Personal fitness trainers are not just for the rich and famous anymore! They can help you accomplish your fitness goals by assessing your current status, creating effective personalized workouts, monitoring your progress, providing accountability through scheduled appointments, and continually providing modifications to your personalized workout program.
- Personal trainers work in a variety of facilities. You will find personal trainers at health clubs, spas, medical facilities, country clubs, personal training studios, and at private homes and offices. The average cost of hiring a trainer at a health club is roughly $40-$75 an hour. The average charge of a personal training session held at a private residence or office is approximately $60-$100 an hour. Rates will vary depending on location, distance from client, length of training session, and the trainer's level of experience.
- Services typically offered by personal trainers include strength and endurance training, weight loss programs, sport-specific conditioning, cardio fitness, flexibility programs, post-rehabilitation, and balance/coordination programs. Some trainers specialize in aquatic fitness and hold training sessions in swimming pools.
- Consider these questions before hiring your personal trainer:
- Do I need to see my doctor first? Depending on your age and medical history, you may need to obtain exercise clearance from your primary physician or physical therapist before working with a personal trainer. Most reputable trainers will require your doctor to sign a physician's consent and clearance form stating you are physically fit to participate in a moderate to vigorous exercise program. A trainer should be able to fax this form along with a signed release of medical information form to your doctor's office. This signed medical form authorizes the doctor's office to release pertinent medical information about you to your trainer.
- How many sessions should I purchase? Since you're paying your trainer by the session, you'll need to decide how often to work out. The number of training sessions depends on your goals and your level of comfort. Some highly motivated individuals may only need to meet with a trainer for a few sessions to learn how to operate the machines safely, while other individuals with medical issues may need to meet with a trainer weekly.
- Will my muscles be sore after each session? Whether or not your muscles will be sore after a training session depends upon your goals and how hard your trainer pushes you. Before working with a trainer, communicate to the trainer your goals and expectations. Some individuals are sore within 12 to 48 hours after a workout session, while others feel no soreness at all.
- Will I get charged if I have to cancel a session? Most trainers have a written cancellation policy that requires you to give 24-hour notice in the event of a cancellation so you need to check into this when hiring personal trainers. If you do not give notice within 24 hours of the scheduled workout session, you will be charged for the entire session.
- Questions to ask your potential trainers during interviews:
- What organization are you certified by? There is no independent national or state licensing board which certifies personal trainers. Instead the fitness industry is self-regulated and relies on institutions and agencies to certify qualifying candidates. There are hundreds of organizations that offer fitness-related certifications. Some of the largest and most reputable organizations are: American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength&Conditioning Association (NSCA), American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and the C.H.E. K Institute. Personal trainers should also be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), first aid, and automated external defibrillation (AED) certification. Trainers should keep all their certifications current.
- What is your educational background? Some trainers have a bachelor's or master's degree in Exercise Science, Kinesiology or Allied Health. Other trainers have no formal training and gain hands-on experience by working in the field.
- Does the trainer have liability insurance? Many personal trainers work as independent contractors for clubs and are not considered employees of the health club. If this is the case, find out whether the trainer has his own professional liability insurance.
- Ask for references. A reputable trainer should be able to provide you with names and phone numbers of current as well as past clients to call as a reference. Call the references and see if they were pleased with their exercise programs and if the trainer was professional and reliable.
Hiring a personal trainer is not difficult if you know what questions to ask. Good luck in finding the perfect trainer. Participating in a continuous moderate exercise program can add years to your life!