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Hiring a Personal Trainer: The Role of a PT and How to Determine Which is Right For You
by TeenHelp June 23rd 2021, 05:00 PM

Hiring a Personal Trainer: The Role of a PT and How to Determine Which is Right For You
By Sarah (Rivière)


The role of a personal trainer
The role of a personal trainer is to be a fitness educator. The client should receive training on correct exercise technique, nutritional guidance, and to be more self-aware of their own body. Each of these things help the client to reach their fitness goal(s).

A personal trainer is not a dietician, and must stay within their scope of practice. They should not provide individualised diet plans, prescriptive nutritional advice, or specific supplements and/or dosages. Only those whom have completed a 4+ year degree programme are permitted to provide such.

Do their credentials check out?
All PT’s must have the following qualifications:
• Level 2 Gym Instructing
• Level 3 Personal Training

Though wording of these qualifications may vary between training providers, it’s important to determine whether a PT has a legitimate qualification. Personal trainers must be registered with the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), and/or the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA). Personal trainers who have received their qualification from a US-based training provider such as the National Academy of Sports and Medicine (NASM) are usually accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
Regardless of where a personal trainer originates from, always check that their qualifications are legitimate.

How do you determine a good PT from a bad one?
Unfortunately, there is no good answer to this. This is something determined by two factors; personal, and professional.

Professionally, a PT should…
• Be focused on you at all times.
• Actively listen to what you’re saying.
Keep their mobile phoneout of sight.
• Know their stuff! They should be able to tell you exactly why you’re doing an exercise, what muscle it targets, how to perform it properly, and the dangers of improper technique.
• Be a nutritional advisor only. They should guide you towards a healthy and nutritious diet, not prescribe you with one.
• Never try and force you into anything you don’t want to do.
• Communicate with you outside of PT sessions by providing weekly/bi-weekly check-ins.
• Give you homework. PTs are fitness educators after all.
• Keep you accountable.
• Ask for permission before touching you. You have a right to say no.
• Focus on your goals. If you want to build good biceps and your PT only ever focuses on your legs because that’s all they ever do, it’s never a good sign.
• Practice what they preach. Telling you to perform a deadlift, yet never having done one themselves isn’t good.

Personally, a PT should…
• Be encouraging, enthusiastic, engaging, and push you towards achieving your goal(s).
• Show positive body language. Not everyone appreciates a PT with arms permanently folded.
• Avoid overcomplicating explanations and/or flex knowledge unnecessarily.
• Try and make sessions fun and different each time. Nobody wants to pay a load of money to do the same thing every single week. You can do that on your own.

Hiring the right PT for you
People who turn to personal training will have at least one of three main fitness goals; to lose weight/fat, to build muscle/tone, and/or to receive help with their eating habits. Given this, it has prompted many PTs to state they ‘specialise, in three areas; weight/fat-loss, muscle-building/toning, and nutritional guidance. All personal trainers are educated in the anatomy and physiology of the human body, and are educated on ways of providing nutritional guidance. With this in mind, is this truly what a PT specialises in? Or is it just a marketing angle?

Dig deeper
Think about what beliefs, hobbies, and interests you have. Signing up with a PT can cost a lot of money. Remember that this is a lifestyle change you’re investing in. This means you’ll want to explore the various types of personal trainers. Every PT is different. Each come with their own type of personality and range of knowledge and experience. Each have different beliefs, hobbies, and interests. Consider looking for one that is similar to you. For example, if you enjoy swimming, would it be better to look for a PT who specialises in swimming because they take part in swimming competitions, or one who can’t swim at all?

Don’t forget that personality plays a large part in what makes a good PT. Although that competitive swimmer may be the best in the business, if they’re known to be disrespectful and rude, are you willing to put up with their behaviour to achieve your fitness goal(s)?

Message your chosen PT!
If you’ve found a PT you’re considering hiring, never be afraid to send them a message or call them to see if they’re available for a chat. The more you communicate with them and get to know them, the more you’re going to be able to decide if that PT is for you, and the more you can build a rapport with them even before you’ve started.

Finally, always make sure to fully read and understand your service agreement before signing it. Hiring a personal trainer is a step towards a lifestyle change, and in some cases, can be life-changing. Should your PT be disrespectful or mistreat you in any way because of your race, sexual orientation, age, religious beliefs, any disabilities you may have, and so on, you are well within your right to refuse their service.

https://www.insure4sport.co.uk/blog/...tional-advice/
https://blog.nasm.org/nutrition/offe...trition-advice
https://www.exerciseregister.org/
https://www.cimspa.co.uk/
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