What to Look For in a Personal Trainer: Choosing the Right One for You

If you have decided to take the next step on your fitness journey, you are likely now in the market for a professional and expert who will be key in helping you meet your health and wellness goals. The person you are likely now looking for is a personal trainer!

Not only does working with a personal trainer get you excited to be on a highly productive fitness journey, but they are also central to keeping you motivated and accountable to your weekly workouts, maximizing your time at the gym, preventing any foreseeable injury, and experiencing far more consistent results.

That said, it can be tricky to determine how much money to spend on a personal trainer and what qualifies as a sound investment in your fitness journey and simply throwing money out the window – especially if that journey is not proving to be as successful as you might have hoped. In order to maximize the benefit of your personal trainer, it is important to learn how to choose the right person – one who can cater your program to your needs and help you achieve your desired results. 

To figure out how to choose the best trainer, you will first need to do a bit of legwork to determine who will be a good fit for your needs and who you feel comfortable working closely with so that you will remain engaged and motivated throughout the process. To begin determining who is the best fit for you, we recommend considering the following ten criteria:

Has Experience 

Your personal trainer will be someone who has perfected their process and has experienced success with a variety of clients over a significant period of time. Otherwise, while it might be tempting to be someone’s guinea pig, try to resist cutting a deal with a freshly-certified trainer, as it is always a better option to choose someone who has some previous experience. 

Proper Credentials

Regardless of which trainer you choose, be sure to ask that they show you that they have acquired the best personal trainer certification in their particular area of expertise. 

In order for trainers to become certified, they must pass accredited exams through respected organizations in the industry, such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and The American Council on Exercise (ACE). By passing this exam and having the credit to demonstrate so, this process ensures they have met standards of professionalism and competence in their field.

Located Nearby 

Another criterion to consider is the distance from your place of residence. Otherwise, you will likely want to select a trainer who is located nearby. You might also consider what distance you are willing to drive to meet your trainer – if they are not close by. And if they are close, you might also consider finding someone who is within walking distance so that you can incorporate that travel into your routine. 

Engaging Personality 

Another key attribute is personality and finding someone whose personality motivates you. For example, while some people find that they work best with trainers who share positive reinforcement and cheerleading, others might prefer “tough love.” Either way, when looking for a trainer, try selecting someone whose personality jives with yours and whose approach benefits your needs. Make sure that you hire a personal trainer with an engaging personality that is uplifting and not brutally mean, like an overly aggressive drill sergeant. 

Compatible Availability 

Given that consistency is key to meeting your fitness needs, it is likely also a good idea to check in with your trainer about their schedule. You may want to ask the following questions: How many clients do you have? 

Do you book all your clients at the same time, or do you have a more flexible and floating schedule? How far in advance will you have to have your appointments with this personal trainer booked? Can I change my appointments, and is there a cancellation policy? 

And can I make up for missed appointments? All these questions are key to figuring out whether your availability is compatible. Important that you think about your budget and which options make the most sense.

Productive Reputation 

In addition to establishing a personalized training program, you also need to have a reputation for productivity and progress. Consider a trainer who comes by way of a referral – especially among people who have experienced positive results. Successfully getting goals accomplished is the ultimate proof, and good personal trainers will share their testimonials, references, and success stories. 

In Closing 

Although choosing a personal trainer can be overwhelming, it really does not have to be if you have a list of criteria in hand – even if they are streamlined to cater to your needs. And when in doubt, always choose someone who is knowledgeable, experienced, and feels like the most natural fit for you.