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[How To] Choosing Your Personal Trainer


So you want to start exercising, but you don't know quite where to start. The first move most people have is to wonder if hiring a personal trainer is the right choice for them!

Who can benefit from a personal trainer? Most anyone! I know trainers who have trainers. I've worked with people from all backgrounds, experiences, ages, and fitness levels. I've worked with total beginners to ex-collegiate athletes. And even though the focus of what we work on is different, all of it remains the same. Having someone to hold you accountable, to push you harder than you'd push yourself, and to keep your workouts smart in order to avoid unnecessary fatigue and injury is a benefit to everyone.

But how do you even go about finding a personal trainer/how do you know if your trainer is truly worth what you pay them? Well - take it from someone who works in the industry - here's some things to consider when choosing your personal trainer!

#1 - Make sure you're ready, willing, and able first.

There's nothing worse than a half-commited client because that breeds a half-hearted training session. Ask yourself the following:

"Am I ready to start exercising?"

"Am I willing to start exercising?" Being ready and willing are two very different things. Most people are "ready"; not all are willing.

"And am I able to start exercising?" Does your schedule allow you time to meet with a trainer? Do you have the means necessary to pay a trainer? Is your body healthy enough to begin an exercise regime?

#2 - Location, location, location!

Google is your friend here! Search for trainers in your area. Make sure that they're located somewhere that is accessible for you. If they are too far away, that may limit your availability to meet with them. My most consistent clients have the best results, so keep that in mind!

#3 - Credentials and education

Here's the reality. Most personal training certifications are fairly easy to get and maintain. Just because someone holds a personal training certificate doesn't mean that they should be certified to be a trainer. NASM, ACE, and ACSM are some super popular organizations that provide personal training certifications. The truth is, though, that these organization's certifications (CPTs) don't address the science behind training - physiology, biomechanics, etc.

What to look for: a Bachelor's or Master's degree in exercise science, kiniseology, physiology, or biology can give you peace of mind that whoever you work with has a solid knowledge base in science. Aside from a college degree, there is nothing wrong with a CPT - there are plenty of great trainers who only hold CPTs. Just understand that someone who only has a CPT may be lacking scientific knowledge, which could limit how far they can take you. 

An NSCA-CSCS is considered a "gold standard" within the industry. The National Strength and Conditioning Association's Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist is a highly sought after certification. It requires the holder to have a Bachelor's degree (and soon will require the holder to have a degree in exercise science/kiniseology/biomechanics/etc) and has a much lower passing rate than the more standard personal training certifications (NASM, ACE, ACSM).

#4 - Testimonials

What do others have to say about them? What do their past clients have to say? Look for someone who has thorough testimonials, happy clients, and results. Most of the time, people leave reviews when they are either really happy with their results or really upset. So public testimonials on Google, Facebook, or Yelp can give you a pretty good idea of who you are working with!

The amount of testimonials someone has publically can also give you an idea of how long they've been in business for. More testimonials can indicate a longer time in business!

#5 - Request an info call

I personally do this with all interested parties. An info call simply allows me to understand what someone is looking for and let's be explain to them what I offer! It gives both parties a clear picture of what each is looking for and provides which eliminates misunderstandings/sets realistic expectations.

So there you have some ways you can go about choosing your trainer! Remember, your investment in your health is one of the most important things you can do! So do your research, ask for referrals, and gather your info so you can make a good choice for yourself!

Ready to make some lasting changes in your progress? You can always book one of the following calls with me to see what you can be doing in order to maximize your progress!

Book a 15-minute Info Call

Book a 60-minute Consultation Call

 About the Author

Laura Su, BS Exercise Science, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Powerlifter, Entreprenuer

I'm just a girl who fell in love with movement in high school and now wants to bring the freedom that exercise brings to everyone else.

I started working out with the desire to look a certain way but eventually found the sense of accomplishment and clarity that training for performance brought. Now I want to help everyone, especially women, to learn how to train and eat for their health and performance and realize that when you do that, the looks you desire are simply a positive side effect.

In my spare time, I enjoy powerlifting, horseback riding, sleeping, and hanging out with my boyfriend. I hope you enjoy my posts and keep reading along!

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