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Why or When You Should Consider a Personal Trainer

Posted 3/25/2016 by UHBlog

If you need a game plan to meet your health and fitness goals, talk to us.

Why or When You Should Consider a Personal Trainer

It’s hard to give 100 percent at all times, even for something you enjoy. If your workouts have become a chore – or worse, non-existent – it may be time to work with a personal trainer.

“A lot of people are looking to vary their fitness routine or get over a plateau,” says certified strength and conditioning specialist Eric Jankov, PT, DPT, C-OMPT, CSCS. For instance, you may want to enhance your performance in a certain sport, lose weight, decrease body fat and/or increase strength. That’s where personal training can help.

“When you’re working with a personal trainer, you have accountability and someone who keeps you motivated and working toward your goals,” he says. “If your goal involves a race, competition or an event, the trainer can help you by teaching you the proper ways to do exercises and enhance your skills.”

Dr. Jankov says you should expect to put in time upfront to find the right personal trainer for you.

“The No. 1 thing is to do your research before you get involved with a personal trainer,” he says. “You’re making a significant investment in your health and yourself, so you want to find someone with whom you feel comfortable working.”

According to Dr. Jankov, the personal training industry is unregulated, which means the types of certifications, training methods and experience levels vary widely. Some factors to consider in your selection process are:

  • Your fitness goals
  • The trainer’s experience, certifications and qualifications, including an exercise-related degree
  • Training style
  • Hourly rate
  • Other features you deem important, such as meet-up location and type of equipment you’ll use while training

“Personality plays a role,” he says. “Not every personal trainer is the same. Some people want to work with a drill sergeant, while others prefer a workout partner, rather than someone screaming at them.”

Once you’ve hired someone, the trainer will do a baseline fitness assessment to check your balance, cardio function, agility, flexibility and other metrics. Also expect to set goals together that are specific, measurable and time-bound, Dr. Jankov says. By referring back to these goals, you’ll be able to track progress and know if improvements are being made.

Dr. Jankov says even a few visits to a personal trainer can benefit you.

“If you only plan to go two or three times, the trainer is still going to be of benefit to you,” he says. “A personal trainer will be able to teach you different exercises or recommend exercises that are a more effective way than what you're currently doing.”

Eric Jankov, PT, DPT, C-OMPT, CSCS, is a physical therapist at University Hospitals St. John Medical Center. You can request an appointment with Dr. Jankov or any other University Hospitals health care provider online.

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