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TRAINING IS PERSONAL: Know What To Look For When Choosing A Personal Trainer

By Nick Bohanan

Chances are your New Year’s Resolution for 2012 had some basis in fitness: losing weight, getting in shape, eating better, etc. That’s good because today’s bowlers need a higher level of athleticism than ever before.

But how do you achieve that level? Let’s face it. If we were all self-motivated there wouldn’t be much need for New Year’s Resolutions! We need that guiding hand, that extra push. Having someone to motivate you is the fastest and safest way to get in better shape. A personal trainer is a good source for information, motivation and guidance, but finding the right one can be a difficult task. There are many factors that go into making a good personal trainer, but there are a few key attributes every personal trainer should have:

Certification: Don’t blindly put your trust in all personal trainers hired by health clubs. There are many personal training certifications out there, some of which can be obtained through simple weekend workshops. Higher-level certifications are respected in the fitness industry because they require the candidate to pass a vigorous exam that includes questions on physiology, program development and video analysis of lifting techniques. Due to the content of those higher-level certifications, more emphasis is placed on the knowledge and experience of the candidate. Look for a personal trainer who is certified through the American College of Sports Medicine, National Academy of Sports Medicine, or the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Education: Along with certification is education. Does the personal trainer have a college degree in exercise science, kinesiology or fitness? That can be in the form of an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Such degrees will have given the personal trainer more in-depth knowledge in physiology, anatomy, injury prevention and motor learning. Having a working knowledge of the body and how it is affected by exercise will go a long ways in helping you achieve your goal faster while minimizing the risk of injury. Never underestimate the importance of proper technique.

Personality: You have to connect with your personal trainer if you want to be motivated to work with them. If a personal trainer does not have a personality that you mesh with, it will be difficult for you to become motivated to work with them. Everyone is different. Some people like an intense trainer, while others prefer a soft, caring personality. A good personal trainer should have the ability to adapt to your needs and allow you to enjoy your time working out and achieving your goals.

Adaptability: A personal trainer’s ability to adjust to your needs comes with experience. The longer a personal trainer has been working, the more clients they have successfully trained. Through experience, there will be a learning process and a development of the art of personal training. Part of that art is creativity. Creativity will enable a personal trainer to keep your workouts exciting and finely tuned to meet your specific needs. In order to achieve your goals, a relationship needs to develop between you and your personal trainer. Just like any relationship, there needs to be a level of trust. You will put your trust into you personal trainer to help you achieve your goals. By ranking these factors by importance to your goals and personality, you will be able to find a personal trainer that will suit your individual needs.

— Nick Bohanan is United States Bowling Congress Sports Performance Specialist.