A personal trainer is a fitness professional who helps you to identify health and fitness goals, and design exercise and fitness programs to help you reach them.
Their job is to help you become stronger and healthier by deciding which exercises you should perform, and showing you how to do them in a safe, controlled manner.
In addition, a personal trainer should help you adjust your health and fitness programs in response to changing fitness levels, and offer basic nutrition advice.
A good personal trainer will create a customized exercise program just for you. Designed to help you reach your unique health and fitness goals, a trainer should also take underlying health considerations into account (e.g. family health history, pre-existing injuries, medications used, etc.) when creating your specific training program.
So be sure to inform your trainer about what exactly you’re looking for, be honest about your health, and they’ll tailor a 100% safe plan complete with realistic goals.
When exercising, safety should always be the number one priority. This is for a simple reason:
A personal trainer will teach you the proper mechanics of each exercise to ensure that you’re performing movements correctly. This ensures good health while still maximizing the efficiency of your workouts.
Everyone needs a little extra motivation at times, and having a scheduled, in-the-calendar session with a trainer promotes accountability. It can also help you develop long-term self-motivating skills that can assist you in all facets of life, not just health and fitness.
If you’ve attempted regular exercise in the past to little avail, then we especially recommend trying a personal trainer because he or she can help instill a more positive outlook on exercise.
By exploring options to make exercise more enjoyable and reviewing your short-term progress toward goals, your trainer can help both improve your self-motivation and self-confidence.
In your first meeting with a certified personal trainer, he or she will start the introductory process and get to know you. This information is crucial for your prospective personal trainer so that they can design the right program for you.
Your trainer will do a variety of assessments to get to know your body type and fitness levels. These assessments can help the trainer develop your customized program in terms of selecting proper exercise intensity and appropriate weight for strength training. They will also establish a baseline to weigh your progression against as you proceed through your training.
Some common assessments include:
How many times per week you meet with a trainer is a personal decision that depends on a number of factors such as fitness goals and motivation level. But you should keep in mind that a personal trainer’s ultimate goal should be to promote self-motivation, which enables you to take ownership of both your work with the trainer and future self-directed exercise too.
That’s why good personal trainers are also educators; they should teach clients about:
You should leave your personal training experience with a solid understanding of your progression, and a broader understanding of why your trainer made his or her specific training decisions.
Finding the right trainer for you depends on a few variables. Here are some things to consider when meeting with prospective personal trainers.
A referral is just about the best compliment a trainer can receive, and referrals only come to those with great reputations. Talk to your friends or ask around online to see if anyone has any strong recommendations. Also, good trainers will be happy to share success stories, testimonials, and references, so be sure to ask them too.
A trainer should always be able to show you a fitness certification in their particular area of expertise. For certification, trainers must pass an exam through accredited organizations like The American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). These accreditations ensure that the trainer has met certain standards of professionalism and competence.
You should definitely choose a seasoned trainer if possible. The longer the trainer has worked, the longer he or she has had to test preferred methods.
As strange as it sounds, there is a philosophy behind a trainer’s choices. How does the trainer develop his or her program, and on what beliefs is it based? Will you be using machines or free weights? Ask specific questions about the trainer’s preferences and you’ll learn a lot.
This is important in terms of motivation. Some people prefer positive reinforcement such as compliments and cheerleading, while some prefer a drill sergeant to scare them into doing those extra crunches. It’s a subjective decision, just make sure your prospective trainer fits your needs compatibility-wise.
This is important if you have any specific training goals, such as training for a 10k. If you do, you’ll want a trainer who specializes in long-distance running over one who specializes in something like deadlifting. Not only will the trainer have more expertise in your desired area, but chances are he or she will be more passionate about it––and passion is infectious.
Like all of the qualities noted above, cost too can vary drastically. A trainer’s hourly rate depends on a number of variables, including certifications, specialties, and location. Decide on your budget before approaching trainers, and make sure to interview enough trainers to see if you’re being swindled or not. If hourly solo sessions are proving too pricey, don’t worry because some trainers offer semi-private sessions at a discount.
There are great personal trainers in every city. If you’re in Chicago, CrossTown Fitness is without a doubt the best spot for working with a personal trainer.
We offer one-on-one 30-minute training sessions designed to fulfill your precise fitness needs. We can pencil you in for 4 training sessions per month, and help you stay committed to your goals and the plan specifically designed for you.
Our trainers at CrossTown are some of the most qualified, experienced, and successful in Chicago, so you can rest assured you’re working with the best in the business.
With three locations in the city, there’s bound to be a studio that’s convenient for you. So, if you’re looking to work with a personal trainer and achieve long-term sustainable fitness goals, CrossTown Fitness is the place for you!