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Personal Trainer


The lore that personal trainers are for the stars lingers. Many people relegate the idea of having a personal trainer to a lavish lifestyle, when, in fact, certified personal trainers work with everyone from pre-natal clients to grandparents.

Getting a personal trainer, for most, isn’t about being a super model, instead finding ways to add movement and exercise to busy schedules, getting in shape after having a baby, staying independent long after retirement, preparing for an athletic event, or simply just wanting to make positive lifestyle changes.

Many are choosing to invest in their health, and a natural place to start is with a certified personal trainer. So, where should you begin? Here are 6 guidelines to help you make an informed decision to help choose the personal trainer who is right for you.

  1. Why Hire A Personal TrainerAsk Why? Why do you want a personal trainer? What are your goals: working off extra weight, preparing for an athletic event, getting strength back after an injury or illness? It is imperative to be assertive when sharing your personal goals with a potential trainer.
  2. Shopping for a personal trainer is much like choosing any professional service. References and recommendations are essential. I don’t know anybody who has hired a babysitter, gone to a new mechanic, or chosen a doctor without asking around. A personal trainer is no different, as you want to have recommendations for someone who could, potentially, change your lifestyle and exercise habits.
  3. How close or far do you want to be from a trainer? It’s common to see newer clients more frequently, as they’re just getting used to a new fitness plan. So, ask yourself how far you want to travel to see your trainer.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask:
    1. What results have you achieved with clients? Over what time period?
    2. Have you worked with clients with goals similar to mine? Can you describe those experiences?
    3. How do you work with clients with goal setting?
    4. How do you chart progress?
    5. Do you require a physician’s release form? Will you update my medical history?
    6. How much do you charge per session? What are your billing and cancellation policies?
    7. How many follow-up personal training sessions will I need?
    8. How would you describe your style?
    9. Do you work with clients with special needs?
  1. Ask about qualifications. 
    1. Are you certified by a nationally recognized organization?
    2. Are you a member of any of the aforementioned professional associations?
    3. Are you certified in CPR and first aid?
  1. Buyer Beware! Did a trainer offer you supplements right away? Did the trainer say she’s a representative for a vitamin company? Did the trainer completely forego asking about your eating habits and diet? Did the personal trainer promise “too-good-to-be-true” results (like washboard abs in ten weeks)? A personal trainer is a professional that will help you reach realistic, SMART goals, not sell you a fairytale. So, be cautious. Beware. Listen to your gut. Choose wisely.

Hiring a personal trainer is an incredibly positive experience when you get the right match – someone who can help you achieve your fitness goals. But taking the time to ask the right questions of a potential trainer, as well as yourself, can save you a lot of money in the long run.