If you want to get into great physical shape this year, hiring a personal trainer can be a wise decision. It's much easier to stay motivated and to do the correct exercises that your body needs with the guidance of a professional. A personal trainer's employment goal is to help you reach your fitness goal. Here's what to look for when seeking the services of an expert.

Education: He should have received training through a professional organization. It is helpful if they have also gone to school to study the exercise sciences. Knowledge of muscle groups and how a body works is important since they will be guiding you in proper form, exercises and ways to stay fit as well as to build muscle without becoming injured or discouraged.

Good communication skills: If possible, it's helpful to watch him instructing other clients. If you belong to a gym or fitness club, watch the trainers working out with other gym members. Do they seem patient, helpful, knowledgeable and encouraging? It is helpful to set up an interview with a potential trainer in order to learn a bit about their philosophy regarding physical activity. You want to make sure that your goals and philosophies align. They should work toward your goals, not theirs. If you want to slim down and add tone to your body, this will determine your fitness plan. If you want to become the strongest man in your town and compete in Muscle Man contests, you will need a different plan. Make sure he listens and understands you.

First aid and CPR trained: A personal trainer should be well versed in emergency health care, should the need arise. This is an integral part of their certification and training.

A reputable one will do a health inventory on new clients to discover special needs as well as the person's fitness history. Items like back trouble, heart irregularities, pregnancy, or an old knee injury will all need to be taken into account when planning the time.

How will your progress be monitored? Are their charts and forms to be filled out? Will they monitor your weight, strength capabilities and body fat? It's essential to have an effective way of monitoring your progress, in order to keep track of how you're doing. Nothing motivates like progress!

A good way to find a skilled personal instructor is by word of mouth. A person's reputation speaks volumes about them. Ask friends, family and your fellow gym members about who they've worked with. Obtain details about their experience including how long it took them to reach some of their fitness goals.