Personal Fitness Trainer: How to Find One for You (cont.)

Asking Questions

Before you even meet with a prospective personal fitness trainer, you need to have a good sense of just what you want to achieve, says Klinge. Do you want to lose 10 pounds or 50? What kind of exercise do you want to do? How many sessions per week can you reasonably fit in or afford?

Bryant urges that you get the business policies of any prospective trainer in writing, so that you clearly understand his or her charges, cancellation policies, and liability insurance. You may also want to ask for references, although some trainers may be reluctant to give them in order to protect their clients' privacy, says Hagerman.

One of the most important things to consider is whether you and your trainer are a good match, according to Klinge and Hagerman. The relationship between a personal fitness trainer and a client is not a friendship, but since you'll be spending a few hours a week with a person, make sure it's someone you like.

"People should really take their time in choosing a personal trainer," says Hagerman. "You should make sure that you feel comfortable with him or her and that you're not afraid to ask questions. Because if there isn't a good rapport there, you're just not going to want to go back to the gym. And that ruins the whole point."

Published Feb. 24, 2004

SOURCES: Cedric Bryant, PhD, vice president of education services and chief exercise physiologist, American Council on Exercise. Patrick Hagerman, EdD, professor of exercise and sports science, University of Tulsa; board of directors, National Strength and Conditioning Association. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2002; vol 16. Fred Klinge, chairman, Health and Fitness Track, Certification and Registry Board, American College of Sports Medicine. Medicine and Science in Sports, 2000; vol 32.

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Last Editorial Review: 1/31/2005 7:39:07 AM