By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
Kelly Farris,  ACSM CPT

Guidelines and benefits to hiring a personal trainer
By Kelly Farris,  ACSM CPT
Owner of Ladies Workout Snellville

Currently, there are a number of infomercial fitness products out there touting that they are an acceptable, cost effective replacement for hiring an actual personal trainer. I disagree with them and let me tell you why.

As Seen On TV fitness solutions are not set up for you to succeed. Who has a ThighMaster sitting under a pile of donation clothing items in the hall closet? Who has a treadmill that holds laundry? Who has a set of free weights collecting dust in the garage? It’s New Year’s Eve, do you know where your P90X videos are?

Once you pull out your credit card, their relationship with you is over. You have their product and they have your money and for a minute everyone is happy, because let’s be honest who doesn’t get a rush from being a consumer? For most people, that one time impulse purchase doesn’t actually change anything for the better.

A personal trainer is someone looking out for your best interests who requires your accountability. Someone who is tailoring a fitness prescription for you to help meet your goals. Safely. Correctly. A good personal trainer can provide you with a skill set that can carry you throughout your life. This being said, not all trainers are equal. Here are a few suggestions to guide you in your trainer search.

Beware of the trainer who purchased an online certification for $29.99. Qualified trainers have put in the effort to be certified by accredited agencies. There are five acceptable accredited personal training certifications you would want to pick from:

-American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

-American Council on Exercise (ACE)

-International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)

-National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

-National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

Nationally accredited certifications can be checked and verified online or by calling the certification organization.

Beware of the trainer selling supplements and weight loss products. We are trainers not physicians or nutritionists.

In training inquiries I have been asked odd questions like: Are you going to curse at me? Are you going to yell and scream at me? Are you going to make me do ridiculous things that I cannot do?

I believe these ideas stem from TV fitness “reality” shows. TV is not real life. Participants are sequestered, all meals are pre-planned and trainers verbally accost them because the show’s producers feel it makes for good television.

In real life personal training we encourage you and there are progressions in your program. Your trainer will take you from point A to point B and onward, not slam you into point Z.

The scope of personal training extends beyond New Year’s resolutions. I am certified to train for sports-specific needs, injury rehabilitation and special-needs training for individuals with health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease or rheumatoid arthritis.

Several of my clients are active older women, utilizing personal training as a means to stave off balance and bone density/muscle loss. This means a life of extended independence and a preventative measure against falling. In 2010, the direct medical costs of falls, adjusted for inflation, was $30 billion. (

So! You have done the homework and decided you are ready to hire a personal trainer. Reflect now on your level of commitment to change. If YOU aren’t ready you will waste your time (and money) and the time of the trainer. Be honest and keep the lines of communication open. Trainers want you to succeed. Nothing is more exciting to me than seeing my clients knock it out of the park!

Kelly Farris the owner of Ladies Workout Snellville, Time4 Results Personal Training and the President of KLF Fitness. For more information visit