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How to find a Personal Trainer

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    How to find a Personal Trainer

    I am doing some writing for a newly re-launched disabled living website ( ). My first article is on how to find a trainer if you are disabled. I have copied the first part below, if you want to read it all please go to the link at the bottom. Thanks- Eric

    My goal with this first column is to help all of you out there who have looked, or are looking, for a personal trainer to help you with your health, fitness, or performance goals, only to be disappointed by the experience. Hopefully, by the end of this article you will have a better understanding of how to go about choosing the right person to help you.

    Selecting a personal trainer can be a difficult process, but it may be especially challenging to those with a disability. Not only do you face the same issues that anyone else may experience i.e. conflicting personalities, goals, etc. but you have the added problem of finding someone who understands your specific needs. Unfortunately, the majority of personal trainers in the commercial fitness market do not have any experience with people with a disability, especially when it comes to being in a wheelchair.

    Trainers may be hesitant to ask specifics about your injury or condition by not wanting to offend. You must be willing to be frank about your capabilities and goals. Let the trainer know if you have a specific issue which he/she needs to be aware of, such as an SCI who is susceptible to autonomic dysreflexia. Also make the trainer aware that you are not a "fragile flower" who will break if touched...

    Recently I spoke with Anna Q, with a T-10 incomplete spinal cord injury, who has been looking for a personal trainer. "The trainer said he would be afraid to hurt me or injure me. He went on to say that many of 'you people' have arthritis and soft bone issues. He did not want to work with me." This point can be one of the most frustrating for those with a disability--trainers assuming that you are weak or prone to injury just because you are in a chair. While it is true that being in a wheelchair can lead to osteoporosis of the pelvis and lower extremities, it is not always a given and many times depends on the injury or disease. I will give you some questions to ask, and why each one is an important part of your search for that "perfect" trainer.


    Does the trainer have experience with disabilities? Your particular disability?

    Does the trainer have a college/university degree?

    Does the trainer have a Personal Training Certification? Which one(s)?

    Does the trainer have a Specialty Certification? Which one(s)?

    Does the trainer have professional liability coverage?

    - Please read the rest of this column at:

    Eric Harness, CSCS
    Neuro Ex, Inc
    Adaptive Performance and Neuro Recovery

    The arthritis thing was ignorance, but "soft bones" was pretty on point. The vast majority of those of us in wheelchairs have super weak femurs... That being said, I'm not sure why you would be trying to exercise lower legs that didn't work...


      Originally posted by funklab View Post
      That being said, I'm not sure why you would be trying to exercise lower legs that didn't work...
      Maintain range of motion, circulation ...


        Interesting article. My son is a T10 complete SCI and also a ACSM Certified Personal Trainer.


          Very interesting. We had a wonderful personal trainer for my husband until he decided to move to Thailand from Illinois. That was 2 years ago and I still haven't been able to find someone to replace him.