What You Didn’t Know About the Personal Training Industry
Let’s take a look at our list of things to remember when making choices about the personal training industry.
The total number of gym memberships in the U.S. grew more than 38% in the past ten years, and the need for personal trainers has grown right along with them. Choosing a personal trainer can be a challenging task for someone new to fitness training because there are so many different programs and points of view.
There are many unknowns about the personal training industry, mostly because it’s still a relatively new idea, and many things are still being ironed out. We are going to help by arming you with the information you need to make an educated decision about the qualifications of your trainer.
1. Don’t Train
Many people feel that they should put off hiring a personal trainer until they get into better shape on their own. They believe that they need to hire a personal trainer only when they get stuck and need assistance.
The downside to this approach is that you can learn bad habits that can be hard to break later. Sometimes bad habits can lead to personal injury and setbacks that will extend the time required to achieve your goals.
It’s a good idea to get your trainer early to prevent learning bad habits. They can also help to get you on track for fast results. Your trainer will prefer to be there at the start.
2. A Good Trainer Knows Your Limits
Your trainer should begin by discovering your physical limitations and areas of weakness. Your trainer will also need to look for any muscle imbalances and test your flexibility. The trainer will also want to check your form while doing each exercise to make sure you perform each of them correctly.
Your trainer will also need to know your goals for weight training, weight loss, etc. so hey can help you reach them. If your trainer does not do this evaluation, they cannot develop a plan to reach your goals. If you begin training without a plan, you could injure yourself. Skipping the evaluation could suggest that this trainer might not be right for you.
Your trainer will evaluate you and learn these things by beginning with a detailed written assessment called the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire. You will need to supply your medical history, and might need a body fat measurement. You may also need an evaluation of your posture and diet.
3. A Bad Trainer is Counter-Productive
A personal trainer needs to be right for you and your needs. They need to have your best interests and goals at heart and be knowledgable enough help you realize those goals.
Using the wrong personal trainer can lead to injury or force you to pursue goals you do not wish to achieve. They will create a bad overall experience that can de-motivate you, and cause you to stay home instead of reaching your goals.
Many people might continue to use a poor trainer if they have a good reputation, or other people have recommended them. But if your trainer is not leading you towards your goals, they are leading you away from them.
4. There is No Standard Certification
One thing many people don’t know about the personal training industry is that there is no standardized certification program in place. There is no college or exams you need to pass to become a personal trainer the way there is for becoming a lawyer or a public accountant.
No standard certification means you need to look carefully into the credentials of any potential trainer to avoid scams. Don’t accept a long list of certifications without researching what it took to receive them. Some certifications only require an hour or two of training while others require going to college for years.
Here are a few popular certification programs that many personal trainers complete. Anyone certified from one of these places is very likely to know what they are doing, but this list is not exhaustive.
- National Acadamy of Sports Medicine
- International Sports Sciences Association
- American Council on Exercise
- American College of Sports Medicine
- National Strength and Conditioning Association
You can indeed get great results from a trainer that doesn’t have a certification, and not everyone certified will be a good trainer. Certification provides an excellent place to start when inquiring about the depth of knowledge someone has on a subject, and it can give insight into their specialties.
5. Personal Trainers Need Insurance
Any pro trainer with steady work will have liability insurance in case something goes wrong. If the trainer is an employee of the gym, they will likely provide the protection. Coverage will also protect you if you get hurt. If you get injured and the trainer does not have insurance, you might have to pay for care out of your pocket even if you win a settlement. Make sure your trainer is insured.
6. Reaching Your Goals Can be Expensive
Depending on where you start and where you want to end up, it can get expensive and take a long time. As a general rule, it can take three to five months for the average person to get results, and cost can exceed $1200 per month in some cases.
Frequently when you begin training with a personal trainer, you will go several times a week until you have a plan in place. Once a program is in place, you may need to see your trainer less frequently, but costs can still add up over time.
It’s essential to budget for the trainer early on, so you are not surprised or forced to quit your program. A false start can set you back and reduce your morale.
7. The Trainer Doesn’t Get the Money
Even though the cost can be high, a trainer can help you reach your goals much faster than you could on your own, and the high fee is not just to pay the trainer. Often, a large portion of the cost goes to the gym or other facilities where the trainer works. Some of the money might be used to pay the insurance we talked about, and many times you might need special equipment.
8. Some Trainers Have an Agenda
Unfortunately, steroids are still prevalent in the gym, and some trainers might downplay their harmful and illegal aspects to make extra money. Any trainer that pushes a product over diet and exercise is not working for you. They are working for that product. They are not personal trainers. They’re salesmen.
9. Training Goes Beyond the Trainer
You will only spend a fraction of your time in the gym with your trainer so you will need to set up a plan for what you do during the remaining time. Diet will play a big part, and so will exercise. There may also be times when you need to contact your trainer for unexpected help. Ultimately, reaching goals is up to you.
10. Fire Your Trainer
Many people struggle to get along with their trainer for any number of reasons and continue working with them longer than they should. If you feel that you’re not on track to meet your goals, it’s perfectly acceptable to fire your trainer. You should never enter any long term contracts with any trainer because you don’t know if they are right for you.
That brings us to the end of our insights into the personal training industry. We hope you have learned something, and will feel more confident next time you are looking to hire a personal trainer for yourself. Use this guide to help you make your choice. If you enjoyed these personal trainer tips, please share them.