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Seven Things to Look for When Choosing a Personal Trainer

More than 6 million American adults use a personal trainer to help them meet their fitness goals, according to American Sports Data Inc., along with close to 1 million children.

personal trainers

You should feel comfortable enough with your personal trainer to ask questions and share concerns.

Among the top reasons for doing so are to learn how to work out safely and effectively, and to get added motivation. Because of this, personal trainers appeal to people who have never exercised along with seasoned veterans who are looking for some inspiration.

Choosing a personal trainer is similarly varied, as your fitness goals, background and preferences will all play a role in finding a trainer who is right for you. Meanwhile, there are no national standards for personal trainers, meaning that anyone can say they're qualified, whether they have a degree in exercise physiology or just like to spend time at the gym.

The following tips can help you to find a trainer who is well-qualified and who will help you to get the results you're looking for.

  1. Ask about their qualifications. Health clubs vary on what they require of their personal trainers, so just the fact that your gym hired him or her does not necessarily mean they're qualified.

    Your trainer should be certified (American College of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association are some of the most well-known certifications) and/or have a four-year degree in exercise science (which could include physical education, exercise physiology or kinesiology).

Complement Your Workout
Routine With "Stretching
Toward a Healthier Life"

Stretching Toward a Healthier LifeIf you are committed to getting in shape, you are doing yourself an extreme disservice by not stretching.

As with exercise, proper form in stretching has everything to do with achieving the maximum health benefits (and avoiding personal injury.) Most effective is to see--step-by-step--the proper form of each and every stretch in action by an expert versus seeing a single snapshot of the stretch in a book (or just reading about each stretch.)

Stretching Toward a Healthier Life on DVD gets our top recommendation for five key reasons:

  • It presents 15 stretches that stretch all the key muscles groups throughout your entire body (something we did not see with several other guides we reviewed).
  • It only takes about 15-20 minutes per day total to do the complete stretching.
  • Stretching expert and host Jacques Gauthier and his wife Dorothee Lavoie demonstrate each stretch in their entirety, including insights on what NOT to do.
  • In addition to stretching nearly 100% of the muscles in your body, Gauthier chose 15 stretches that you'll find actually feel good and are easy to do (many stretches in other programs are not).
  • The production quality of the video and sound is excellent. (Many other DVD productions on stretching are not.)

Find out more about Stretching Toward a Healthier Life with FREE SHIPPING for a Limited Time!

Your trainer should also be certified in CPR and/or first aid.

  1. Ask for references. Then call them. This is, quite possibly, the best way to find out what kind of results you can expect.

  2. Think about gender. Do you prefer a male or a female personal trainer? You may not have a preference, but then again, you might.

  1. Get to know their personality. You should meet with your trainer prior to signing up for anything long-term to get to know their personality. This is someone you will be spending some serious time with, so you must feel comfortable with them and like their coaching style.

  2. Ask about their training philosophy. This includes how they develop an exercise routine for their client, how they motivate their clients, and how they change the routine to meet your goals as time goes on.

  3. Meet in person. Aside from gauging personality, another reason to meet your personal trainer face-to-face is to see how they look. You should never choose a trainer solely based on looks, but you do need to find someone who looks like they practice what they preach. In other words, you will surely have a hard time feeling motivated by someone who is in worse shape than you are.

  4. Find out costs. Cost for personal training can vary greatly, so you should get several bids before committing. While you shouldn't automatically choose the lowest offer, you must keep your personal budget in mind. If cost is an issue for you, keep in mind that some trainers offer small-group training, which allows you to share costs with a few of your friends.

Recommended Reading

What to do AFTER a Workout to Get Maximum Benefit From Your Exercise

15 Tips to Exercise More Without Changing Your Schedule a Bit


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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