Finding The Right Personal Trainer Can Be Key In Reaching Your Health Goals This Year
Strength and conditioning coach Josh Heenan gives his advice for finding the best personal trainer for you.
As the New Year comes to a start, people attend local gyms in record numbers. With this phenomenon, personal trainers are hired at an increased rate.
Personal trainers are often highly qualified individuals with years of academic, clinical, and in-the-trenches experience that allows them to give a high quality of service to you. Unfortunately, the great trainers often get lost in the mix with trainers who don't know their elbow from their ear.
A quick Google search will reveal about 20 different results for personal trainer certifications. The qualifications to be certified range from an undergraduate degree in a health related field and the passing of a certification exam to a one-day seminar that "qualifies" you to be a personal trainer. Since the government has yet to step in and provide national licensure for personal trainers, all of the previous certifications allow a trainer to legally train people.
Underqualified trainers often injure the majority of their clients and advocate less than optimal exercise choices, not understanding the short and long-term ramifications of what they are recommending. This can be disastrous and completely turn you off to training at all.
So what are you as the consumer to do?
Here are three criteria that will help the guesswork out of finding the right trainer for you:
First, the trainer must do an assessment. This means they will make you walk around, jump, squat, or perform some form of movements that give them information on what your strengths and weaknesses are. This could include a table assessment where they check your flexibility.
Secondly, be sure that you feel comfortable with the person training you.
This may sound stupid, but I can't tell you how many people are uncomfortable with their trainers for a number of reasons. And lets face it, you are forking over a pretty penny to these people so you are likely to get more out of your money if you feel comfortable with their personality, professionalism, and skills.
Finally, they must be able answer every question below correctly.
It may be uncomfortable to be quizzing your potential trainer, but if you want to make sure your trainer is even somewhat qualified they will be able to answer these questions without hesitation. These questions are not difficult for someone who has a very basic anatomy and physiology background. They are based on scientific fact, and if the trainer dismisses them and refuses to answer politely thank them for their time and show yourself the door.
1. What are the muscles that make up the rotator cuff?
2. What muscle is associated with valgus collapse of the knee?
3. _____________ training burns more calories than steady state cardio when given the same time frame?
4. Repeated full lumbar flexion- when performing full-range abdominal crunches- is the mechanism to create a herniated disk. True or False?
1. Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres minor, and Subscapularis.
2. Glute medius
I hope this guide helps you find a great trainer and they lead you to all of your physical goals for the coming year.