How Do I Choose a Trainer

Choosing a trainer can be a hard task. Especially if you are serious about getting results. All too often people show up to the gym and put up with whatever trainer is thrown their way. It doesn’t have to be that way for you. Here are some guidelines to finding the perfect fit.

If you’re considering training at a training facility or gym, watch the trainers and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are they on time?
  2. Do they pay attention to their clients?
  3. Do the talk/text on the phone during sessions?
  4. Do they talk constantly to their clients?
  5. Do they put all of their clients through the same workout?
  6. Do they watch and correct or applaud their clients form?

These are the basics you need to consider. If the trainer puts every client through the exact same workout (i.e. every Monday is leg day, every Tuesday is chest, etc. for EVERYBODY), don’t waste your time. If they pass the initial screening, schedule a meet with them. Most trainer (especially in gyms) will do this for free. Explain your goals and lifestyle then ask them these simple questions:

  1. How long have you been training professionally?
  2. Are you nationally certified? *
  3. How do you think you can help me reach my goals?
  4. What is your fitness philosophy?

If your trainer is going to be offering you nutrition advice, ask if they are certified to do so.

*Nationally certified. This one is a big one. There are a few organizations that train and test nationally certified trainers. NASM (my favorite!), ACSM, Cooper Institute are a few. Nationally certified trainers undergo more hours, harder testing (to ensure retention) and are required to do more continuing education credits than other trainers. This will insure you are working with the best.

Ask them if they research fitness/nutrition news. Do they stay up to date on trends and research? This will all help you. If they’re just spitting out what they read in a magazine, run.

Lastly, make sure your personalities match. Do you like a “boot camp” style? Or perhaps you like a softer approach? Do you need somebody to make sure you get up for your cardio? Let them know and make sure you’re a good match. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a Master Trainer (nationally certified, of course) then ask them how long it took them to gain that status. Was it through testing? Or did they happen to sell a lot of training? You’re looking for a trainer, NOT a salesman.

Be picky and vary your search. Check out your gym, training centers, at home trainers, and even virtual trainers to help you along the road to success.