How to Hire a Personal Trainer (Part 2)

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What makes a good trainer?

Many people believe they know how to train themselves, but creating an appropriate nutrition and training program to achieve their fitness goals takes real knowledge. For those clients who do seek help, they often seek out short cuts and cheap advice. Personal training is more expensive than group training, exercise classes, and online advice columns, but skimping on your fitness leads to a steep cost.

Obesity and poor fitness increase the incidence of health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, or back, knee and hip issues that hamper your lifestyle. It may cause treasured pastimes to be set aside, or affect intimacy with your partner. The self-esteem costs are immeasurable, but you cannot put a price tag on fitting into your favorite clothes and being comfortable in public. Poor fitness can also increase depression and make you feel old undesirable. In the long run, seeking a true fitness professional, who will helps you reach your goals, is a good investment.

My trainer’s thin, so he/she must be good.

Trainers can look fit for many reasons and, don’t forget:  genetics play a major part.  Just as with all people, some trainers who routinely eat fast food and junk food still looked ripped.  Others may not even follow their own workout plans.  The way your trainer appears may have little to do with the type of advice he or she may give you.

Sometimes, the fittest trainers are also some of the best, but many times that is not the case. In the rare instances that a person may want to be a competitive bodybuilder, then finding a trainer who is actively competing may be desirable as they are actively following a strict diet and lifting regimen, but also has some great tricks of the trade.


The most important aspect you should consider when choosing a trainer is education. Anyone can label themselves a “fitness coach” or some equivalent but does that mean they are competent and capable?

Qualified personal trainers have had education in fitness training, and are certified through any of several national certifying organizations.  Not all certification programs are created equal, but ACSM, NASM, CSCS, and ACE are top-level with very good certification and re-certification programs.  Usually, the more certifications a trainer has from these governing bodies, the more knowledgeable and better they are.  Rule of thumb:  look for letters after the trainer’s name not the muscles on his or her body.

Be wary of people who push DVD workouts, weight-loss shakes, extreme fad diets, and fad workouts; or even, people who capitalize on their own attractiveness to sell their wares/programs.  Often, they don’t have a ton of knowledge in training or weight loss, and certainly know nothing about you. First and foremost, find a trainer who is interested in helping you, not making a lot of secondary supplement income. My suggestion when you encounter these people is to smile politely, nod your head and then run as fast as you can to a certified trainer, if you need one.


One thought on “How to Hire a Personal Trainer (Part 2)

    How to Hire Trainer (Part 3) « the Dr. Fitness blog said:
    November 16, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    […] the previous posts we discussed the WHY and the WHAT about personal trainers that make them a valuable part of your fitness plan. This post is all about […]

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