I am often asked how to find a Houston personal trainer that will get results. Many of you have hired a personal trainer before, followed a meal plan, spent a lot of time and money and got nothing out of it.
Does this sound like you? If it is, then you are just like many other people out there that have had a less then awesome experience with a personal fitness trainer.
But do not fear. There are many good personal trainers who not only have training knowledge, but also have a good understanding of basic nutritional information as well.
Your Trainer Should Get to Know Your History Before Training Begins
When you first sit down with a trainer they should get a health and personal history. If they don’t give you an initial interview, that’s your first bad sign. Whenever I start to work with a new client, I get a detailed health history and dive into what sports and recreation they have taken part in throughout their lifetime.
I want to know their occupation. Getting a thorough history and grasp on what your clients goals are is imperative in designing a program tailored to their needs. It is all about the clients wants and needs within reason.
Let’s say you’ve been injured and you want to be a pro bodybuilder. Depending on the injury, it might never happen. An experienced certified trainer can work around an injury, but they are not miracle workers.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good trainer knows their craft inside and out.
Be Wary of Unusual Exercise Programs
Many fitness experts have a certification, but do not have a good understanding of the anatomy of the human body. Coaches who do not understand properly how the body works, can design exercise routines that lead to over-training and injury, not to mention less than optimal results.
So many times I have seen trainers use very dangerous movements by trying some new trendy movement, risking the safety of their client. I like the good old fashioned movements. You can improve on movements but you cant reinvent the wheel.
Here is a good example of a dangerous movement I have seen trainers instruct their clients to do. One leg squats on a bosu ball while holding dumbbells that are too heavy for the client to even preform a one leg squat with, let alone a squat on a half ball full of air! The client then loses their balance and falls to the side of the bosu ball. I saw this with an untrained individual. This person should have started with 2 leg squats with no weight to build strength and balance before squatting on one leg.
Another example is one day I saw a trainer put his client in a plank position balancing with the forearm on a cylindrical foam roller while performing a one arm row with a rotation. Do you know the outcome? Client loses balance and forearm rolls off foam roller, can anyone say dislocated shoulder?
Demand Professionalism from Your Fitness Expert
Look for professionalism in a trainer if they are yelling and cussing especially at you, fire them. I always hold my self to the highest standards on the gym floor. I never text or eat during while training a client, unless it were an emergency. Many times I see trainers on their cell phones, eating and not watching their clients performance and form.
How do I know this if I am training a client? People point it out to me and thank me for not having them do what they see is dangerous.
Check for Online Reviews and Get Recommendations
Part of doing your homework is to try to gather as much information as you can about the personal fitness coach you are considering working with. Ask your friends at work or at the gym who they have used, and if they are happy with them
You can also ask the counter person at the local supplement store as they are very often familiar with local trainers and know who is good and who isn’t.
And of course check online and see if you can find reviews about them. A trainer who has 2 or 3 good reviews or more is probably a very good choice. Because personal trainers do not do the volume that other type of businesses do such as restaurants, do not expect them to have 20 or more reviews. It is a great bonus if they do, but highly unlikely if they do not have a lot of turnover.
Cost of a Certified Personal Trainer in the Houston Area
Just like any other product or service you buy in life, there is the low end and the high end. And just like other products in life, you usually get what you pay for.
Many trainers will take a 3 day certification class and technically be considered as certified. For best results look for a nationally recognized certification.
Some of the recognized certifications that you want to look for are:
- The NASM certification (National Academy of Sports Medicine) is offered at many colleges and is one of the most recognized certifications in the industry. It can take several months to complete and to remain NASM certified, the trainer has to take CEU’s every 2 years.
- The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) requires a 4 year degree and is common with trainers who work with elite athletes. it is one of the most recognized certifications available.
- ACE (The American Council on Exercise) is a 2 day workshop where you prepare to take the certification examination.
There are others but these are the most popular.
I started this article with the example of someone who has spent money and time with a trainer before and didn’t get the results that they wanted. Well, if you hire a trainer that charges a really low rate, then you are probably going to get that level of expertise. A good certified personal trainer will be anywhere from $50-$85/hour in the Houston area. If you have special conditions such as specific type injuries, or elite sports specific training, it could be up to $150/hour.
If you are looking to save money, sometimes a group class is a good option. However, you will lose some of the one on one expertise that the coach can provide. But if you are the type of person that just needs a good kick in the pants to stay motivated, this may be a good option for you.
One on one sessions will cost more. But you will also get a lot more. Usually the training is designed to meet your personal goals. Whether that be weight loss, training for marathon, bodybuilding, or just general health and conditioning, your certified personal training expert will help with exercise programs and diet suggestions.
One last tidbit, a good Houston personal trainer will re-direct you when you are talking too much and keep you on track. Also the respect goes both ways, meaning respecting your trainer and having a positive attitude will help them help you. There are many amazing trainers out there, so what are you waiting for?