How To Pick The Perfect Personal Trainer For You

April 15, 2013  |  
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When it comes to trainers, one size does not fit all. And since you’ll inevitably be paying a pretty penny to get a pretty derriere, you want to be sure you and your trainer have the same vision for that trim/toned/buff/bootylicous or whatever figure you’re going for. So how do you choose the perfect trainer who will motivate, challenge, and get you?

Ask a friend whose body you love

If you know a friend who sees a trainer and whose body you just love, ask to meet her trainer. At the very least, ask what sort of workout program they are on so you can look for a similar program when trainer shopping.

Ask a friend with a similar temperament to you

If you have a friend who just ticks the same way you do—is motivated by the same things, upset by the same things, and just has a similar temperament—ask what it is about their trainer’s personality that works for them.

Choose a trainer with a body you love

If your trainer has arms the size of melons and butt cheeks that don’t jiggle, odds are so will you if you stick with that trainer. Trainers can’t help but push a little of their own regimen onto you—it’s what they do best. So choose a trainer with a figure you like. Not only will he or she set up a workout program that will help get you in similar shape, but just through casual conversation you’ll pick up on other lifestyle tips that trainer lives by.

Do you respond to tough love?

Do you like a trainer who tells you like it is? Who will point out your jiggle in the middle, and call you out for being lazy? Or, does that simply terrify you? If so, steer clear of Jillian Michaels types.

Do you respond to coddling?

Would you most look forward to sessions with a trainer who flatters you, and tells you, “That’s okay! We’ll just do something else” when you’re not up to certain challenges? Or, do you know that if your trainer is too lenient, when given an inch you’ll take a mile and slack off?

Don’t be afraid to set limits

Maybe you don’t want a six-pack, or bulging muscles. Maybe you just want to be healthy and slightly toned. That’s fine. But if that’s the case, avoid a trainer who typically trains body builders. Whether that trainer means to or not, he’ll push you into workouts that don’t serve your purpose. Let your trainer know exactly what sort of figure you’re going for.

Do you like to workout from home?

Perhaps for you, working out in public spaces is a nightmare. Or there is just something about the serenity of your own home that inspires you. Consider a trainer that does in-home sessions!

Know where to find the pros

If you’re going to pay for a “professional” make sure that’s what they actually are. Sites like, and help you find certified trainers in your area, and give you a little background information on each one.

Do your schedules match up?

You may find the absolute perfect trainer, but she can only train in the evenings, meanwhile you know you have your most juice/spunk/energy in the mornings. You don’t need anything working against you when trying to meet fitness goals. So find a trainer that can meet with you during that “sweet spot” of the day, when you do your best work.

Will your trainer perform fitness tests?

Like body fat testing, blood pressure testing, flexibility and endurance testing. These help your trainer design the most accurate and safe workout plan for you.


Avoid supplement-pushers

Many trainers earn commission from supplement companies if they sell their products to their clients. But you don’t want to feel like you’re being “pitched” something every time the two of you meet. Exercise can already be stressful as it is! All you want to feel is that your trainer has your (and only your) best interests at heart.

Do you also need help with nutrition?

Many trainers are also certified nutritionists. If you are looking for diet advice, hiring a trainer/nutritionist hybrid could save you money, as opposed to hiring a trainer and a nutritionist. Just be sure your trainer is in fact certified, and not just someone who calls herself an expert.

Do you like your trainer?

You don’t need to become best friends, but liking your trainer, as a person, is crucial. Rarely do we feel motivated to please someone who we feel morally in contrast to. It doesn’t matter if your trainer is a “trainer to the stars,”—if something about his or her character doesn’t sit right with you, you won’t feel a very big need to impress him or her.

Does your trainer offer (fair) packages?

The most cost efficient way to go is usually a package. This means you pre-pay for a set amount of sessions. Not only does this hold you more accountable to show up, but it often costs less than purchasing each individually. Just be sure the package doesn’t expire. Trainers who sell packages with expiration dates are often more in the business of making money, counting on you to cancel.

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