By Virginia L. Phillips –
For those of us who may know the many benefits of traditional strength training, we may now have concerns that our bodies can’t do that anymore. And, we may now have concerns about safety and the possibility of injury. For those with no real experience with traditional strength training, we may have concerns about starting strength training “at our age”.
So, while we can’t afford to pass up an opportunity to fight the aging process (and the related health issues) by keeping our muscles strong, we’re not sure what we need to do. Enter the Personal Fitness Trainer.
Trainers are not hard to find – almost every fitness facility has trainers available for personal training. If you do use a facility’s trainer, typically the trainer’s fee will be in addition to the fees which the facility may charge. Also, if you have any fitness equipment available for your personal use, there are personal trainers who will conduct private sessions at those locations.
While there is a cost for the trainer – my personal experience is the benefits of using a trainer far outweigh the cost:
• Safety: The trainer’s primary job is to make sure that you have a safe workout.
• Full Workout Benefit: The trainer is there to make sure that you get the intended benefit on each piece of equipment.
• Motivation: As our minds often hold back our bodies, the trainer is your coach – there to encourage, motivate and, yes, “push” you farther than you would push yourself.
• Accountability: Some days we just don’t feel like training. But we know that our trainer is expecting us, waiting to help us, and depending on us to show up for our session. The trainer becomes your partner who shares the responsibility of not allowing you to let yourself down. If you should decide to use a trainer, here are some suggestions that may help:
• Certification: Verify that the trainer has a national certification.
• Insurance: Make sure that the trainer has current liability insurance – either individually or through the facility where you are being trained. And, ask for proof of the insurance.
• Health/Safety Evaluation: Do not begin training until the trainer has completed a comprehensive health history evaluation.
• Cost/Payment: Get a detailed, written fee schedule and payment process. Does the trainer have a performance bond to protect you if the trainer fails to complete all of the sessions that you paid for in advance? Is there a money back guaranty if you are not completely satisfied with a session? If you get part way thought a multi-session package and don’t continue, will the trainer refund all or a portion of the balance of your money?
• Personality: Although it may be hard at the first meeting/interview, don’t be afraid to react to how you “get along” with the trainer. The relationship with a trainer is a close one – you are putting your fitness (health and safety) in his or her hands. Remember, there is a reason that they are called “personal” trainers.
So, here we are. We are at a point in our lives where we have more free time than ever before – and we simply don’t want to let our bodies or our health slow us down. That means eating right, getting regular health checkups, and keeping our bodies strong and free of the injuries that can prevent us from celebrating the rest of our lives. And, as we have preached, strength training is undeniably one of the best ways to lessen the negative effects of aging. And, for all of the benefits that we have mentioned, we would recommend that you look into using a Personal Fitness Trainer/Coach.