Friday, October 9, 2009

Personal Training - everything about it!

Personal Training – Necessity or Luxury?
Gone are the days, when choosing a Personal Training option at the health club was the domain of the rich and the wealthy! These days fitness enthusiasts, carrying along their “Fitness Gurus” with them is a common sight at many of the gyms! A very special thanks to Bollywood for this!

So, if you too are determined to get one yourself, make sure you agree with at least 2 of the below reasons!
Beginner –
In case you are just beginning a fitness program for the first time in your life, you can definitely use the services of the personal trainer. This is especially so, in case you use the gym facilities at peak-times – the times when the gym is very crowded, during which the general trainers might find it difficult to pay detailed attention. They can guide you on the right technique and form of each exercise and also help beat the initial soreness that accompanies initial days of exercising. Please note that this need is relative and may not be applicable to everyone!

Motivation –
One of the most important reason people opt for Personal training is motivation. Due to various personal and professional pressures, adherence and consistency at the gym, sometimes becomes a problem. Needless to say, with such pressures, physical fitness becomes of utmost importance. A personal trainer in this case can be of great help, by designing a time-efficient workout.
(May be the Personal Training fees could also motivate you to be regular!)

Efficiency –
A Personal Trainer can design an individualized and effective workout, rather than just wasting time on in-effective workouts. He also takes into consideration your personal health and fitness history, likes and dislikes and time-availability before he designs an optimum workout schedule for you!

Special Conditions – Incase you are recovering from any Surgery – Cardiac, joint or otherwise and exercise has been recommended in the rehabilitation program, it’s a great decision to get a personal trainer. The trainer will provide the adequate attention and feedback required in such complicated situations. Please note, that a Doctor’s clearance for exercising is very essential prior to starting any post-operation schedule.
Even in case of some previous history of severe joint problems or other complications, exercise under guided attention is a good option!

Improving technical skills – For those of us interested in improving our performance at competitive or recreational sports, a high-level of training is required. Performance-enhancing training is a different ball game completely and requires advanced knowledge of sports physiology and related exercises. These kind of trainings, usually cater to skills like agility, mental power etc. apart from strict focus on strength, stamina and suppleness.

Shattering the ‘Plateaus’ - The dreaded ‘P’ word, which basically shows its face once your body gets used to the exercises you do over the months and years. Reaching a Plateau slows down results even if you try to increase your intensity of workout… Breaking a plateau needs advanced knowledge of various modes of training and exercises to break out of the rut!

Frequent Traveller – In this case, you can have your personal trainer custom-design quick workouts while travelling, and also check on your motivation levels while travelling and when in town!

Choosing a Personal Trainer!

Living in an age where a “Consumer is the king” has its own advantages and disadvantages! So, while the consumer has different options to suit his needs and requirements, it also puts quite a bit of responsibility on the consumer to find out and update his knowledge about the different options. And more so, if you are dealing with people who, in turn are dealing with your life!

So, while hiring the services of a Personal Trainer is a good idea especially if you are an absolute beginner, need motivation, want to enhance your sport performance or you have some medical conditions, you need to know how to choose a personal trainer to suit your requirements.

Here are some tips –
Certification – Ideally, the personal trainer must have recognized certification from reputed institutes. Some of the international certifying institutes, which offer certifications easily in India, include American Council on Exercise (ACE), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and a few others including some Indian Institutes.
This is especially so, incase you are exercising post-surgery or have a history of health complications!
Although, the Fitness Industry, today is more experience-driven rather than knowledge-driven, these certifications definitely offer high-quality and comprehensive knowledge about the human body and exercise.

Experience – Experience is an important factor in choosing a trainer. An experienced trainer can intuitively know the needs and limitations of his client and be flexible enough to modify, thanks to his vast knowledge.
However, what would be a better option is to also check the credibility in the claims made by him/her. Because, he/she could have a lot of experience in making the health conditions worse, rather than better!!

Personal Comfort Level – Your first meeting with the trainer can help you gauge your personal comfort level with the trainer usually through his body language, mannerisms and genuine interest in your well-being. Some of the trainers are very commercial and unaccommodating in their approach, which can be very easily detected in the first meeting itself.
Also, since personal training needs the trainer to come in close contact with you, make sure you check out their track record in terms of work ethics and also other factors like punctuality, attention, commitment, regularity etc. Ideally they should be fun, challenging within limits, creative and innovative!
Some other factors to check for are –
· A Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and First Aid certificate is a must for every trainer.
· The trainer must be a good listener (listens patiently without jumping to conclusions or advising you to follow their rules) and motivator.
· In case you are going for post-surgery or rehabilitation programs, be sure to check if the trainer has the requisite expertise in dealing with such complications, and must always demand a Medical Release from your Doctor and work in tandem with your doctor.
And there are other factors like –
· Does the trainer ever insist you to take supplements so as to ensure faster results and moreover to buy the supplements from him?
· Does the trainer show you exaggerated outcomes like losing 10 kgs in a month and the like, thanks to his training?
· Does the trainer force you to stick to a pre-determined schedule or not accommodate any changes as the training progresses?
If the answer is no to all of the above, then you can pat yourself on the back for having made a good decision!

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