Personal Trainer


    Finding a great trainer is like going into a big-box store and asking for “the best product”. First, there are so many products. Secondly, requesting “the best” will yield a horde of qualitative, biased responses. Thirdly, the typical big-box store may not offer the quality and range of products in which you are interested, and it would still take a long time to assess them all.

    National fitness trainer certifying agencies exist, but it is not my goal to name and acknowledge them. Americans simply like the term “certified” as if certification means that a trainer will be more knowledgeable and offer a higher quality service. Particularly in the field of fitness training, being certified simply means you study occasionally, pay fees, and pass simple examinations for the right to receive a current diploma. Many certified trainers were never athletes and never trained themselves or others for physical competition. As such, knowledge and applicable experience about many aspects of anatomy, physiology, strength-training, stretching exercises, cardiovascular activity and the competitive edge is often missing. These are all far more important than an attractive piece of parchment from a certificate mill.

    If you visit a large, city-wide, regional, or national chain of fitness centers, you are likely to find that they use fitness trainers to aid you. The trainers are of a wide range in age, male and female, of differing physical characteristics, with different educational backgrounds and fitness-related knowledge, skills, different fitness training interests, and experience.

If you are seeking high-quality help:

  • Determine what you would like to do (stretching, weight-training, cardiovascular, a combination) and be specific

  • Determine if you have a clear goal and timeline or if the service is for general fitness

  • Determine the type of setting in which you would like to work (large, small, public, private, frequently independent, usually structured sessions, group and size versus one-on-one, and so on)

  • Determine if trainer gender is an important factor

  • Determine if in groups, if you prefer to work out with only men, women, specific age groups, etc.

  • Determine your budget and frequency of service you prefer.

  • Do you have a short attention span and prefer to often integrate new equipment, and new, trendy work-out concepts into your routine? Consider such in your determination.

  • Determine if you need to have access to child care or to at least work out in a child-friendly and/or pet-friendly setting.

  • Determine the distance you wish to travel, particularly in inclement weather will matter to you.

  • Determine if you want the benefit of complementary dietary or social activities information.

  • Determine if you would like to engage in social activities with others who work out with the trainer or at the facility; part work-out club, part social club.

    The list above is a starter set of factors to consider as you pursue superior personal guidance for your fitness plan. There are many other services you may pursue when joining a larger, more expensive club, particularly if related to a country club. These options may include tennis courts, pools, hot tubs, saunas, other sports and recreation activities, spa treatments, clothing sales, dietary supplement sales, dining facilities, conference rooms, and more. However, many would be just as happy to work out with a talented, experienced, knowledgeable trainer in his/her comfortable, remodeled, well-appointed, fitness equipment-laden garage. ISG Health believes that your primary aim should be acquiring a great trainer. Your health matters – your fitness matters.


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