How important are Personal Trainers? Well that depends. You see, that term "Personal" bothers me. I've seen alot of these young people treat clients with little respect. Talking on cell phones, to other members or being interrupted by telephone calls. When you devote a certain amount of time to an individual, that is their personal time.
Let's talk about the responsiblilities of a trainer. The first thing you need to find out about him or her, is what is their experience. How long have they been in the fitness industry and find out who some of their other clients are. You might ask if they have any certification but that's entirely up to you. The one important aspect of having a trainer who is certified is that they will have been instructed in the areas of nutrition and physiology, which is valuable. However you should be more concerened with how they interact and motivate you to push yourself. That is the key term "push". One of the main duties of your trainer is force you to challenge yourself and not to baby you. Otherwise you will spend your weekly hours at the gym and a year from now you won't notice any changes in your muscles.
Actually a better technique in choosing a trainer would be to do a few workouts and see how certain personal trainers interact with other clients. Try and judge if they devote 100% of their time during the session to quality training or instead do they make idle chit chat. Also, somthing that's always bothered me. See if the trainer walks in front of the client. That's strictly a no-no. You walk with the trainee and make them feel important. After all, I assume that you're going to pay this person a fee for his knowledge.
Here's something of what to expect the first day. You should be prepared to let them know your goals, whether it's weight loss or added muscle or simply to get better fit through cardio. Don't forget to mention any surgeries you've had lately or any other restrictions with certain muscle areas. They will probably check your weight and measure your body fat. Next you'll get accustomed to some of the equipment and do a few reps all the while getting an explanation of what muscle groups are worked. Your trainer should familiarize you with strength training, nutrition and cardio. The most important thing you can do to improve the quality of muscle is to constantly ask questions. Remember this person will not be your life long companion. Soak up as much knowledge as possible. Read articles that are beneficial or get on your computer and hunt for your answers.
If your lucky enough to find a caring trainer, keep in mind that their time is just as valuable as yours. Show up on time,pay attention to what they're telling you and make sure that you give 100% effort. They're job is to push you and yours is to let them know when they don't push hard enough! It's a two way street.
If you've read other articles of mine regarding Personal Trainers, you realize that I don't have high regard for them. Unfortunately I've seen more bad than good. And that's really not fair. Most are young kids that basically just need a job. In fact if you've gone to the same gym for awhile, I'm sure you've noticed a huge turnover in personnel. And if you enroll at some gyms, the fee for a trainer is absurd. The problem is, there are no guarantees. So be careful in your choice and do your research.