Between the infamous cheesy deep-dish pizza and the multiple Michelin Stared restaurants, the food scene in Chi-town can make it hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In the face of that adversity, the residents of the Windy City have risen to the challenge. Chicagoans make time to hit up the various gyms, fitness studios, or multiple parks throughout the city with the goal to keep healthy.

The health and fitness opportunities in Chicago are endless. With the growth of the fitness industry, you can now enjoy exciting fitness alternatives.

You can head to a group training Beach Bootcamp on Ohio Street Beach or attend a free Yoga by the Lake class. If your routine calls for a more standardized workout option, there are also multiple gyms you can choose to join.

Like other big cities such as New York or Philadelphia, in most of Chicago’s gyms, there are also options for accessing personal trainers.

A personal fitness trainer is like a role model; they can serve as an inspiration to push you to excel in your physical capabilities and endurance. He or she will teach you the right techniques and movements to maximize effect and keep you from injury. A trainer should be able to push you through tough workouts with positive reinforcement and motivation.

Signing up for personal fitness sessions with a local trainer might just be the solution to a healthier lifestyle. You can keep eating the occasional jibarito sandwich with the option of sweating it out later at your private workout session.

What is the Role of a Personal Trainer?

The job of a personal trainer is to provide you with personalized fitness sessions. The aim of these workouts is to help you accomplish your health and exercise goals. Initially, a fitness instructor will assess your fitness level and work on designing a functional exercise program that works for you.

Here are some roles that a trainer might take on during your personal training sessions:

  • Help identify and clearly define your goals;
  • Help motivate you;
  • Aid you in exercising with proper techniques for safety and efficiency;
  • Monitor your development:
  • Guide your sessions to reflect your increasing levels of fitness;
  • Give advice about better nutrition to correlate with your fitness routine;
  • Help you build a routine that you could eventually follow on your own.
Personal trainers monitor your fitness levels
A personal trainer will monitor your progress and adapt their fitness program to your capabilities. (Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash)

If you think that this is a service that you are willing to invest time and money, then go ahead and start the search for a fitness specialist that will whip you into shape.

If you are already working out at a gym or health club that provides personal trainers, your search can begin there. Start by watching the trainers at your fitness club and asses how they interact with their clients. Do you like the techniques they use? Do you like their forms of motivation?

You can also find a trainer through word of mouth. Ask friends and co-workers if they know of anyone that they would recommend. That way you have personal contact with the trainer and a valid recommendation.

Additionally, a quick Google search can surge hundreds of suggestions for personal trainers in Chicago. Narrow down your search by detailing your fitness goals and preferred locations. Different instructors have distinctive specializations that range from a focus on fat loss, conditioning, postnatal, or circuit training among many other options.

Whether you're based in Austin, LA OR Chicago, finding a personal trainer with the correct fitness education to help you achieve your fitness goals is extremely important.

If you want to skip the Google search, you might find the perfect fitness tutor right here on Superprof. Superprof offers fitness teachers in your area and virtual trainers.

Personal Trainer Certifications

When choosing a personal trainer, it is important to investigate his or her certifications because one general body or institution does not accredit the title of a personal trainer, it is important to do a lot of research and ask questions regarding certifications.

Ask your prospective fitness trainer for their references and any client testimonials that they might have handy. This is a great way of identifying what kind of trainer they are and how they engage with their customers.

A certified personal trainer should also have basic knowledge of exercise science and physiology, as well as familiarity with kinesiology.

In addition, assure that the trainers you are interviewing all have CPR and AED certification. They should also have valid business licenses for the services they provide.

A good trainer is also clear and attentive; finding a trainer that is a good listener goes a long way in how effective they may be. The payments towards a trainer are investments into your health but they are also payments for a very specific service. Make sure that what you are receiving is worth the amount of money you are putting down.

marathon fitness goals
A personal trainer can help you reach your goals at your next marathon. (Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash)

Because the training techniques and educational backgrounds of each personal trainer vary widely, it is important to identify which ones will be able to make your fitness classes the most suitable for you.

Moreover, some trainers might also offer package deals that are cheaper in the long run if you are planning to book a fitness professional for a longer time frame.

How Long Should I work with a Personal Trainer?

mini alarm clock
Defining the amount of time that you would like to spend with a trainer will help you narrow your search. (Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash)

Determining how long you would like to work out with a trainer goes a long way in helping you decide which instructor you should pick.  If you are looking for a spark of motivation to get you started on a routine, then a short-term program might be right for you.

On the flip side, if you believe you would like to have constant support for a longer period of time, there are trainers that specify in longer-term goals.

Defining your goals and understanding how much time it would truly take to achieve them will help you decide on what fitness programs might work best for you.

Your First Personal Trainer Session

So you’ve hired a personal trainer? Now what?

After setting up an introduction session with your new personal trainer, you might be left thinking about what each session will entail but don’t be nervous!

Normally your first session with a fitness instructor will most likely be an evaluation followed by demonstrations and a light workout.

During your first session, your trainer will try to get to know you. During this time they will ask you to explain your reasoning for hiring them. What are your personal goals? What would you like to achieve during their program?

This will help them better identify the exercises and techniques suitable.

what to expect during your first session with a trainer.
During your first session, your personal trainer will weigh you to help keep track of your progress. (Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash)

Your trainer will also ask you about your past. What does your health history look like? What has worked - or not - worked during previous workouts? Do you have any medical or physical restrictions?

Following that, they will bring up your current situation. What do your daily diet, sleep, and work routines consist of? Their goal is to assess if any of these factors might prevent you from making progress.

They may also ask you to fill out medical forms during your first session. This would include a waiver of liability, an informed consent form, PAR-Q (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire), a medical history questionnaire, and a client agreement/contract.

Most personal trainers will also conduct an initial physical assessment during your first meeting. This includes some of the following:

  • Postural assessment;
  • Movement analysis;
  • Flexibility assessment;
  • Body composition;
  • Measurements;
  • Blood pressure;
  • Or cardio testing.

After all the forms and tests are filled out, your trainer will fit in a brief workout to get you started. This is also part of the assessment, as it helps your trainer identify what is your ability and for you to sample their training style.

Trainers will also take the time to show you around the facilities if you are not familiar with the fitness studio and show you some of the equipment you might be using in the future. A trainer will also be able to explain the fitness plan they hope to follow with you and suggest changes to your nutrition plan and sleeping patterns.


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