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Personal Trainer

A Personal Trainer is a fitness professional who assesses, teaches, instructs and motivates clients in conducting proper exercises. Guidance includes cardiovascular training, strength / weight training and flexibility.A professional Personal Trainer should have a 4-year degree in an exercise-related field or a higher, comprehensive certification through an accredited institution such as the American College of Sports Medicine, the NSCA or the CHEK Institute.

A Personal Trainer (PT) is not only a resource for the "rich and famous", but a professional who can assist and motivate one to exercise  for a variety of individual goals such as weight loss, general strength, sport specific improvements, post rehab and core training.

The first meeting with a PT should always consist of a confidential and thorough evaluation of medical history, current health status, past or current injuries, past exercise experience and goals. The next step would be a physical assessment, which depending on the client’s goals can include a postural, core, strength, flexibility and cardiovascular assessment. Based on the results the PT will design a workout program that is best suited for the client.During the training session the Personal Trainer guides the client through a series of exercises tailored to the individual and teaches proper form and execution. Motivation, accountability and trust is a huge part of working with a trainer.

In general Personal Training can emphasize many different directions. This is depending on what the client is looking for, or how much guidance and motivation is needed. A tailored exercise program can be taught to the client in a few sessions and the client execute the program alone; or the client may be looking to hire the trainer for continuing sessions, until the individual's goals are met.

It is important before hiring a trainer to interview the professional. Most PTs have certain areas of expertise in which they have completed continuing education, such as sport-specific training (e.g. tennis, golf, triathlon, etc.), holistic exercise or corrective exercises. An interview is also important because Personal Training is very much of a personality fit between the client and the professional.

Author: Melanie Wenderlich, Certified Personal Trainer (CHEK)

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