Personal Trainer – Should You Hire One? Here’s How!

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If you want to know how to find a personal trainer, this is the article for you! There’s more to it than just looking online. Sure, you’ll find tons of ads, but it’s the quality of the personal trainer that counts. Nothing’s worse than spending time and money on a trainer that isn’t very good. That means you have to know what to look for. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know to find the best personal trainer for you!

How To Find A Personal Trainer – What You Should Look For

Here’s information that can help you choose a good personal trainer. Part of this process is to ask questions before you hire someone. If your personal trainer doesn’t seem to be working out, don’t be afraid to find someone else. However, you also have to make sure you’re putting in the hard work. A trainer offers guidance but you have to work hard enough to turn that guidance into results.


The right personal trainer helps you achieve your goals by providing workout programs designed for your individual needs. They also provide nutritional/supplementation guidance and motivate you to do your best. To that end, they can teach you how to properly perform the exercise. They also show you how to get the most from that exercise.  

The Verbal Assessment

A good personal trainer should perform a detailed assessment. This usually includes a verbal and a physical assessment. This allows the trainer to understand your goals. From here, they can design a complete, personalized program that fits your needs. 


During the assessment process, pay careful attention to the questions being asked. A good personal trainer should be looking for detailed information. This is the only way they can understand your specific needs. 


Here are some examples of questions a personal trainer should ask:

What Are Your Specific Goals?

To give you the best guidance, a personal trainer needs to know exactly what your goals are.

Specific goals could include any of the following: 


  • Increased Strength 
  • Gaining Lean Muscle 
  • Reduced Body Fat 
  • Improved Cardiovascular System
  • Improved Flexibility


These goals should include specific guideposts or small achievable steps that lead to a larger end goal. You can set specific numerical targets to work towards. Some personal trainers do not ask what your specific goals are. Instead, they give you a generic program that ultimately isn’t worth your time or money.

What Does Your Current Nutritional Program Look Like?

Make no mistake, nutrition is as much a part of your success as your training. Some would say it’s even more. The bottom line is this: you can’t out-train a poor diet. Sound cliche? It’s also the truth. The right personal trainer will want to know exactly what you eat. This is true regardless of your goals. They should ask how much you usually eat, and that should be further broken down to a per-meal basis. For example: how many meals per day? 


They will want to know if you track your nutrition: calories, protein, carbs, and fats. What about sugar and sodium? These are all important diet markers that should be monitored. Furthermore, they should want to know examples of specific foods you eat. Remember, a good trainer should be as involved with your nutrition as they are with your training. 

What Supplements Are You Currently Taking?

You can’t discuss nutrition without including supplements. A good personal trainer will want to know what supplements you are taking. They may also offer supplement suggestions and even specific brands. Don’t forget to shop for all your favorite products!

Questions Regarding Injuries, Current Medications, And Medical Conditions

Not everybody wants to share their personal medical history. However, your trainer needs to know what physical limitations you may have. This will help them design a more personalized training routine that can work for you. Additionally, knowing what medications you take will guide their supplement suggestions. 


Some trainers use a medical questionnaire. Most likely, this contains a confidentiality clause to document any relevant medical issues. This also ensures the information remains private. A good personal trainer should make these inquiries to avoid potentially serious problems caused by health issues.

Lifestyle Questions

Your lifestyle plays a major role in the training routines that a trainer chooses for you.


Common questions can include: 


  1. Do you have a physically demanding job? If so, what is it?
  2. Do you work a lot of hours? What days and hours do you work? 
  3. How many days off a week do you have? 
  4. Are you attending college or school?
  5. Do you perform repetitive motions at work or school? Does it stress your joints or body? 
  6. How many hours of sleep do you get on average? 
  7. Do you prefer to train early or later? 


These questions allow a trainer to choose the right exercises and intensity levels for your lifestyle.  

The Physical Assessment

Personal trainers will run potential clients through a physical assessment. This provides a basic understanding of the client’s current physical condition. You should look for and expect this assessment. Why? So you are provided a program specifically designed to your ability and goals. 


The first part of your physical assessment may include having your pulse taken to find your heart rate. This is done so your trainer can calculate your exercise heart rate and your maximum heart rate. Your potential trainer will use this information to design the cardio aspect of your training program.

Flexibility Assessment

A flexibility assessment may also be performed. This allows the trainer to judge your range of motion and identify any limitations.  


A good personal trainer should measure body fat percentage. This helps determine the number of calories for your nutritional program. It also helps a trainer design the cardio aspect of training. This step will probably be omitted if fat loss is not a primary concern.


Personal trainers may conduct cardiovascular assessments to determine aerobic capacity. 

As well, muscle performance tests will be given to determine strength levels and exercise form. Finally, make sure your trainer records this information. Otherwise, they may not remember your personal requirements. This shows a lack of professionalism and a lack of commitment. 

Your Program

Personal trainers will use all the information provided and design a specific program for your goals. They should explain everything to you, and demonstrate the exercises. Additionally, they should be giving you all their attention as you perform your workout. 

Here Are The Questions You Should Ask

So far, we have looked at the questions a trainer should be asking you. But what questions should you ask them? 


Before you make a choice, here are a few key questions to ask:


What are your qualifications? 

A prospective personal trainer should be certified by a well-known organization such as those mentioned in this article. These include ISSA, ACE, or NASM, to name a few.

Do you have references? 

A trainer should be able to provide a list of references you can contact.

How long have you been a personal trainer? 

Experience matters. Look for someone who’s been doing this for a while with a proven track record of success. 

Are you a full-time personal trainer? 

This is tied to the last question. A full-time trainer will be more dedicated and focused. A part-time trainer may be too exhausted from their regular job to give you the attention you require.

Does your program include nutrition and supplements? 

Not every trainer covers this area. It’s best to have one person who can oversee your entire approach. If not, they should have a reference for a nutritionist that they work closely with. In fact, many bodybuilding competitors will use a team like this. This will include a trainer that focuses on the exercises and a nutritionist that covers meal plans and supplements. The key is that they work together for your benefit. The obvious problem with this approach is cost. 

How much do you charge? 

Of course, budget is one of the keys to your choice. As with anything, make the best choice for the budget you have to work with.

Here’s How To Find The Right Trainer

How do you find the right trainer? Most personal trainers advertise. Check Google and you will see ads pop up for your area. Your Google search will also lead to specific certification sites. From here you can search for personal trainers in your area. Good certification organizations include ACE® (American Council on Exercise), ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association, NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Association), and NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine. There are more but these are among the best choices. 

In Summary

Hiring the right personal trainer is an investment in yourself. Finding one is not always easy. When you do, it will be an extremely beneficial experience. Use the above criteria to help you choose, and don’t settle for less. You don’t want to waste money and time on the wrong trainer. After all, this is your physique and goals we’re talking about! Good luck!

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