Time to make personal training a priority

You’ve said it year after year: “This year I’m going to hit the gym and get in shape!” But how many times has the end of January brought with it the end of your ambition.  One answer is personal training.

There are many reasons to consider working with a personal trainer and while motivation is key, the number-one reason to do so is safety.

“When you go it on your own, you may not be doing things properly,” says group fitness and personal training supervisor Jill Wattenbarger of Health First Pro Health & Fitness Center in Melbourne. “A trainer can show you proper techniques, introduce new exercises, and ultimately help you break through an exercise or weight loss plateau.”

Now that you’ve decided to take the plunge, how do you go about selecting a trainer?

“The key things to look at are certifications, a personality match, years of experience, and any specialties or niche certifications the trainer may have.  Also, be sure to ask for references,” Wattenbarger says.

Your trainer having been selected, where do you begin?

“We start by determining any health limitations, assessing your exercise likes and dislikes, including what time of day works best for you; doing an initial assessment of weight, body fat and body measurements; and setting goals,” Wattenbarger says.

An ideal training program includes spending one or two days a week with your trainer and an additional two to three days of exercising on your own, with a goal of exercising five times a week.  Workouts should include weight training for increased muscle tone and strength and cardio exercise, for heart health.

“A trainer is great for helping you get a jump start and developing good fitness habits. You have to make it happen each day . . . just like brushing your teeth,” Wattenbarger says

Key certifications to look for:

In a market flooded with fitness facilities and training programs, it is important to know what to look for when seeking a reputable trainer.  There are multitude of training certifications to be had, however, the experts at Health First Pro Health & Fitness focus on these key programs to ensure their clients are afforded the most skilled professionals.

— A.C.E. – the American Council on Exercise

— ACSM – the American College of Sports Medicine

– -NSCA. – the National Strength & Conditioning Association

— AFAA – the American Fitness & Aerobics Association