How to Choose a Personal Trainer

You're about to start your training regimen…it's been awhile since you've trained seriously, and you're thinking a personal trainer will get you going in the right direction. You have a bit of a budget set aside, and you're ready to make a decision.

How to Choose a Personal Trainer


How do you choose the personal trainer that will be best for you and your needs?

Much of this may depend on where you are training…do you have a membership at a chain health club that offers trainers? Are you going to join a health club?

Do you have training equipment of your own at home that you'd like direction with instead?

Would you consider yourself a beginning athlete with no knowledge, or have you trained before and are knowledgeable, but just need a bit of a push to get going again?

Do you want a few weeks worth of personal training as a jump-start, or do you want 6 months of solid direction to take you to the next level?

One of the first things you will want to find out, whether you join the health club and have access to the club's trainers, OR if you are searching for one on your own is…what kind of training does this person have in order to be able to turn around and help me?


Many people DO work out themselves, but are they certified to assist others with their training and how long have they been training others?

One certification you will want to be on the lookout for is the ACE certification (the American Council on Exercise…their website has a link to their ACE Trainers). put a link to ACE here to open in new window, The ACE program is NCCA-accredited (National Commission for Certifying Agencies). The NCAA has 26 years of experience accrediting allied health professionals…personal trainers included! What this means is, their stringent guidelines help YOU to find the best possible trainer!

Now that you know one great resource for finding a certified trainer (either at your gym, or on your own through ACE), what else would you want to know?


Questions I would ask a potential trainer include:

  • Do you specialize in training beginners?
  • Will you help me assess my fitness level?
  • Will you help push me, but not past levels that I am comfortable with?
  • Are you available to train me during the times I am available?
  • Will you assess my overall health prior to training?
  • How much do you charge, and do you have rates for both short-term (a few sessions) and for longer-term (a few weeks or months of training)?


Things to note as you go are:

  • Is the trainer a good listener?
  • Does the trainer seem to understand my goals?
  • Does the trainer motivate me?
  • Am I achieving my goals?
  • Do I feel that I am being observed well as I train?
  • Is the trainer focused on me and my goals?


Many people feel more comfortable and/or motivated with a member of one sex or the other. Don't be shy if you only feel comfortable with a female trainer, or if you feel a male trainer would be more motivating.


Choose the right trainer for you. The more the trainer fits your needs, the better your training program (and results) will be.



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