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How To Choose A Personal Trainer.

The type of trainer you want to hire is a trainer who is committed to be involved in guiding you to a better self. What is a good trainer?

Making the decision to add a personal trainer or coach to your program can be the best thing you ever did to benefit your fitness and health goals. Or, it can be a frustrating loss of time and money with potentially dangerous physical repercussions depending on whom you choose to work with.

personal trainerThis new addition to your life is someone you can hopefully put your health, body and mind into their capable hands while you simply follow their expert instructions.

Rewards are practically guaranteed if directions can be followed by discipline.

All it takes is a little research to avoid wasting your time and money with a low level trainer wannabe or worse, getting stuck with a trainer who would rather be anywhere else but with you. Thing is, it was the last acceptable option of employment for them. I mention this last scenario since I have seen it so much.

The type of trainer you want to hire is a trainer who is committed to be involved in guiding you to a better self. A good trainer and coach is one that is passionate about their own work as a professional in their field and has the ability to take pride in their clients' results and successes.

Go to the front desk at your local gym and ask what type of schooling or certifications their trainers, instructors and coaches are required to have. Most of these organizations can be researched easily on the web. Ask whom the popular trainers and instructors are in the area.

If you have a specific goal in mind as in preparing for competition, look for a coach who has experience working with athletes with the level you want to achieve.

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Meet and speak with current and past clients or athletes worked with. Ask questions. Ask if they were happy with their achievements and goals. Would they do this again? Why?

Many workout areas are set up in the open so it is easy to discretely watch a training session or two. Pay attention to the work ethic you see going on and the ease of interaction between trainer and athlete. Remember, practice good gym etiquette and do not interrupt a workout in session. Wait for the scheduled time to be up until you initiate a conversation.

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Inquire about time slot availability your trainer has open. Set up a consultation for goal setting. If you have any reservations, let your trainer know this will be a trial period. Give your new trainer at least 6-8 weeks if possible to be a fair judge of your trainer's abilities.

Many people like to learn from their personal trainers as they get fit during sessions. There are others who just follow direction and do not want to question why. Make sure your trainer matches your type of personality. For instance, if you want to chat and learn the whole time, fine... Just choose a trainer who likes to teach and talk at the same time.

The silent type or a more regimented, serious personality might not want to chat. I once had a strength coach who did not want me to lose focus and wanted talking kept to a minimum. I was training for fitness competitions and seeing physique gains like never before, so I wanted to keep the intensity in the gym as well.

Where Do I Get Certified?

Some Top Certifications To Look For In Your Trainers Are:
    ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association): Personal Training and Specialist Certifications, online courses, tests, instructor locator and brief multi choice test to see if a career in fitness is for you.
    ACE (American Council on Exercise): Exercise career and education center. CEC locations, instructor/trainer locator, Personal Training, Group Exercise and much more. Check out OFK (Operation Fit Kids)!
    NETA (National Exercise Trainers Association): Personal Training, Group Exercise and Palates. CEC locations, music and choreography. (
    PTA (PRO Private Trainers Association) - The only organization where you are certified by the IFBB Pros! No question, you know these people know what they are doing.

For many more options go to for a HUGE list of links to almost every known bodybuilding and fitness website!

I believe in the value of personal trainers and coaches. I personally use them and have used them my entire competitive career (1989-2001) for the National Aerobic Championships, NPC USA Nationals and as an International Fitness Universe Pro competitor.

I find I can get more out of myself if someone else is on hand encouraging, running repetitions and keeping track of my progress. I have had every type of coach from a formal charm school instructor to a fitness contest nutritionist. I feel I would not have reached the levels I've had in my career without ALL of my trainers and coaches.

Do You Think Personal Trainers Are Beneficial For Reaching Fitness Goals?

Not Sure.

Put a budget together and see what you can afford per month, as good trainers can be quite costly. For many athletes, the cost of a quality trainer is a small price to pay to reach your goals.


This is a relationship. This is one of those times you will be hiring someone who is supposed to know more than you do. Your job is to let them lead. You must be able to follow direction and build discipline. This is how the relationship works best.

There is a wonderful peace of not having to figure every calculation and just doing what you are told. Let your trainer do it, after all... you're PAYING for it!

Take care of yourself. It's worth it.