16 February

Considerations for Choosing a Personal Trainer

Image of a man working with a personal trainer on NPTI's website

A personal trainer can play a key role in helping you meet your health and fitness goals. When working with one, you’ll likely get a personalized exercise (and in some cases, nutrition) program that fits around your goals, interests, and any injuries or medical conditions you may have. Working with a personal trainer can also help keep you motivated and offer accountability. You should be selective when choosing a personal trainer. Ask questions, do research, and ensure the trainer checks all your boxes before signing up for sessions. Here are some questions and considerations when choosing a personal trainer.

Where Are They Located?

Where do you want to perform workouts? A gym close to work or home? At home? Virtually? Another location? Ask the trainer what gym(s) they work out of and make sure it’s convenient for you. If not, it can become an excuse to not work out, so location is important.

What Is Their Availability?

Are they accepting new clients? What hours are they available? Does it fit your schedule? For example, if their availability is in the morning but your schedule needs it to be afternoon, that won’t work. Find a trainer who is available at the time when you’re most likely to exercise and also be available; time when you’ll still have energy and motivation to work out.

What Is Their Education/Qualifications?

Most personal trainers have extensive knowledge of safe and effective practices. They should have received both educational and practical fitness training and you can ask about nationally accredited certifications.

Also ensure your trainer has professional liability insurance if they operate as an independent contractor.

Do They Have References?

Don’t be afraid to ask for names, phone numbers, and even testimonials of other clients they have worked with, especially if those clients share goals that are similar to yours. It’s important that a trainer has worked with clients similar to you so that they can empathize with and understand your challenges and needs.

You’ll also want to get an idea if clients were satisfied with their workouts, results, and experiences.

What Is the Cost?

Trainers have different costs, so review costs associated with different trainers and sessions. This often depends on your location, the trainer’s experience and qualifications, the type of package you choose, and other factors.

Make sure you have an idea of how much you’re willing to spend before starting your search. The trainer’s rates should fit your budget.

Some trainers offer discounted prices if you book more sessions, require you to pay for a certain amount of sessions/week or weeks/months, or have other financial-related policies you should be aware of. Also ask about cancellation policies or other fees you may encounter.

Finally, consider any additional expenses you’ll have, such as separate gym membership rates or purchasing your own equipment.

Does Their Personality Fit with Yours?

Personality is important. Your personal trainer should push you out of your comfort zone, but not in a coaching style that isn’t motivating for you. Ask your trainer: What is the attitude you have during workouts? Are you more positive or tough love? What is your overall motivation style and demeanor?

Then, consider what works best for you. You should feel comfortable and confident with your trainer. If you have a session or two and find your trainer’s personality doesn’t mesh with yours, let them know you need to make a change.

What Is Their Expertise and Exercise Philosophy?

Consider your own fitness goals and preferences. Do you have a very specific plan or are you more flexible? Do you want a cardio-heavy routine or larger focus on weightlifting? Are you trying to lose weight and put on muscle, or train for a specific event?

Most personal trainers have a general knowledge of all things fitness-related, but they also likely have specific areas of expertise informed by their training and experience. Ask your trainer about their preferences and expertise to see if it aligns with your needs.

Also ask about their exercise philosophy: Do they prefer you to focus on mastering one thing? Change things up throughout the month? What are they teaching their clients?

Read online reviews and ask questions before signing up for sessions.

Do They Cater Workouts for Each Client?

Every client is different, so it’s important your trainer takes time to understand your health history, potential risk factors, and physical needs. A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works and can often lead to injury. If this is their philosophy, you may want to consider a different trainer.

Choose a personal trainer that takes risk assessment into consideration. Ask how you will be assessed and how often. Consider what equipment and facilities they use and whether those fit your needs. Additionally, your trainer should be willing to talk to your doctor about exercise and concerns if you’re under a doctor’s care.

Choosing a Personal Trainer for You

Start by considering fitness professionals who have their personal training certification from NPTI Florida. Our trainers have hundreds of hours of education and hands on training to meet the needs and goals of their clients.

If you’re interested in becoming a fitness professional yourself, contact us today to learn more about our Accredited Personal Training Diploma programs.