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looking for a personal trainer? here’s what to look for–and what to avoid

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There are currently over 373,700 personal trainers and fitness instructors in the country. While that leaves you with plenty of options, it’s important to find the right one for your needs. With their help, you can accomplish your fitness goals for 2021!

Choosing the wrong personal trainer, however, can leave you feeling unmotivated. You could abandon your personal training efforts as a result.

Are you looking for a personal trainer this year? Here are the seven qualities you need to consider during your search.

With these tips, finding a personal trainer will be a cinch!

Start your search with these tips today.


Before you start looking for a personal trainer, take the time to sit down and write a list of your unique fitness goals. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, results-driven, and timely (SMART).

For example, maybe you want to fit into a size seven dress in time for your wedding next January. Perhaps you want to lose 20 pounds by the end of 2021. Do you want to adjust your diet with your goals in mind?

Considering your goals will help when finding a personal trainer. You can ensure that trainer is capable of meeting your goals.

For example, let’s say you want to adjust your diet and fitness routine. You’ll need to choose a trainer who has experience with both. Otherwise, they’re likely not the right fit.


Are you looking for a trainer who can come to your home? Would you prefer to go to a gym? Maybe you’re looking into virtual personal training instead.

Know what you’re looking for. Then, you can find a trainer who can accommodate those desires.


Head online to start looking for a personal trainer who can suit your needs.

Many gyms and studios offer access to trainers. Read their bios and see if they’re the right fit. Do they have the experience necessary to help you accomplish your goals?

If you can’t find the answers to your questions online, schedule in-person appointments or calls with each one. You can also visit a gym and ask for help finding a trainer.

Interested in virtual training? There are also sites and apps available to help with your search.


Make sure the personal trainer you choose has the necessary education and training to provide you with advice. Otherwise, their lack of experience and know-how could do more harm than good.

Did the trainer study athletic training or exercise science in college? Do they have any certifications, such as ACSM, ACE, or NASM? These certifications mean they have a well-thought-out method to their training style.


Schedule a session with a few of the personal trainers on your list. Before you start training, talk to them about your goals. Let them know what you’re expecting.

Then, ask them how they would design your fitness plan based on those goals?

Pay attention to how they communicate during your training session. Do they adapt their training style to how you learn and respond? Does their personality suit yours?

If they don’t seem like the right fit, trust your gut.


After your session, take the time to evaluate the good and bad. Ask yourself:

  • Did the trainer ask about my goals?
  • Did they push me hard enough?
  • Am I a little sore?
  • Did the trainer remember what we did last week?
  • Did they change up this week’s routine?
  • While I was exercising, did the trainer correct my form as needed?
  • Was the workout fun?
  • Did the trainer combine flexibility, cardio, and muscle training?
  • Am I looking forward to (or dreading) seeing them again?

You should feel confident answering “yes” to most or all of these questions.

After your session, give the personal trainer feedback. Let them know what you enjoyed and what you didn’t. You should also let them know which exercises seemed the most challenging.

Communicating with your personal trainer will ensure they make changes with your needs in mind. If they don’t know what you’re thinking, they’re not likely to make those changes.

Is your trainer asking you questions? Are they concerned about your needs and wellbeing?

A personal trainer who communicates with you as well is likely a great fit.


When looking for a personal trainer, it helps to know how to recognize the wrong fit. Here are a few personal trainer red flags to keep an eye out for.

First, make sure the trainer has plenty of experience and the necessary certification. A trainer who lacks experience might struggle to determine how to help you. After all, your body and goals aren’t like everyone else’s.

If the trainer doesn’t take the time to consider your unique needs, look elsewhere. You don’t want them to give you a cookie-cutter approach.

Instead, ask how long they’ve worked as a personal trainer. What certifications do they have?

Look for trainers who have worked through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise. If they can’t provide any certifications, walk away.

Does the trainer force you to start exercising without a warm-up? Do they fail to explain the exercises clearly? Make sure they demonstrate each exercise beforehand, so you can understand the proper technique.

Otherwise, you could unintentionally hurt yourself without proper instruction.

Are you in pain during or after the exercises? While you might feel sore, you shouldn’t feel sharp pains or joint pain. If your trainer tells you to push through these pains, keep searching.

Are they spending more time staring at themselves in the mirror than training you? Do they fail to check in on how you’re feeling?

If any of these sound familiar, know it’s time to walk away.


Looking for a personal trainer doesn’t have to feel like a daunting experience. Instead, give these seven tips a try during your search. With these tips, you can find a personal trainer who can help you accomplish your goals in 2021.

Want to test the waters with our team? Try a workout on us!

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