HEALTHY LIVING
10/18/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

5 Ways To Spot A Lousy Personal Trainer

Two of your best friends hired trainers and now they love their workouts. And there's another story in the gossip magazines about an amazingly fit celebrity who thanks her trainer by name. It's about time, you decide, that you get some help yourself. But before you choose your coach, make sure you know what to look for. Yes, it's nice that a prospective personal trainer looks healthy (or handsome), but that's not enough. If you spot any of these five danger signs, physiologist Cedric Bryant of the American Council on Exercise suggests you keep looking.

1. Unprofessional Business Practices:
If your trainer doesn't explain his cancellation policies, can't provide references, or doesn't have liability insurance, walk away. These are all signs that a trainer isn't a professional. Most importantly, ask where your trainer got his or her certification: Besides the American Council on Exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine and National Strength and Conditioning Association are the leading fitness certification organizations.

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