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Knowing What Makes a Good Personal Trainer

October 23, 2000

The article "Are You Being Led Down the Fitness Path by a Model of Perfection?" (Sept. 11) portrayed personal trainers very negatively. All personal trainers are not "weight-" or "muscle-obsessed" people.

Good personal trainers do not instill their ideas, ideals or goals on their clients. A trainer's job is to listen, determine and devise a program accordingly.

Excessive exercise does not necessarily result in injuries requiring surgery. Rather, unsafe and incorrect exercise results in such injuries. A competent trainer prescribes proper form and safety, as well as avoiding excessive exercise.

The article also suggests that trainers gravitate to their jobs because they struggle with eating and exercise behavior disorders. However, there are many trainers who chose their profession because they simply enjoy it. I chose it because I find it interesting, I like to help others and I find it rewarding.

People should choose their trainer just like any other professional. Ask for references, education and their approach or beliefs. Look for telltale signs: Are they effective, do they set realistic short- and long-term goals, do they have a well-thought-out plan? It's your health, so choose wisely.

DANA VATANPOUR

Venice

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