Guide to hiring a personal trainer in Atlanta

Whether you've decided to get in shape, lose some weight or want to take your fitness...

Whether you've decided to get in shape, lose some weight or want to take your fitness to the next level, working with a personal trainer in Atlanta can help you reach your goals. Atlanta is home to plenty of gyms and fitness centers that have a variety of machines for cardio and strength training. However, working one-on-one with an experienced exercise and fitness professional can help you stay motivated to reach your goals and work through a customized workout based on your strengths and weaknesses.

Here are some important things to keep in mind when hiring a personal trainer in Atlanta:

Learn about the trainer's background

Don't be afraid to ask about a personal trainer's educational background and training, experience, certifications and other credentials. While there are more than 400 organizations that offer certification programs for personal trainers, only a handful are among the most well-respected entities for professionals. Look for proof of association or membership with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Keep in mind that only the fitness professionals who have been certified in nutrition are authorized to create meal plans or offer diet recommendations. A Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) can only offer professional personal training. If you are looking for help with your diet or need assistance with meal planning, you would need to ask for a referral for a Certified Nutritionist (CN) or a Registered Dietitian.

Ask about complimentary sessions and rates

Find out if the trainer offers a complimentary introductory session or any type of fitness evaluation. This session can help you decide who will be the best fit for your needs. Does the trainer offer nutritional counseling, meal planning, grocery shopping assistance and phone counseling sessions as well? These services can provide more value and help you make the positive lifestyle changes you need to make. Some trainers offer hourly sessions at a flat rate, while others will offer a package of sessions. If you're willing to make a commitment for a few months or an entire year, you may be eligible for a discounted rate.

Look for specialty training services

If you're a bride-to-be looking for a bootcamp-style training program, a new mom interested in getting back to pre-pregnancy shape or have an injury that limits the types of workouts you can do, look for a trainer that offers specialized training programs for different groups and needs. Some trainers offer "mommy bootcamp" programs, fitness programs for seniors, TRX suspension training workouts and other specialty training programs that may be a better fit than a standard workout program.

Before you begin working with a personal trainer or nutritionist, talk to your physician for a health evaluation. Your doctor can determine whether you are in good health to begin any type of fitness program.

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