EDUCATION is important! The Personal Trainer should have a degree and/or possess a Certification in the discipline he teaches. Years of experience and personal practice go hand-in-hand with education; they are not a substitute.
Ask a potential trainer about his/her qualifications. Does he have a degree in Physical Education (ISEF in Italy), or Physiology, or a related decipline such as Dance or other qualifications? If not does she have proof of Certification through a respected organization such as ACE (USA), ACSM (USA), COOPER RESEARCH CENTER (USA), ISSA (Italy), FIF (Italy), or similar entity that is recognized by CONI in Italy, or the UE?
It is also important that Personal Trainers remain up to date on research and methodology by taking part in CONTINUING EDUCATION courses, seminars, and workshops. Staying abreast of research through Continuing Education is an important sign of professionlism.
Normally, the COST of an hour with a qualified Personal Trainer ranges from 30,00 Euro for a beginning Trainer to 100,00 Euro for a Personal Trainer with a degree, specific certifications, ten years of experience, and many satisfied clients. Normally a Trainer will offer a discount according to the number of lessons pre-paid.
The most experienced and highly educated Personal Trainer will not be effective without a personal approach which engenders trust combined with the capacity to motivate their clients and to instill them with self-confidence. You must feel comfortable with your trainer and trust his/her judgement. A Personal Trainer who understands this will set up a preliminary appointment in which both the trainer and client become acquainted before beginning a training program.
THE INTRODUCTORY SESSION should include a brief interview during which the client will be asked to fill out a Health/Exercise History, and to furnish a Medical Certificate although this may vary according to the laws of each country.
It is also common practice to require the client to sign a "Training Contract" which outlines the trainer's or organization's business policies regarding costs, cancellations, expiration dates, etc.
Well qualified Personal Trainers can help you make major positive changes in lifestyle which lead you towards health and greater psycho-physical well-being. However, no Trainer is a magician!
REMEMBER a Personal Trainer is NOT:
A personal companion
A personal shopper
A Medical Doctor (unless he or she is a trained Physician)
A Psychologist (unless he or she possesses a Degree in Psychology)
A Nutritionist (unless he or she is certified as such)
The Personal Trainer should be willling and able to refer his clients to other qualified health professionals when necessary.