There are some very good Personal Trainers in the Omaha area, unfortunately, there are some bad ones as well. How do you tell the difference? When you’re comparing Trainers (and you should), make sure you’re not comparing apples and oranges. As with any service or product, it’s important to know what you’re getting for your money.
Is the person you’re talking to an actual certified trainer, or a club salesperson?
Naturally, a Personal Trainer is going to want to sell his/her services, so they will tell you about their services and related fees. As a consumer, you should listen, become as informed as you can, and compare Trainers, their services, fees, and facilities.
But, if you start getting the “hard sell,” it’s time to move on. You’re making a very important decision, involving a lot of money, and more importantly, your health. The decision should be yours, and there’s nothing wrong with “thinking about it” for a day or two.
Are they certified? By what organization(s)?
Why hire a Personal Trainer when you can go online and get certified yourself for $50 and five minutes of your time? Yes, it’s that easy for someone to say they are a Certified Personal Trainer. Find out if the Personal Trainer you’re talking with is certified, and by what organization. Ask about the coursework, and how long it took.
One major gym sends their “trainees” (many of whom have no experience) to a 5 day “crash course”, then turns them lose on the gym population as “certified personal trainers.”
While there are many “certification agencies,” the following are generally accepted by most major gyms and training organizations as legitimate Personal Training Certification agencies (listed alphabetically):
- Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
- National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
- National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
- National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)
- National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
- The Cooper Institute (TCI)
Again, this list is not intended to be comprehensive, but provides a listing of the most common and generally accepted certifications.
Are they insured, and are they CPR/AED certified?
They should be both.
How long have they provided personal training services?
As in most fields, longevity is not necessarily a measure of quality, dedication, or value, but should be considered along with other characteristics in selecting a Personal Trainer, especially a Certified Personal Trainer.
Will they provide references?
There is only one answer: Yes!
You don’t need a dozen, maybe one or two. Ask for testimonials from existing and/or past clients. If you’re talking to your Personal Trainer at the gym, ask if they could point out any clients that might be there, so you could talk with them briefly. Clients who enjoy their relationships with their Trainers are usually happy to help them bring new clients on board.
Do I actually need to meet my Personal Trainer?
This seems like a rhetorical question, but if you’re at a big club you’ll often find a salesperson or “Training Manager” who wants to sell you training sessions and “assign” a Personal Trainer to you. Don’t be pressured…wait until you actually meet and talk to your Personal Trainer before you sign anything. Big clubs often have a wide range of Trainers, make sure you find the one that’s right for you. Meet the person, test them out for a session. If your happy with their personality and motivation techniques then sign the paperwork.
Does the Personal Trainer offer a free consultation?
Once again, you’re making an important decision involving your health, not to mention a healthy hunk of change. This is a detailed initial consultation where the Personal Trainer finds out about your objectives and outlines his or her methodologies, facilities, and pricing. Depending on the gym/Personal Trainer’s policies and your current level of fitness, they may take you through a full or partial workout. This gives you a an additional chance to find out more about the person you’re investing in—and that’s what it is—an investment. Keep in mind, you’ll probably need to fill out a health questionnaire and definitely a liability waiver, but that’s standard. And it’s well worth the opportunity to educate yourself about your Personal Trainer and their methods.
What are their rates? Are there other fees and conditions?
Are they per-session, or per-week, per-month, per-year? Is there a time limit on the sessions you purchase? What is their policy if you have to cancel a session? Do they offer better rates per-session for larger session packages (most do).
Make sure you’re comfortable with the answers to all of these questions.
Do they have a “training-only” facility, or will your sessions be at a gym with a large membership population? Different strokes for different folks…again, it’s about what you like in a training facility. Some people prefer the large gym, lots-of-people environment, while others like their personal training sessions in a more private environment.
Drop us an email or give us a call at 402.290.3915.