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Exercise 101: How do I choose a personal trainer in Houston?

Choosing the right personal trainer to help you reach your fitness goals is an important decision because you are making an investment in your health. Selecting a trainer can be a daunting task unless you know what to look for. The following is a list of guidelines to help you make that important decision.

1.  Trainer Certification. Personal Trainer, Victoria Halloran of Victoria’s Body Sculpting at Sound Fitness says it’s important to choose a trainer that is certified by an NCCA (the National Commission for Certifying Agencies) accredited program.

The following is a list, although not comprehensive, of reliable certifications:

ACE (American Council on Exercise)
ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine)
NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine)
NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Association)
The Coopers Institute in Dallas

2. CPR. Every personal trainer should have updated CPR and/or first aid training.

3. References. Ask for references that you can contact and/or if they have “before and after” photos of clients.

4. Personality. It’s important to choose a trainer with a personality you can work with. Consider what type of personality motivates you the most. Need someone tough to keep you going, or do you respond to someone soft spoken?

5. Experience. Your trainer should have experience in relation to your specific goals. Do you just want to tone up and be fit, or are you planning to train for a body building competition?

6. A Good Listener. Make sure your trainer listens to what you have to say and understands your particular goals.

7. Attention. A trainer should be focusing on your alignment during your workouts to prevent injury.

8. Fee Structure. Before you sign a contract, make sure you understand the hourly fee. Trainers in Houston can charge anywhere between $35/hour to $135/hour depending on their level of experience. Many trainers offer a discount if you purchase a package, so ask up front. Also, be sure you understand the cancellation policy.

9. Personal Liability Insurance. Most trainers are required to carry basic liability insurance to protect their clients and themselves against personal injury and property loss.

10. Tracking Process. Ask how your progress will be tracked. A good trainer will be able to access your condition and make changes as you progress for better results.

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