How to Choose the Right Personal Trainer For You

Written by Elly McGuinness

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Hiring a personal trainer is a great step towards taking your health and fitness to the next level. There are several amazing benefits to having a personal trainer. If you’re already familiar with these and you’ve decided to take action, then you’ve come to the right place!

Today we’ll share some tips to help you choose a personal trainer who you’ll connect well with, and who will help you achieve the results you’re striving for. It’s time to get ready to kick those goals!

Check they are qualified

Ask any potential trainers whether they are a certified personal trainer, and what the certification involved. If they completed a relevant qualification (e.g. certificate, diploma or degree) at a recognised sports institution, Polytechnic or University this is a good start.

It means they will have the foundational knowledge of important topics like anatomy and physiology as related to exercise. They will also have been trained on the fundamentals of exercise prescription, which allows them to provide safe and effective individualised programs.

Alternatively, you can also ask them if they’re a member of REPS (the Register of Exercise Professionals). Personal trainers that are registered with REPS must have a valid personal training qualification. They are also required to complete continuing professional development credits to maintain an active status on the register.

REPS strives to improve standards within the health and fitness industry. They aim to assure the public that REPS trainers have the qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience to perform their role competently.

Consider where they are located

Will your training be held in a convenient location? If it takes a lot of time and effort to get to your personal training session it may be more difficult to commit to it on an ongoing basis. If it’s close to your home or work then this is likely to make it easier for you to show up with minimal stress and time wasting. Better yet, have you considered hiring a personal trainer who will COME TO YOU?

Referrals and testimonials

A great way to start considering your options for a personal trainer is to ask others. Ask your friends and family whether they have hired a personal trainer who they could also recommend for you. Referrals from friends and family, and general “word of mouth” recommendations are usually worth considering because that trainer has gained the trust of others and has left a good impression on them.

You may be able to read, watch or listen to testimonials from previous clients of a trainer to hear about their experiences and what they achieved over the course of their training.

Understand their training style and personality

Before you start working with a personal trainer, it’s a good idea to understand the style of training that will suit you best. Are you after an intense military style, “no nonsense” trainer, or would this make you “run a mile”? Do you need a gentler approach, or someone to help coach you through some of the psychological barriers you are experiencing? Ask your potential trainer what kind of style they perceive their training to be, and decide whether it will fit your needs.

Find out their specialties

If a personal trainer tells you they specialise in helping everyone with everything, don’t believe them! They may want to train anyone they can but that doesn’t mean they will be skilled enough and specialized enough to be the first choice for everyone. Have a clear understanding of your own goals, and then ask them what their areas of specialisation are, and what type of goals they normally help their clients achieve. Some specialist areas can include:

  • Rehabilitation
  • Special medical conditions
  • Weight loss
  • Athletes or sports specific
  • Endurance event training
  • Bodybuilding
  • Pre and post natal

Try before you commit

Consider meeting with a few different personal trainers who have the potential to meet your needs. They should offer a consultation (which could be either complimentary or paid) to find out the details of what you want to achieve, your exercise and medical history, barriers to success, and more. During this session you’ll probably get a good feel for how well you connected with them and whether you’re going to be excited to train with them on a regular basis.

You could also ask any prospective trainers for a one-off physical training session before you commit to signing up for a package deal or training for a longer period of time.

Have you found a great personal trainer, or do you have any tips to add to the list? Please leave a comment in the box to let us know!