather keep your workout details private, make sure your personal trainer knows that too.

Technical Aspects of the Personal Trainer Profession

It is easy to leave all the technical aspects of training up to your personal trainer. After all, you are not an expert. However, if you know something about training types, training philosophies, performance types, and exercise modalities, you will be more effective at finding the right personal trainer for you.

Personal Trainer Types

There are many different personal trainer types with various specialties. Some work exclusively within a certain discipline such as yoga, karate, or dance. Sports trainers work on strength and conditioning for athletes, and they also help them work on game skills. Personal trainers with a fitness specialty might help people with weight loss, improving muscle tone, or improving cardiovascular endurance. They will usually also work with their clients on nutrition. Some work mostly with core fitness. People who are interested in hiring a personal trainer to work with them on bodybuilding can also find those specialists.

Training Philosophies

There are probably as many different training philosophies as there are personal trainers. However, there are some basic themes that resonate with certain groups. Some feel that the most important aspect of personal training sessions is to create balance within the body. They feel that the body is as weak as its weakest part, and they train with the goal of bringing balance among the parts to make a stronger whole.

The philosophy of other personal trainers is that training is just one aspect of a healthy lifestyle. It is ineffective if you do not make good choices in the rest of your life. These trainers will work with you on total fitness, going beyond workouts to discuss sleep, nutrition, alcohol, tobacco, and other personal habits.

One of the simplest and most effective philosophies of personal trainers is defined by the way progress is achieved. It is a three-part process, starting with setting clear goals, then making a positive plan to reach those goals, and finally, to find some impartial way to measure your success. It is always a good idea to assess the strength of your personal trainer’s philosophy before you start going to sessions.

Performance Types

Personal trainers who specialize in performance training may select a certain sport or activity as a focus. They may work mostly with team sports players. They may concentrate their energies on martial artists or other individual sports athletes. It takes an entirely different type of personal training style to work with someone who is going to perform in bodybuilding competitions than for someone who just wants to lose a few pounds and not run out of breath climbing stairs. Whatever the performance type, it will have an effect on the training.

Exercise Modalities

The 3 main exercise modalities are aerobics, resistance training, and flexibility training. For aerobics, the general prescription for workouts includes the exact exercise chosen, the duration of the exercise, and how often it should be done. Resistance training involves not only choosing the exact exercise, but also setting the weight load, the volume or numbers of reps and sets, and the rest periods between the sets.

Flexibility exercises are generally stretching type exercises, and are done in combination with one of the other two types of exercise modalities. One more type is sports specific training, where personal trainers help athletes work on skills such as improving a jump shot for basketball or a pitch for baseball. It is good to investigate all the technical aspects of a personal trainer’s practices in order to choose the right one for you.

Conclusion

Personal trainers have a great deal to offer people who want to improve their physical condition. A good personal trainer will provide a wealth of information on fitness and an excellent knowledge of body mechanics. He will be able to tell you how to do an exercise and make sure you are getting the form right to make progress and prevent injury.

Your personal trainer should be able to help you set reasonable and clear goals. He will design a program that will help you meet your objective as quickly and as safely as possible. He will explain the plan to you and help you do the workouts correctly. Then, he will measure your progress so that you know precisely when you have achieved those goals.

There are all kinds of personal trainers in the world. Some are much more educated and qualified than others. Some are more patient and kind. Some can present a challenge in a way that will make you want to work your hardest to achieve it.

You have to think about whether you want sport-specific training, general fitness training, aerobics training or training for some kind of performance. In the end, the best personal trainer for you might not be the best for someone else.

The variety of personal trainers out there only means that you need to research carefully to get the very best one to meet your own individual needs. There is no need to settle for someone just because he is the first personal trainer you run across. You might be selling yourself short if you do. The only way to know is to learn all you can and find out the credentials, skills, attitudes, and philosophy of the personal trainers you are considering. Then, you will find the best personal trainer for your own needs.

Resources

Professional Fitness Trainer: Personal Training – History of This Practice

http://www.profitnessfl.com/2010/07/personal-trainer-history-of-this-practice/

College Board: Exercise Science

http://www.collegeboard.com/csearch/majors_careers/profiles/majors/31.0505.html

Sys-Con Media: Setting Professional Licensing Standards – Should We?

http://www.sys-con.com/node/1830488

Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: Influence of Direct Supervision of Resistance Training

http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Abstract/2000/06000/The_influence_of_direct_supervision_of_resistance.23.aspx

Journal of American College Health: Effect of Personal Trainer Services on Stage of Exercise Behavior and Exercise Mediators in Female College Students

http://heldref-publications.metapress.com/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&backto=issue,5,17;journal,18,81;linkingpublicationresults,1:119928,1

Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: Two Cases of Exertional Rhabdomyolysis

http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Abstract/2003/09000/Two_Cases_of_Exertional_Rhabdomyolysis.7.aspx

The Windsor Star: Exercising Injured Can Be Disastrous

http://www.windsorstar.com/health/Exercising+injured+disastrous/4768849/story.html

The New York Times: A Good Excuse to Stay Home from the Gym

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/fashion/25fitness.html

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