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‘Should I Hire a Personal Trainer?’ — Ask Coach Rick Scarpulla

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Are you for or against working with a personal trainer? Is there anything I should look for in a personal trainer if I decide to hire one? — Farley, 22, Scottsdale, AZ 

Fitness centers are full of guys and girls who claim to be personal trainers but have no clue what they’re doing. They get a degree or certificate in the mail and all of a sudden they are running around like they are the bomb in their field. It’s a joke.

It take years of dedication and work to become a craftsman in the sports and fitness field. You need knowledge in several different areas. Some of the best coaches I’ve ever worked with have no official certifications but are tremendous coaches and athletes. Many are the tops in their field. Some of the biggest clowns I know do have certifications and are clueless. Most of the big chain fitness centers hire chumps. There are more frauds than knowledgeable people in the “personal trainer” field so watch out.

If you have a specific goal in mind — like making a sports team or winning a contest of some sort then it may not be a bad idea to find a coach in those areas of expertise. If it’s just a general improvement in fitness then don’t spend the money. You can make improvements on your own if you just push yourself a little harder. Find a training partner and refer back to my last article outlining a basic program. Then start lifting some barbells and quit the cagles. Get each other motivated push each other and get better that way.

As with anything, it is a buyer beware situation. So beware.

Rick Scarpulla, the creator of The Ultimate Athlete Training Program, is a highly sought-after and renowned strength, speed and conditioning coach who works in developing top high school, college and professional athletes and programs throughout North America. You can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

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