What to Look For in a Personal Trainer

So what exactly is personal training?
It seems like a pretty straightforward question that should have a straight forward answer, right? Get ready to be surprised!
It seems pretty obvious to most that when hiring a personal trainer you should be getting the best of a few worlds. Those being your cardiovascular performance, strength and endurance, and nutrition advice. Some trainers are even big into supplementation advice. Now, believe it or not you might get this from 10% of the trainers around!
Unfortunately a lot of trainers forget about neuromuscular adaptation and create “cookie cutter” programs that they themselves might use!
So what should you be looking for in a trainer? In order to create customized, personal training programs the trainer must recognize the interactions of the nervous system and the entire kinetic chain.
This means that we as trainers must be very aware of the clients Central Nervous System and Peripheral Nervous System. After all that is really what training is, adapting the body to a stimulus. In fact, the first few weeks to a month of training is usually the body having better communication between the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system. This is known as The Law of Facilitation.
When training someone you must be aware of this, and change your program so that the person may adapt to a new set of stimuli and make real gains. Of course we should also be aware of what learning process they are using. Most people new to exercise are using cognitive learning, and are really listening for their trainers cues! Again too many trainers might neglect this, so watch out!
We want clients to progress, and not be that staple of the gym that has been doing the exact same exercise for years, and looks exactly the same. Guess what, their body has mechanically perfected that workout, adapted, and now can’t move on.
There is a way around the dreaded plateau, and as trainers we must always remember the simple FITT principle:
Frequency: how often you exercise
Intensity: how hard you work during exercise
Time: how long you exercise, and
Type: what type of activity you’re doing
We must be aware within our micro and mesocycles to change at least one or two of these, to prevent general adaptation by the body. I will talk to you more about FITT and periodization in later articles! Happy training to both the trainers and the clients, don’t ever stop learning!

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