Sadly, choosing a personal trainer is a "buyer beware" predicament. Because personal trainers are not licensed in the State of Georgia, there's very little in the way of credentials that can ensure you're getting good guidance.
A few years back I needed shoulder surgery. I had torn a doohickey (officially called a labrum) in my shoulder and it took a while for doctors to diagnose it. In one of many conversations with my orthopedic surgeon, I mentioned that I was entering a program to become a certified personal trainer. He froze and stared at me. "Do you have any idea how many patients I see a day all because of personal trainers?" Apparently, poorly-directed fitness training can be bad for your health! I explained that I was entering a rigorous program through Gainesville State College because I wanted to do things right (see my credentials), but his point is well taken. The wrong personal trainer can do more harm than good.
While it will be difficult for you to thoroughly assess and identify a "good" personal trainer, here are some tips to help you find someone who can help you without hurting you.
Ask them these questions.
- How did they get their certification?
- Do they do a fitness assessment, including medical/health history?
- Do they take your pulse, blood pressure, and body fat measurements to get a fitness baseline?
- Do they have written references from professionals attesting to their competence, as well as testimonials from clients who have gotten positive results?
Ask your doctor if they have any opinions about individual personal trainers, good or bad. If they can't steer you toward a good one, perhaps they can save you from a bad one.
Even if you choose not to work with me, I want you to have a great experience during your fitness training. Every bad experience creates a negative impression of my profession. I'm hoping that someday the bad personal trainers will all just shrivel up and blow away. I'm sure my orthopedic surgeon will let me know when that happens.
Contact me at 770-862-0357 if you'd like to know more about what goes on in a proper fitness assessment.
You can also email me.