Shopping for a Personal Trainer

health, Personal Trainer, shopping for a trainer, tips for choosing a trainer, tips from town

As a Personal Trainer, one of my pet peeves is the general assumption that all trainers are the same (i.e. “meatheads”, “gym rats”, or “exercise/nutrition fanatics”). Truth be told, there are probably more BAD trainers out there than good. Meeting a trainer working at a gym who looks “buff” does not always equate to skill, knowledge and most importantly, positive results for you. If you’re in the market for a trainer, consider these points while you’re browsing:

Word of Mouth – This is probably one of the best ways to hear of a great (or horrific) trainer.

Your Gym – If you’re already a member of a gym, check out their trainers. You can watch their training style and interaction with clients. Beware of the trainer with the same program for every client; seems distracted or disengaged; or has their client do things that are obviously dangerous/inappropriate (Yes- they are out there).

Fitness Instructor – If you like the instructor of a fitness class, approach the person to see if he/she is a personal trainer and would be interested in training you. Be careful though – not all fitness instructors are certified to personal train and there IS a difference.

Reputable Fitness Websites – If you’re starting from scratch and don’t belong to a gym try looking at some accredited fitness websites that provide directories of their certified trainers. Try IDEA FIT.

In-home Training vs. On Site – Choose a trainer that meets your needs and requirements. If you prefer to, or need to train in your home, you’ll want a trainer that can come to you at a time that works for you and possibly provide some or all fitness equipment. If you choose to train on-site, does your trainer have his/her own space or work out of a gym? If so, do you need to have a membership or pay extra above the trainer fees?

Gender & Age: – This is purely a matter of personal preference and comfort level. Female trainers can very effectively train men and vice versa. One thing that I have noticed in the industry, is age and life experience can be more of a factor than gender. Issues like pre and post pregnancy, having young kids and a busy schedule with work and family, may be difficult for younger trainers to relate to and empathize with.

Certification – A great trainer must be certified from an accredited organization. Be forewarned that there is a multitude of certs out there and many only require the person to be 18, have current CPR and pass a multiple choice test on the computer. Alas, it is possible for someone who has never stepped foot in a gym to get some kind of certification. Unfortunate but true. Ask your trainer where they studied, where they are certified and what kind of continuing education they are required to do to maintain that certification.

Experience – The best education and certifications still do not guarantee a good trainer. But a brand new trainer can be very ambitious and willing to go above and beyond to prove him/herself.

Pricing – The average Personal Trainer fee is $50/hour but can range from $20 -$150 an hour depending on location, experience and service provided. Expect to pay more for an in- home trainer as you are paying for the convenience. These trainers may add on travel or mileage fees, or may just charge their training rate for the extra travel time.

Philosophy – Ask your trainer about this. Does his/her philosophy on fitness, health and nutrition mesh with yours? If a trainer seems too rigid or too lax for your goals, you may want to shop around some more. You might also want to know what your trainer’s long-term goals are for her/his clients. Why does this person train people? What is his/her M.O. as a personal trainer?

Rapport Rapport Rapport – The bottom line here is YOU need to feel that the trainer you choose is 100% invested in your well-being. They need to understand you and your goals and most importantly, can motivate you. They will then be able to recognize and draw out your potential (even if you don’t see it) and be your biggest cheerleader.



Facebook Twitter Google Digg Reddit LinkedIn Pinterest StumbleUpon Email

Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.