|Go virtual! Finding an online personal
|What is your exercise personality?
Find a legitimate personal trainer
Once you've decided on which type of training you prefer, compare
trainers based on qualifications and personality. You want someone
you have a connection with.
Finding a personal trainer certainly proves to be
a more straightforward task when looking in person versus online.
Word of mouth and the ability to see and talk with the trainer --
possibly even engaging in trial sessions with the workout coach
-- make for easy ways to check out the legitimacy of
and your chemistry with the instructor.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for finding
one online: Testimonials and certifications could be real or bogus,
and you never get to see the personal trainer.
The trainers we spoke with suggest researching a few
instructors to find the one best suited to your needs. There are
three key points to consider when seeking the trainer to get you
on the fit side of life.
1. Check for certifications.
While certifications might not seem as important if you can talk
to your trainer and get references in person, it's one of the
few ways to evaluate online trainers.
Typically, trainers will list any certifications
they have on their Web sites. Note however, that not all certifications
come from accredited certification organizations such as the American
Council on Exercise, National Academy of Sports Medicine, National
Council on Strength and Fitness, National Federation of Professional
Trainers or the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
A personal trainer certified with the NSCA certainly will have
passed a more rigorous test than someone certified through a local
gym. Some certificate programs are simply a weekend seminar, says
Tryner suggests searching for the trainer's name
on the organization's Web
site to verify the certification.
2. Interview several trainers.
Ask lots of questions.
This is a good thing to do, especially with online trainers. Always
speak with the person by phone before signing up for a program.
To find out how competent the trainer is, ask questions you already
know the answer to, says McMillian. If you've had a history of
injuries, and you've received exercise advice from your doctor,
ask the trainer how you'd workout with these injuries. If the
doctor's advice is beyond the trainer's expertise, the trainer
should say she doesn't know but will look up the answer for you.
3. Check out the trainer's
While the trainer's physique doesn't guarantee what yours will
look like after working with one, you still want a trainer who
looks the part, just as a dentist should have attractive teeth.
You can check the trainer's Web site, but you may want to check
to see if it's a recent photo.
If you're still wondering whether you can get to the gym without
the push of a personal trainer, look at your recent workout history.
"If you can't motivate yourself, and you're missing a few months
of working out, then there's something in that cycle that you have
to break," says Tryner. That something just might be a personal