Things to Consider When Hiring a Personal Trainer

There is a lot of decision making that has to be done these days. Brand name or off-brand, home cooked meal or takeout,  the Two Towers or Return of the King, the list goes on and on. 

With a bevy of big time choices comes important decisions that will dictate your behaviors. So when it comes to hiring a personal trainer, consider what you value currently before selecting the right person for the job.  

If you’re hiring a personal trainer you are clearly invested in your health and well-being. Therefore you should evaluate the options that best suit your goals and needs. Not every personal trainer will be the right fit for you. I’m here to tell you to do some research before you pick the first person that comes up on your personal trainers near me search on Google. 

I’ll be the first to say that there are no inherently “bad” personal trainers. We all want to help other people and make positive impacts on our clients. However some trainers  may be more focused on themselves than they are committed to the client. 
Hence why I’m delivering you the best damn guide to screening and selecting the right trainer for you…

First Meeting

First impressions are insanely valuable. How a personal trainer introduces themselves and greets you says a whole lot about them. 

Do they shake your hand?

Do they make direct eye contact or are they more of a floor patroller? 

Are they personable?

These are pretty much non-negotiables. You are the most important person in this meeting. If you don’t feel like that or your potential trainer can’t adhere to these acts of professionalism then hightail it on out of there. 

Speaking about personality here. Maybe you don’t want a bubbly, happy go lucky trainer.  Fine by me! As long as you’re selecting someone that you don’t mind hanging out with for 30 minutes to an hour.  Personality is a significant factor in deciding who to work with. Choose wisely based on your own personality and the people that you spend the most time with. 

Do they interview you? 

Although you’re the one seeking out the trainer, they should still act like it’s their interview as well. 


Well there are some clients that aren’t the right match for the trainer, either. Hence why this screening process should have two-way communication. 

Do they ask you…

About your goals?


Injury History?

Training History?

Current Habits? 

That’s just the short list. A quality trainer will be looking to assess your needs and tolerance for exercise. Be prepared to answer questions about your current situation and don’t hesitate to probe the trainer. 

Are they listening?

The trainer isn’t there to spit out everything they know about fitness. Their primary consideration is you, the potential client.  Don’t get finessed by fancy language or excessive promises. Make sure they are actively listening to you and addressing your concerns. Don’t let the trainer walk all over the conversation without communicating their plan of action according to what you verbalized. 

Now yes, they are the professional and you’re seeking out their advice. That doesn’t mean you don’t have anything  to offer to the conversation.

Plan of Action

Each of the bolded points that I’m detailing run in an order of importance. Which is why I have these last two points towards the bottom. Not to say that they aren’t important, but more to say that they don’t matter nearly as much as the relationship building aspects of personal training. 

When discussing a plan of action, no personal trainer is going to wax poetic about periodization and the latest fitness hooplah. It would take way too much time and you’d be drooling in your chair by the time the conversation ended. 

However, this is where you must refer back to your training history, previous injuries and current goals. This will give the trainer a better idea on what experience you had previously, exercise selection, and program design. A basic introductory training session should incorporate a proper assessment and training selection based on the information you give. 
From there, it’s really on you as the client to believe the long-term process that the trainer is selling. You’ll be able gauge their training style very quickly and should help in your decision making.


Since entering the personal training space roughly 6 years ago, I’ve had maybe 2 people ask me about my qualifications. I’ve come to notice that my clients literally don’t care about my experience or I’ve gained their trust to a point where it doesn’t matter much anyway. 

Despite this little anecdote, it will still be helpful to understand your prospective trainer’s background.

Refer back to these questions to probe a little bit deeper…

1. How long have you been personal training? 

2. Who is your ideal client?

3. What populations do you have the most experience with? 

Take an example:
You solicit the services of a personal trainer and communicate your desires to improve your lean body mass and sport performance capabilities in the form of increased power and strength. You ask the trainer about their qualifications and discover that they are certified as a strength and conditioning coach and has 10 years experience working as a sport performance coach. This will most certainly influence your decision. 

In short, choose wisely. Do your homework on prospective trainers. Shop around and find someone that reflects your values and can help you reach your specific goals. 

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