• Are my goals aligned with my abilities and lifestyle?
• What is your plan to help me reach my specific goals?
• Who have you trained?
• Are you knowledgeable and equipped to integrate nutrition to support my workouts?
Things you need to know
Great trainers are always learning. They love attending great conferences, and are always earning more continuing education credits than they need. In general, fitness professionals are required to accumulate about 10 to 20 hours of CEUs each year to remain in good standing with their certifying agent.
Scan the wall
If you are meeting with your trainer in their office and their certificate is not hung proudly for all to see, they either are not certified at all or no longer keeping up with their certification requirements. Either way, it's a perfect reason to keep your credit card in your pocket.
The skinny on good trainers
Keep in mind that there are decent trainers who are credentialed but lack the knowledge on how to counsel their clients to fuel great workouts. These are the trainers who spend all their time on training and little time on nutrition.
Unless your trainer is a registered dietician or nutritionist, they should not be devising menu plans for you. This would be out of their scope of practice, which is a no-no! However, basic fitness nutrition can triple the effectiveness of your program and should be discussed. Bottom line: If your trainer isn't building a nutritional system around your physical program, you will likely fall short of your expectations. Take the time to find the best personal trainer who can help you succeed at living your best life.
Cindy Boggs, wellness presenter and author, is an ACE-certified instructor/trainer. Send your questions about fitness, training or health to cindys...@aol.com. Look for her award-winning fitness advice book, "CindySays ... You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World" on her website, www.cindysays.com.