Your fresh start has begun. You've done your research, picked the best gym for you, all of your new member paperwork is out of the way, and you're ready. Now what? Once the excitement wears off and reality sets in, most new gym members realize that they have no clue where to actually start when it comes to working out. Luckily, most facilities have teams of personal trainers waiting to assist you. Not so lucky, can be the feelings of intimidation and fear that many feel when trying to decide if they should take that next step into personal training. These feelings can lead you to believe that personal trainers are only interested and capable of working with individuals who are already in shape- athletes, bodybuilders, marathoners, etc. they're the ones that get to experience personal training, right? Not at all!
According to the National Federation of Personal Trainers, a "personal trainer possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to design safe and effective fitness programs. They instruct and assist people in reaching personal health and fitness goals". To put it simply, if you're a person interested in bettering themselves through fitness, you're ready to hire a personal trainer.
Diving in a little deeper to this, here is another perspective: Do you wait to go to your Doctor until you're feeling the best you've ever felt? Do you wait to visit your Chiropractor until you have no back or neck issues? Do you stop by to see your Mechanic just to brag that your car is in tip-top shape? Probably not. The most successful clients that experience the most life-changing results are often those who can recognize they need help, are willing to admit that lifestyle changes are hard to do alone, and are open to the guidance and instruction of a professional. Personal training isn't all bench presses and dumbbell curls (although those are great exercises that could potentially be in a client's program). They are considered professionals within the fitness field that create and help you implement plans to reduce pain, assist with weight loss, increase confidence, and so much more!
However, not all trainers are created equal, so it is important to do your research when selecting the right one for you. Just like when you're trying to find the best doctor, chiropractor, or mechanic, it's expected that you scope out the best option for your individual fitness care.
Some things to consider before hiring a personal trainer:
What is their educational background? Like other fields, personal trainers require certifications and continuing education to stay employed.
Know your expectations. If you need someone to help you stay accountable, if you're worried about injuring yourself, or if you have a medical condition that requires special consideration- all of these things need to be laid out immediately to any potential personal trainer.
Start with one session to make sure you're compatible. Consider it part of the "interview process".
Consider running through this list of "pro's" before attending another session:
Did they remember your injuries or medical condition(s) when selecting exercises?
Do you look forward to seeing them again?
Did they push you hard enough?
Were you at least a little sore?
Did they ask about your goals?
Did they get on "your level" when you were doing an exercise (on the floor if you were planking, standing next to you if you were on a machine, etc.)?
Did they correct your form?
Did they make the workout a little fun?
Ideally, you’ll answer “yes” to all of the above.
What absolutely not to consider when thinking about hiring a personal trainer:
How in shape you already are.
SAFFP believes that anyone wanting to create and sustain any fitness or wellness lifestyle change is more successful when they have help.
Let us help you decide which path is best by filling out our online Starting Point Questionnaire. From here, we will contact you directly to set up your first session, known as your Starting Point session, where we will help you discover and plan your goals and any habits you need to add or take away. In addition, you will also receive a free mobility assessment and a workout.
If you have any questions about the Starting Point process at SAFFP, or any of the information above, please contact our Fitness Director by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.