Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What you should know about your trainer and what your trainer should know about you…

I’ve gotten a lot of emails recently regarding the article linked to my website regarding how to pick a personal trainer. The reason I posted this article is because I wanted my potential clients to know what a qualified personal trainer is. First, there is the certification. Is your trainer certified? Who are they certified with? Is it up to date? Here is a link with personal training certification programs that are accredited through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies: http://www.noca.org/GeneralInformation/JoinNOCA/tabid/65/Default.aspx.

This is a third party certification agency that examines the organizations that certify personal trainers. You should ask your trainer what agency they are certified through and then verify it.

Once you’ve established that they are indeed certified then you should ask if they have taken continuing education credits because new research comes out regularly. Most certification agencies require their trainers to take a certain amount of cec’s in order to continue their current certification. Also ask if your trainer has taken any college education classes in the field of exercise science, health and fitness or something in a related area. It is not required by trainers and it doesn’t necessarily mean the ones with the college education are better than the ones without. It really depends on what the trainer has educated themselves with and are they applying that to the clients. Your trainer should create a customized training program and this should change regularly as you become competent on what you have learned. A trainer should never have their clients in severe pain the day after a session. If you do have this severe pain then you should talk to your trainer about cutting back on the weight or amount of exercise. If your trainer says that you are fine and continues to have you wake up in severe pain each time then it’s time to find a new trainer. If you experience any pain during a workout you should tell your trainer and try a different exericise and if the pain persists then maybe you should make a trip to the doctor to make sure you are ok to keep training.

Something clients should focus on during a consultation is whether or not you think you will get along with this trainer. This is very important because it is your money and you shouldn’t dread your workouts because you don’t like your trainer. If you don’t notice this until after you start training with them then talk to your trainer and let them know if you don’t agree with something like the way they talk to you or if they are yelling at you. Again, it’s your money and you should feel confident with your trainer.

Now trainers, same thing goes…ask your client what their goals are and then ask them if they are willing to do what it takes to get there. You will most likely only spend 1-3 hours with them per week so the rest of the week they need to be disciplined as well. You don’t want to train someone who won’t succeed. You may need the money but it could hurt your clientelle if you are training people who are not getting results. Other potential clients aren’t going to know it was the client who continued to eat too many calories and not work out when you are not there. Also, trainers don’t be offended if your client interviews you and asks a lot of questions about you. That usually means this client is serious about their work out and they will succeed with your training. Also, you should see if you think you will get along with your client. If the client is clashing with your personality then it might be best to not pursue this because if they decided later down the line that they don’t like you then they can give you a bad reputation. This is a two way relationship and both parties need to be satisfied. But don’t just take my word for it, do your own research. Both the client and trainer needs to take care of their health/reputation.

So that’s what I wanted to say on this topic. Here is the link to the MSN article I found on chosing your trainer. Good Luck! :)


Kristina Crossway

KrisCross Training

NASM Certified Personal Trainer


  1. Good stuff! The more we spread this information, the more professionalized our industry will become!

  2. I especially like that you noted excessive pain/soreness is not desirable following preliminary workouts. I think too many potential cients associate a positive correlation with the competence of a trainer and the level of soreness following a workout. When I work with potential/new clients, and perform a movement analysis, they may experience soreness in the following day/s just from that little bit of unfamiliar movement patterns. I even try to limit that soreness to a reasonable extent. Know that pain/soreness will require a longer, and more gradual warm-up, that is if the soreness is even acceptable to work through. It will also require more attention to kinematic sequence due to the body's instict to protect the damaged area via compensation or extreme co-contraction.

    Good info, Kristina.

  3. Thanks you guys! You are right Andy, we do need to educate the public more and spread the word! Nick, you are right, thanks to the popular saying, no pain no gain, trainers and clients alike think that when they can barely walk the next day, then it was a good workout...but like you said this will cause your body to instinctly compensate different muscles that can lead to all sorts of problems. Thanks for the feedback guys!:)