So you’ve decided you want to start training. Maybe you have a few pounds to lose. Maybe your physician advised you to start exercising. Maybe you just want to look and feel better in your own clothing. Once you’ve made this choice, you want results, right? I mean, why bother, if you’re not going to see positive change.
In this day and age, there are so many options when it comes to choosing an exercise program. From books to websites to social media influencers to brick and mortar gyms offering the latest group classes, it can be overwhelming. Where in the world do you start? Let’s begin with where NOT to start.
- Social Media Influencers – It may be tempting to purchase the workout that your favorite Instagram fitness account is selling or even to try his or her workouts that may be posted for free from time to time. This is a bad idea. First of all, just because a social media influencer looks a certain way, it does not mean the workouts they are selling or sharing got them to look that way. Forget about Photoshop, some people are just genetically gifted or they know how to stage a good photo. Some of these stars do completely different workouts from what they are sharing online, too. It’s best to skip these folks when it comes to selecting a program.
- Group Fitness Classes – Your local gym probably offers group classes, and to start, it’s not a terrible idea to enroll. But, it’s not a good long-term strategy for success. Group classes are designed for the masses and are not customized in any way. You could end up doing too much or too little to reach your own goals. Where group fitness excels, however is that it helps motivate people to get to the gym and get into the habit of working out. You also may be fortunate enough to find group classes small enough to allow for customization and if you can do that, even better! The idea is to find what works for you and fitness training is never a one size fits all.
- Trainers Without Credentials – Personal trainers are prolific nowadays and the internet has made it even easier for people to share fitness information and workouts whether they are qualified or not. Be careful when selecting a trainer or program to check the credentials. If none are listed, skip them. I mean, would you choose to get surgery from someone who was not a medical doctor? Enough said.
The best place to start is to search for qualified, certified trainers or programs. You can do this in person at any gym, or you can also search online. The main certifications trainers typically have are International Sports Science Association, American Council on Exercise and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. It’s also helpful if the trainer has a nutrition credential, too. If not, it’s fine but be wary if they try to give you nutritional advice!
Once you’ve located a reputable trainer or program, you want to review the testimonials or reviews and if you can’t find any, be sure to ask. You want to find out if others with similar goals have seen success. For example, before I became certified, I was looking for someone with certification and experience training “hard gainers” or people who struggle to build muscle. Once I located Lyzabeth Lopez, I checked her credentials and reviewed what others were saying about her training. She had a muscle building plan and there were lots of females who had seen success with the plan. It had been established for several years, too, another sign that it worked!
While you can find online programs like the one I used from Lopez, the gold star for anyone looking to meet specific fitness goals is a personal trainer. No two people are alike; a custom program is essential to maximize the benefits of exercise. A personal trainer will get to know you, your goals, your limitations, your lifestyle, everything. He or she will create a program that will help you meet your goals efficiently and effectively.
So, instead of spending a dozen a day on coffee, invest those dollars in a quality personal trainer. You can afford it and the dividends you will reap are priceless. Interested in starting today? Hit me up. I’d love to work with you! Good luck!