Is your personal trainer qualified to help you meet your fitness goals?

ALBANY, NY (WRGB) - As the warmer months approach, gyms almost immediately fill up with more people committed to working on their “summer bods.”

But not everybody trying to advance their fitness level knows the proper way to do so, including trainers.

“A lot of times people think because someone works out and they have a nice body that they know how to teach those things, that’s not necessarily the case. I can play golf, I am not qualified to teach you how to play golf,” said Mike Recchio.

Recchio is a Certified Personal Trainer and Personal Training Director at ABC Sports and Fitness in Latham. According to him, there are hundreds of certifications out there, but not all of them are accredited by the NCCA.

Chief Science Officer for the American Council and Exercise, Dr. Cedric Bryant stated, “The NCCA is the national commission for certifying agencies and they certify many of your regulated health care professions.”

He recommends consumers look at the U.S. Registry for Exercise Professionals to identify those who have gone through a legitimate vetting process.

“You could type in your personal trainer’s name for example and they would show up on the registry provided that they have an accredited certification from an NCCA accredited organization and that certification is actually active and that they've done the necessary continuing education to maintain their certification status.”

Knowledge of nutrition, anatomy, physiology, biomechanics is necessary for teaching others how to work out properly, and safely. However, a four-year degree is not a requirement for becoming certified.

"To be fair, there are a lot of people who have a lot of knowledge, that really aren’t good trainers," said Rod Klimek.

Rod Klimek has been powerlifting for five years and is currently working toward becoming a certified personal trainer.

"You can have a lot of book knowledge, but if it hasn’t been assimilated into your life and you’ve trained with it and you’ve used it, then it’s pointless.”

In an already competitive market, there are many factors that affect the price of a personal training session. General Manager of ABC Sports and Fitness Matt Doheny says make sure you’re in good hands before you pay up.

"Meet with them, make sure your personalities match up, your enthusiasm is there, make sure it’s someone you want to spend your hard-earned money with and will help you reach your goals," said Doheny.

Check for liability insurance and know just because your trainer was once certified, doesn’t mean they’ll always be certified.

"In order to maintain that certification status, you've got to meet a certain number of continuing education hours," added Dr. Bryant.

While there’s no active legislation mandating the personal training industry, Dr. Bryant says it is evolving.

"One of the things that the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals is trying to do is to try to mature and more professionalize the industry of personal training," said Dr. Bryant.

Whether your goal is weight loss, strength and flexibility, or just an outlet to blow off steam - do your due diligence.

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