So you’re thinking of hiring a personal trainer, but you have no idea where to start.

Here is some basic information that every client should know when looking into hiring a personal trainer. (Even though I am a trainer myself, I will be unbiased)

Where to find a trainer.

If you are a member of a gym that has personal trainers, you can either spot them on the floor with clients or there may a bio section on the wall. The first approach to a trainer at a gym is to ask how long they have been a trainer. I wouldn’t use the sentence “how long have you been a trainer at this gym for?” A trainer may have been new this particular gym, but has been at other gyms prior. You should ask the trainer for their philosophy on health and fitness and see if it matches with your idea of health and fitness. Ask for a demo and see if the both of you “click”. If not there are always other trainers on staff.

Kijji/Craigslist is a great online tool to search for a wide range of products and services. While looking on these sites, make sure that the prices are in line with the average rate for a trainer. If the norm is $50-$80 per session, and someone is offering a session for $25, you need to sit and figure out why they are offering such a low rate. This would be the same as if you are looking into a plumber, electrician or a lawyer. Sometimes you pay for what you get.

Referrals or by word of mouth through friends and family who have used or know of a trainer is usually the best way to connect with a trainer. Referrals are not only great for the trainer, but also for the potential client because there is already trust by the friends and family who have used the service. Most trainers also have a referral program to help spread the word. Some trainers give a free session to their client when a referral signs up, while others have gift cards for various store locations. The incentives are a win-win situation for the client, trainer and referral.

What to look for in a trainer

Like every profession, everyone has to start somewhere. Just because a trainer may be new to the field, doesn’t always mean they have no idea what they are doing. If by chance you do contact a new trainer, ask what their goals are as a trainer. Find out why they got into training. You can ask them what kind of work outs they would do with you during a session. Every trainer SHOULD find out what their client’s short-term and long-term goals are. You want to pick a trainer who is friendly, caring, and empathetic; someone who will sympathize with you and is always willing to learn. Not all trainers are extravert’s (outgoing people); some trainers are shy which has no reflect on their skill as a trainer.

  1.  Ensure the trainer isn’t using cookie-cutter programs they’ve seen on YouTube or read about from a magazine. Their job title, “Personal Trainer” is so because every client is unique. A good trainer will create custom exercise regimens and workouts according to the needs of each of his/her clients.
  2. Personal trainers should practice what they preach. They don’t need to have six-pack abs or be built like a bodybuilder. The important factor is that they live and model a healthy lifestyle.
  3. Always meet the trainer prior to any workouts.This gives you the chance to ask questions that you may have. If a trainer has been around for a few years, they should have a portfolio of current and past clients and their before and after photos (with consent). Ask the trainer if you can call a client of theirs for references.

A trainer should always have the following with them while they meet with you.

  1. Certificate from their governing Personal Training body – MUST HAVE
  2. Personal Trainers Liability Insurance – MUSH HAVE
  4. Contract of their terms and conditions

Things to avoid

  1. without Personal Training insurance
  2. without Personal Training Certificate
  3. without PAR-Q (A questionnaire)
  4. who tells you they can make you lose an obscene amount of weight in a quick time frame
  5. who ignores injuries you may have and/or medication you are taking that can impact how much you can do in a workout
  6. who tells you that they know everything there is to know about Personal Training


Leave a comment below and share what you look for when hiring a trainer.