Before you go into a consultation for any sort of fitness training there is one big thing you should know and some questions you should ask. We will also go over industry standard answers to look for.
A CONSULTATION IS A INTERVIEW OF THE TRAINER! Just because you have decided to become healthier and work on your fitness does not mean all personal/exercise trainers are the same. Here are some questions to keep in mind heading into that first interaction.
1. What is this trainers personal educational background?
Education is not everything in the fitness world, but it may provide insight to how they got to where they are today. The type of degree shows you what they decided to explore in college. Our president bounced around a bit before finding his love of education in exercise science. He also fiddled around with ABA after college as an behavior assistant. The level of degree a person holds can show you how much time and effort they put into studying their craft. Like our president got his Master's in Human Performance/ Exercise Science, so a lot of his studies were in the learning of how the body reacts to exercise, how to properly gauge someones fitness level and research on everything related to exercise. The longer a person goes through the formal educational system, the more you can find out about what got them to where they are. Like our president spent numerous hours volunteering with wheelchair basketball and did his last research paper on how exercise affected individuals with autism. Which he is allowing us to release here soon.
2. What is the trainers certification?
Most people do not understand is that not every certification is made equal. There are layers to what is deemed by professionals to be the best. The very top certification for training is the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), this is what is required to train top level athletes such as college, pro, and Olympic level. The next level is the NSCA, ACSM, and ACE personal training certifications. Our president currently holds his certification from ACE. He has aspirations to go for a CSCS but is more focused on the business for now. These are considered the top because they cover tons of areas and require certain prerequisites. The CSCS is only allowed for individuals with a college degree in a related field of exercise and nutrition. The next level mainly require CPR and liability insurance to keep them. Both levels take substantial time to study for. After these two levels, it gets a little tricky and as a potential client you should be cautious. There are some certifications that sound great but only took a weekend to get. If you are unsure if they are properly qualified just ask, it is up to the trainer to prove to you they have substantial knowledge in the area of exercise, planning, and basic motivation. You would not let a person who only knows how to fix a specific type of sink they learned to do in a weekend do your entire homes plumbing, so why let someone who just has a specific specialty exercise certification plan your specific exercise program. No one has the same body and each body reacts differently to exercise.
3. Are they insured?
The person obviously can not indulge on the details of the policy but they should be up front with you about who is covered for what. Make sure you can receive proper compensation if there are any mishaps.
4. What is their media release policy?
The ethical standard is that you can take pictures with consent. However it is seen as tacky and borderline unethical to constantly take pictures that are not necessarily just before and after photos. We do not have a policy as we want to stay with the industry standard.
5. How do they judge when it is time to progress or regress an exercise?
This is important in that if there is not even subtle changes to a plan, there will be no changes seen and thus not help you as a client achieve your fitness goals. We look at numerous aspects before we try to switch up a workout. Like, is a client perceived as struggling and are they perceiving themselves as struggling. What is their heart rate at? What's the breath doing after the set? This can help you gauge when might be a good time to help your trainer progress or regress you as well, since you both do not want to waste each others time and even though they may be trained to see certain ques may not understand yours right off the bat.
Hope this post helps you be confident when you enter a consultation with a personal trainer. Have a topic you'd like our unique experience to talk about? Email us
We will be releasing our president's final paper on exercise and autism to the public in two weeks! It is jammed packed with great stuff!