Exercising is essential for living a long, healthy, happy life.
The benefits of fitness are practically countless and impact both one’s physical and mental well-being. Getting in shape and staying in shape is easier said than done.
It requires not only a healthy diet but also a tailored exercise plan that is consistently followed.
We all need help sometimes along the way to achieving our fitness goals.
Whether you are just starting out or a well-conditioned athlete, a certified personal trainer will provide the necessary guidance and motivation to allow you to reach your fitness aspirations.
The infographic below will provide you the 12 benefits of having a personal trainer.
Benefits of Having a Personal Trainer Infographic
Ultimate Guide to Finding the Right Personal Trainer for You
Having any Joe Shmoe off the street tell you what exercise to do next will most likely not help you achieve your fitness goals and potentially hinder your progress by causing you to injure yourself or discourage you mentally.
Your success depends on finding a well trained and qualified personal trainer that is a good fit for you personally.
The following guide will provide with the necessary knowledge of where to find a personal trainer, what you should look for in a personal trainer, and the right questions to ask, so you end up with the right personal trainer that will help you reach your fitness goals.
Where do you find a personal trainer?
There are multiple avenues you can go to find a personal trainer. Most gyms have personal trainers available, which is not a bad option as many gyms will not allow outside personal trainers to have sessions at their gym.
You can also look to personal trainer directories online. Ideafit.com has one of the largest personal trainer directories on the web.
You can also directly ask friends, family, or people at the gym for recommendations. Either of these approaches will most likely result in you finding the right personal trainer for you as long as you follow the advice provided in this guide
What are their qualifications or credentials?
It is important to know that the trainer has the appropriate knowledge and expertise to do the job. Anybody can call themselves a trainer, but a good personal trainer will have the proper credentials.
You should determine if the trainer has an NCCA-accredited certification.
There are over 70 certification agencies, but the most popular certifications are NCCA-accredited including NASM, ACE, ACSM, and NSCA. You can search to see if the certifying agency is NCCA-accredited by searching here.
Most certifications have a renewal period between two and four years. It is not unwise to request to see the trainer’s certification or obtain their certification number to confirm it is current.
I would not say this is a requirement but is a plus if the trainer also has an educational background that consists of a college degree in exercise science or another related field, as this further ensures their foundation of knowledge around exercise and the body.
What is their work experience and specialization?
Just like in any job, work experience is essential in developing one’s skill and expertise. It is good to ask how many years the personal trainer has been working with clients like yourself.
It is essential to determine not only the length of experience but also the type of knowledge and the applicability of such experience to your needs.
If you are a 50-year-old woman with some arthritis issues, a personal trainer’s ten years of experience working with highly conditioned college athletes may not be so valuable.
That is why it is also critical to determine if you require any specialized training, such as requiring rehabilitation from an injury, and determining if the trainer has the qualifications and experience necessary to address these needs adequately.
Who are their references?
Ask the personal trainer for references. I am not talking about their past managers but actual clients they worked with in the past. Specifically, ask for clients that are similar to you regarding your goals and fitness level.
The trainer should be able to provide you with a few names and numbers that you can personally contact.
Ask these past clients about their overall experience with the trainer and whether the trainer was able to address their needs. Ask them about the type of training style used (e.g., drill sergeant, gentle, etc.) as well as whether the trainer was consistently on time and prepared.
Is the trainer a good fit?
Talking to the trainer as well as former clients will help you better assess whether the trainer is a good fit for you. Discuss with the trainer your needs and goals and ask them what their general approach would be to address such needs.
Simply chatting with the trainer for a few minutes will allow you to get a feel for their personality and determine if you would get along.
You will be spending many long hours with this person, so it is good to determine if you will be compatible at a professional level and even a personal level.
Beyond just checking the boxes, trust your gut feelings on whether you feel this trainer is a good fit and is someone you can work with.
How much do they charge?
Prices can vary significantly from trainer to trainer ($20 – $100 per hour). These rates are based on a variety of factors including the trainer’s experience and reputation, the gym or facilities used, and general geographic location.
The trainer or the gym in which the trainer is affiliated with may have package deals in which you receive a discounted rate for committing to a certain number of sessions.
It will come down to what you have personally budgeted and your preference on whether you want to approach the sessions week by week or commit to multiple sessions.
What are the business policies and are they insured?
Whether the trainer is affiliated with a company such as a gym or is independently contracting their services, it is essential to get a full understanding of their business policies including their scheduling and cancellation policies, as well as the billing process.
If they are working for themselves, you will also want to confirm that they have professional liability insurance.
What is their availability?
Beyond just understanding the trainer’s scheduling procedures, it is essential to ask the trainer their availability and determine if that fits with your schedule.
You may prefer to work out in the mornings, at lunch, or in the evenings.
You need to know the trainer is available at those times and days that you want to workout. Make sure they don’t have personal obligations or already have regular clients scheduled during these times.
If you do the appropriate due diligence by following this guide, you will have no problem finding a personal trainer that fulfills your needs and meets your budget. With the right personal trainer, you will significantly increase your chances of reaching your fitness goals.
If there is anything else that you think is important to consider when finding the right personal trainer that I have overlooked, please provide such suggestions in the comment box below.
Additionally, if you have any additional questions, please provide these questions in the comment box below as well, and I will get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.