1. Are You Ready To Start?

A mentor is someone who can help you achieve a given task in a more efficient and streamlined manner. Personal trainers should be mentors that specialize in helping people achieve new levels of positive physical change but buyer-beware! Not all personal trainers are qualified to deliver the results that they promise. A qualified personal trainer can develop a safe and effective exercise program but an unqualified trainer can get you killed! Stephan Grisanti, author of Industry of Illusions, cites a report by CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews that tells a frightening story of one womans experience with a so-called personal trainer. Andrews reported on one of these unqualified personal trainers and the fatal harm that this trainer caused to Anne Capati. “The trainer, who knew Capati had high blood pressure, also suggested, in writing, diet supplements including Thermodrene, which contains the stimulant Ephedra. The family charges the stimulants and the trainers poor judgment led to Capatis death.

The Capati lawsuit has helped expose two health club secrets. The first is sometimes a certified personal trainer isnt certified. You have realized that some expert guidance will help you achieve results in a more efficient manner and you have decided to hire a personal trainer. This is where you should take care in selecting the individual that will be giving you advice that will affect your health and well-being. Follow this step-by-step list and you should be able to select a qualified personal trainer that will help you achieve your fitness goals. 1. Are You Ready To Start? The first step is to determine if you are ready and able to start an exercise program. It is wise to consult your doctor and determine if you are ready to start and individualized exercise program. Depending upon your health and past medical history, your doctor may give some specific instructions on exercises or activities to avoid. This step is important especially if you are recovering from an illness or orthopedic injury.

A good personal trainer will require that you complete a health and exercise history questionnaire at the very least prior to beginning an exercise program. 2. Youre Certified, So What! Most people realize that they should ask if their potential personal trainer is certified or not. If the trainer says they are not certified, simply walk away. If a personal trainer tells you that they are certified you should then ask them what organization certified them. Being certified is certainly a good start but the problem is that there are currently over 300 different personal training certifying agencies in existence according to Phil Kaplan, author of Personal Training Profits. Some of these certifications have lofty standards while others only require that you watch a video and mail in the answers to a written test in order to become certified. The quality of the certification really depends upon which agency is doing the certifying, what the certification requirements are, and what the trainer gains from that particular certification.

There are a handful of certifications that have value and a lot of them that are not worth the paper they are printed on so do your homework. The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the American College Of Sports Medicine (ACSM) are two of the most respected certifications in the fitness industry. The NSCA is the only nationally recognized accredited certification and it offers both a Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSCS) credential. The ACSM is considered the “Gold Standard” in the fitness industry and is also highly respected by the medical community. Both of these organizations involve a practical and written examination along with continuing education requirements. To determine the value of their certification, ask them what kind of requirements they needed to fulfill in order to achieve that credential. Ask about continuing education requirements and if they have to stay abreast of new research in order to maintain their certification. Do some research about the personal trainers certification and try to determine its value, if any. 3. Do You Have Education In Exercise Science? Ask them if they have a college degree in a health or fitness related field.