how to choose a personal trainer

How To Choose A Personal Trainer

It’s time. After too much locking-down and too little leveling-up, you know there’s no way you’re going to be ready for your future beaches, mountains, and trails without help. You’re seriously considering hiring a personal trainer and we applaud that. Working with a personal trainer will make you more motivated and accountable, maximize your time at the gym, prevent injury, and…most of all…help you achieve results

Whether you have a specific goal in mind or just a general idea of how you want to improve, a personal trainer can start with you where you are. While you don’t have to have everything figured out before you make that call, there are a few things we encourage you to evaluate before hiring a personal trainer.

  1. Credentials. Personal trainers generally have an extensive background in exercise science, often including a Bachelor’s degree and sometimes even a Master’s degree. The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the International Sports Science Association (ISSA), the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and OPEX certify personal trainers and coaches. There are also a variety of CrossFit certification levels that trainers can achieve. The important thing is that your trainer demonstrates a commitment to lifelong learning.
  2. Experience. How many years have they been working in a fitness-related career? Where they got their start is also important, especially if they’ve had the opportunity to work under a successful mentor. Do you need someone who has experience working with injured clients or with expertise in training for a particular sport or competition? Do they have experiences outside of personal training such as sports, dancing or yoga? What are their favorite success stories?          
  3. Training Style. Do you prefer someone who is enthusiastic or serious? Demanding or understanding? Conventional or unconventional? Their teaching methods are also important. Do they explain and/or demonstrate in a way that you can follow and learn? Are they able to help you to set priorities and achieve your goals? 
  4. Training Philosophy. What is their philosophy of personal training? A good trainer works from a holistic view of health and wellness. They know how to exercise effectively and how to help you exercise effectively as well. They are the “Fitness MD” who will write your exercise prescription for you.
  5. Knowledge. The best trainers have extensive expertise and the ability to share it in a way their clients can understand and act upon. They are involved in continuing education, stay up to date on the latest research, and understand the why behind the exercise. They also know how to work with old injuries and prevent new ones. 
  6. Specialties. If your goals go beyond generally improved physical fitness, you may want to look for a trainer who specializes in a specific area. Some examples of specializations include: strength and conditioning, youth fitness, senior adult fitness, weight loss, bodybuilding, corrective exercise, mind/body fitness, human performance, crossfit, and sport-specific training.
  7. References & Reputation. Personal trainers are generally more than willing to let potential clients know who they have worked with in the past. In fact, they are often very proud of their clientele and the results they’ve achieved. Ask to speak to some of their current and past clients and see if they have social media or Google reviews. 
  8. Cost & Location. It’s  easy to let these two be your first consideration when selecting a personal trainer. While they must fit in with your budget and daily routine, it might be worth paying a little more or driving a little farther to get the right person. 
  9. Schedule. Schedule is another very practical consideration. If you work full-time, you may be competing with more people for the morning and evening time slots. It’s important to factor in your own biorhythms so that you’re working out at a time when you have the most mental and physical energy for it. Do you want to be able to check in with your trainer between sessions with questions for motivational reasons? If so, are they okay with that?
  10. Benchmarks. Finally, you want to know you’re making progress. How does your preferred trainer set benchmarks and goals? Will it motivate you to do better or discourage you? Is your trainer willing to develop a customized tracking system based on your motivations? 

You won’t be able to make a final decision by using only online research and reading reviews. Once you have a short list, it’s time for observation and conversation. Come into the gym and watch some training sessions. Talk to the trainers you’re interested in hiring. They’ll be working closely with you to achieve your goals. In addition to the training program, it’s important that the trainer be a good fit intellectually and emotionally.

It’s called personal training for a reason. Take time to carefully think through what you need and want to accomplish and then get started. Our personal trainers are certified professionals with years of experience who go the extra mile so that you can achieve your goals. Take some time to review their bios and then give us a call. (561) 204-5033