How to identify a qualified trainer

We know there are good trainers and a whole lot of bad trainers. One reason why so many fitness trainers are just flat-out terrible is their inadequate training. For instance, if a person walks into a gym and wants to be employed there as a trainer, sometimes all that gym will require is a weekend 8-hour class. One class! Don’t assume that someone who is a personal mobile trainer is any better. Depending on which state you live in, a person can become a trainer by taking just one on-line course. An uneducated fitness trainer can put you at serious risk of injury. Here’s the minimum requirements that a trainer should have:

Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification from one of the following recognized and respected agencies:

ACE – American Council on Exercise (prerequisites: adult CPR and AED)
NASM – National Academy of Sports Medicine (prerequisites: CPR and AED)
ACSM – American College of Sports Medicine (prerequisites: high school diploma or equivalent)
NSCA – National Strength and Conditioning Association (prerequisites: high school diploma or equivalent, CPR and AED)

Plus:
CSCS – Strength and Conditioning credential (prerequisites: bachelor’s degree or chiropractic medicine degree, prerequisite)

If you need a trainer for rehabilitation, such as after an injury, look for certifications from ACSM and NASM.

Make sure to ask which certifications a trainer has before you work with him or her. Don’t waste your time or money on someone who is inept and can hurt you. Your goal is to improve your health; don’t be afraid to ask some tough questions. It’s your life and your health. Choose wisely.

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