Choosing the Right Personal Trainer

By on July 1, 2012

By Alice Burron –

At times we all could us a little extra guidance and motivation to get moving or to get to the next level of fitness. Hiring a personal trainer can be an effective and amazing tool for achieving fitness goals that are hard to reach on your own.

To walk into a gym and ask for a personal trainer, however, can be intimidating and for that reason many people choose not to. If you come ready and prepared, choosing a trainer will be much easier. Follow these tips to find a personal trainer that will be a perfect fit for you:

natural sunscreen with zinc oxide
  • Narrow the search by asking around to see if someone you know has a personal trainer recommendation
  • Find a personal trainer in a location you enjoy
  • Keep in mind that some personal trainers will come to your home or work
  • Try a trainer for one session before committing to a package deal
  • Find a trainer within your budget (usually between $30 to $100 per session, depending on trainer experience and education)
  • Mention if you’d like a female or male, and/or younger or older trainer
  • Be specific about a preferred personality in a trainer (bubbly, military-style, calm)
  • Mention what your main two or three fitness goals are so that a compatible trainer can be found with common interests and experience
  • Trust your instincts

What to Look for in a Personal Trainer

  • A  trainer with current personal trainer and CPR/First Aid certifications through an accredited organization (ACE, ACSM and NSCA are highly regarded) and check to make sure they have liability insurance
  • An exercise science or related degree is a plus
  • Several years of experience
  • A good listener
  • Total focus and attention on your goals and needs
  • A sanitary and safe gym or workout environment
  • Reliability
  • Professional actions and appearance
  • Times that work with your schedule

Once you’ve begun to dialogue with the personal trainer, follow these do’s and don’ts for guaranteed personal training success.


  • Express the specific length of time you want your session (sessions are usually 30 minutes or an hour)
  • Feel free to train with a buddy or spouse and cut the cost
  • Bring up injuries and concerns before the session starts
  • Know the cancellation policy
  • Be ready to work out on the days without the trainer (most trainers will encourage every day activity for optimal results)
  • Be specific when talking to your trainer about goals (getting in shape before a wedding, running a 5K or overcoming an injury)
  • Mention post-workout soreness and pain
  • Mention the kind of equipment you prefer to train on, if you have any (free weights, machines, balls, yoga style workouts, etc.)
  • Act professionally with your trainer


  • Be afraid to ask for another trainer if the one you have is not for you
  • Feel guilty if you miss a workout if you’re ill
  • Withhold mentioning pain of any kind to your trainer

A personal trainer can be an amazing asset for you when getting into top shape, but remember they are human and can’t read your mind. For the ultimate personal training experience, communicate regularly regarding how you feel and questions and concerns.


Alice Burron earned a master’s in physical education with an emphasis in exercise physiology from the University of Wyoming. She is an affiliate spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and is an ACE certified personal trainer and certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant. Her first book, Four Weeks to Fabulous, is aimed at helping the busy person lose weight using sound nutrition, weight control and exercise principles that are proven successful. Visit her on her website at

About Alice Burron

Alice Burron, one of the co-authors of the “Stress As Trigger, Your Body As Target” book, is a life-long student of health and wellness. Her experience includes worksite wellness, wellness coaching, personal training, writing, speaking and community wellness initiatives. She can be contacted at [email protected] The book can be purchased at

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Choosing the Right Personal Trainer