A personal trainer is a fitness professional who assists his or her clients with exercise instruction and prescribes specific programs to achieve your goals. They are improve your motivation and provide feedback and accountability that will often help clients to move forward, beyond what they though possible.
Personal trainers begin working with clients by measuring their client’s strength and setting out goals. Once they and the client have agreed upon the goals the trainer will outline a program to help the client achieve their goals. Personal trainers will work with all people of ages and skill levels using cardiovascular exercise, strength training and stretching.
Depending upon your goals, your personal trainer will help you develop a program using a variety of techniques. For instance, for strength training you may be using kettlebells, dumbbells and resistance bands. Cardiovascular work might include PACE training on machines or walking or running depending upon your current skill level. You’ll be stretching after your workouts and if you need further work, you could be stretching at home between workouts.
A personal trainer should give you a customized program that isn’t the same for all his other clients. The program should be based on the initial evaluation of your current fitness level and your goals. If you are post injury, in rehabilitation, post pregnancy, during pregnancy or have any other pre-existing medical conditions, the personal trainer should take those into consideration as well.
The personal trainer is also responsible for showing you the proper technique for performing all the exercises included in your fitness program. When doing exercises without the proper form you have a higher risk of injury that could sideline you from your program for weeks. Proper mechanics of your body will also ensure the maximum efficiency of your workouts.
Once you’ve started your program you may find that the exercises get boring or your need an extra boost of motivation to keep you working out everyday. Personal trainers have been educated to help you with that as well using strategies that have been successful with other individuals.
Each session you do with your trainer will involve a short evaluation of where you are and have accomplished as well as tweaking the program to keep you pointed toward your goals. How often you meet with the trainer is customized between you and the trainer based on your motivation, goals and ability to work independently. YOu may find that there are times when you need to meet more frequently and others when you can meet less frequently.
ACE Fitness: What Can I Expect when working with a personal trainer
Bureau of Labor Statistics: Fitness Trainers and Instructors
National Federation of Professional Trainers: What is the Role of a Personal Trainer
MarketWatch: 10 Things your personal trainer won’t tell you
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
SparkPeople: How to choose a personal trainer
National Strength and Conditioning Association: NSCA Certified Personal Trainers