Keeping Lyons Fit!
By Mary Chase
It’s the time of year for the lagging New Year’s fitness resolution. You may be looking for a way to get back on track with your fitness goal. Maybe a fitness class or a personal trainer is the way to jump start the resolutions back on track, but what should you be looking for in that trainer or class?
Unfortunately, anyone can call themselves a personal trainer. Not everyone can call themselves a certified personal trainer. And there are literally hundreds of entities offering personal trainer certifications. Florida is currently the only state in the United States to put legislation in effect regarding being a certified personal trainer. So what should you look for in a certified personal trainer? As far as the industry is concerned, American College of Sports Medicine is the gold standard to which all other entities should emulate. However, this certification does require a four-year degree in an exercise science related field.
American Council on Exercise is a non-profit that does not require a four-year degree, but does require continuing education and is a non-profit. This means their primary focus is not profit, but facilitating the training and education of exercise professionals. This is a key point because there are unfortunately a great number of entities that will be happy to take your money to become a certified personal trainer, but are not concerned to either verify the knowledge of the trainer or continue to do so in a continuing education environment.
Most importantly, ask the trainer about their educational background and certification. I am happy to share my information with clients because it shows that they are informed and concerned about finding a trainer that is well educated to help them. However, I am also concerned at how many people don’t ask about credentials while hiring a trainer.
Class instructors are much like personal trainers. There are different standards everywhere you turn. Sometimes entities have their own training process specific to the class that is being taught; sometimes they require a certification from an organization such as ACE or ACSM. Once again the most important thing to do is ask. Find out what their educational history is, what their teaching philosophies are, and how they can accommodate any special needs or restrictions you may have. Most importantly find a class or trainer that you love. There is no one class or one trainer for every person. You need a match that will inspire you to find motivation and passion in exercise so that you will keep coming back for more, and continue your exercise journey safely and effectively. Happy exercise trails!