What to Look for in a Personal Trainer

A personal trainer can be a great source of motivation in your journey to a fitter, healthier you … but do you know what to look for when hiring your one-on-one coach? It can be a little more complicated than you may realize, and training isn’t cheap – which is why you want to make sure you are getting the most out of your time and money.

I came across this great article from Fitbie, which spells out the Five Things to Look for in a Personal Trainer. Most importantly among them? Someone who is focused on your goals, and sees you as an individual.

Having spent about three years working with personal trainers in the past – and seeing both good and bad ones in the gym day in and day out – here are a few more tips to make sure you are working with a trainer who is as willing to put in the hard work as you are:

  • Do a background check. No, I’m not talking do they pay their bills on time – but rather their experience. Do they have a degree in exercise science or physiology? Which professional certifications do they hold (ACE, NASM and ACSM are some of the most recognizable, accredited certifying organizations)? How long have they been training? All of these are great questions to ask to make sure you are working with a qualified professional – not just somebody who looks like they work out a lot.
  • Your training should fit your life – and your schedule. If you know you aren’t going to be out of bed and to the gym by 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, find another time (and if necessary, another trainer). Many trainers will still charge your hourly fee if you don’t keep your appointment time – and you aren’t going to make any gains (or losses) if you aren’t committed to putting the work in.
  • Be clear about what you want to accomplish in training. A trainer can only help you achieve your goals if he or she is clear on what they are. Are you trying to lose weight? Bulk up? Feel healthier? Different goals require different strategies – and just like people are not one size fits all, neither is training.

Perhaps above all, your trainer should be upbeat, motivational, and committed to helping you become a better version of yourself. Training is an expensive commitment – but one that is absolutely worth it if both you and your trainer are willing to put in the time and work into making your health a priority. Do your homework, think about your goals, and if the first trainer you work with doesn’t click with you, never be afraid to ask for someone else. It’s your money, your time, and your body – you deserve to work with someone who wants to see you accomplish your goals as much as you want to succeed.