Get Smart Before Picking Up Dumbbells

January 03, 2012

With New Year resolutions in tote, consumers are hitting gyms, fitness centers and training studios en masse. For those in need of workout wisdom, the Better Business Bureau suggests exercising caution when choosing personal trainers.

Run background checks. Ensure potential trainers are properly certified. To verify accreditation on personal training certification programs, check with the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. Also, find out if trainers are continuing education with specialty certifications or programs.

Spot the right trainers. Before purchasing training packages, request free sessions to help evaluate workouts and rapport. Also, discuss goals and training options. Don't feel pressured to purchase additional sessions that don't fit fitness needs.

Work out the details. Make sure trainers have proven track records of success. Ask for client testimonials and referrals, preferably from those with similar backgrounds and fitness goals.

Trim waists, not wallets. Examine possible post-introductory price increases. To reduce costs, ask about discounts for multiple sessions and group appointments. Read all refund and cancellation policies carefully; many personal trainers require payments upfront and clients may forfeit sessions for cancelling.

Visit for up-to-date BBB Business Reviews on health clubs, personal trainers and more.