The health benefits derived from exercise and sports performance continue to draw individuals into the gym, or a home fitness program…and that’s a good thing! But are you getting the qualified, professional guidance you need to maximize the benefits and avoid injury? How do you know the person you hired to help you is qualified?
According to the The National Commission for Certifying Agencies, consumers should be focusing on education, certification and experience. In addition, the NCCA recommends consumers talk to the trainer.
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Does the personal trainer have a degree in exercise science, kinesiology, physical education or related field? Although not necessary, having at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field provides assurance that the trainer has the required knowledge in anatomy, physiology and training principles. An advanced degree signifies that the trainer has extensive knowledge in training adaptations, special populations and is skilled at interpreting research findings and what they may (or may not mean) for you.
Certification is another area representing competence. The trainer’s certification should be accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The top organizations with NCCA accredidation include the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American Council of Exercise. Each of these agencies has several certification levels; some require a bachelor’s degree or higher and some do not. The type of certification can determine the population with which the trainer should work.
It is common knowledge that experience makes us better. The same holds true for personal trainers. The more varied clientele a trainer has had will better prepare him/her to address your individual health history, current health state and personal goals. Personal trainers can specialize in one or more areas. Make sure your trainer has experience and or certification in the areas that addresses your health history.