First off let me be blunt. There a lot of HORRIBLE personal trainers out there. These trainers are a waste of money and time. They have the potential to cause permanent injury or metabolic issues. With that being said, there are also an AMAZING group of trainers out there as well. An expert level trainer isn’t going to be cheap but worth every penny when you consider the advantages of a healthy lifestyle and injury prevention. Picking a proper trainer can make all the difference in the world towards your success, failure or even worse, lifelong injuries. My take home point is exactly this “you get what you pay for!” This is true in all aspects of life but more so when it comes to your own health. Do not pick a fitness professional solely on price!

I have been in the training industry since 1999. During that time, I have seen all levels and qualifications come through. To a trained eye you can spot a good trainer by the exercises you see their clients being put through and watching the week to week progressions in training. This is attributed to a training program versus the unfortunately common training regimen of let’s do what we feel like today with no set protocols for improvement.

What if you don’t know a thing about training or have some experience but are not a fitness professional? Then what do you look for? Let’s start with the easy one, credentials.

When seeking out a personal trainer, look for a trainer who has a degree in exercise science or kinesiology. This degree means they spent the time and money to learn anatomy, physiology and at the very least, basic nutrition as well as principles involved in an exercise program. In lieu of a degree(which is preferred but not always a deal breaker) look at the trainers certifications. Make sure that they have a certification from an accredited program and not an online program (believe it or not you can be certified in 15 min. for $75 on some programs.)

Just because they have a certification paper doesn’t always mean they are really certified. Whether its a degree or personal training certification yiu can verify all these with a phone call or even a visit to their website. I have fact checked trainers in the past only to find out they were lying about certifications and even a degree. They assume no one will ever look into it but when providing a service to our members we will spare no expense to check your credentials and as a consumer you should too. Many facilities wont take the time like we do to make these calls so that leaves it in your hands to verify.

The next trap to avoid is these social media “influencers”. They talk a big game and maybe even made a little progress or even stepped on stage once or twice. That does not make them a fitness professional. Once again you should verify their credentials. Just because they can get 1 million people in bikini/bodybuilding shape or make amazing 6-10-12(pick the arbitrary number) week transformations does not mean they are going to have your health and longevity in mind as a precursor to your results. A true fitness professional will put health over fast track results shouldn’t you? They may even entice you with a team name of some sort to make you feel like part of something. Isn’t that how cults get their members too?

When all is said and done just check facts and verify with clients they have had to the results you want. When mom and dad said if its too good to be true…. this goes double with your health.

Sean Casten