Is a personal trainer worth it? What should I look for in a personal trainer?

Whether you’re new to the fitness scene or are a veteran looking for new challenges, a personal trainer can be a great investment. Qualified and certified personal trainers will help you approach exercise in a safe, effective way. They can create customized programs to help you reach specific fitness goals. Personal trainers can also keep you accountable. They can encourage you and help you stay motivated.

Ultimately, personal trainers are there to support you as you embark on your fitness journey. When you invest in their services, you invest in your health and well-being. Make the most of your personal trainer by choosing one that meets your needs.

Ready to launch your fitness journey? Contact Joy for a free consultation.

How to choose a personal trainer

Here are 7 tips for choosing a trainer who is right for you.

1. Establish your goals.

What do you hope to gain from your experiences with a personal trainer?

Before you choose a personal trainer, you should understand your goals. Do you want to increase your strength and mobility? Do you want to incorporate fitness into your daily routine? Perhaps you want to learn a new skill or train for a racing event. It’s a good idea to keep a list of these goals, so you can share it with your personal trainer. Trainers need to know your goals before they can help you achieve them.

Mental and spiritual goals are another thing to consider. Personal fitness is more than a workout schedule. Exercise affects the body, but it also has an impact on your mind and spirit. Let’s say one of your goals is to improve your mental health. This goal can be discussed with your trainer, too. (Health coaching might be for you)

2. Do your research.

It is important to choose a trainer who is well-qualified. Your trainer’s expertise should also coincide with your needs. Every trainer varies when it comes to background, experience, and specialty certifications. Consider the kinds of settings your trainer has worked in, and look at the kinds of clients they regularly work with. You want to choose a trainer whose skill set will help you achieve the results you want.

Make sure your trainer is properly educated in his or her field, as well. It is best to look for a trainer who has a Bachelor of Science in one of the following fields: health fitness, exercise science, exercise physiology, therapeutic recreation, or other related health fields. You should also look for certifications from reputable organizations. Here are a few certification bodies to look for: American Council on Exercise (ACE), American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM), Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NCCA).

3. Consider your options.

Before you can choose a personal trainer, you have to work out the logistics. Your trainer’s services need to match what you’re looking for. Consider what you want your training sessions to look like, for example. Would you prefer virtual or in-person sessions? In-person sessions get you out of the house and give you direct access to your trainer. On the other hand, virtual sessions allow you to work out from the comfort and convenience of your home. You can keep your kids or furry friends nearby, and you don’t have to worry about travel time to and from the gym. Whatever your preference is, make sure the trainer can accommodate you. Scheduling is another important consideration. Before committing to a personal training program, make sure your trainer can meet you during the times you are available.

You should also look at your trainer’s company policies for payments, cancellations, etc. Will you be charged for cancellations? Does the training package need to be paid in full? Does the company offer interest-free payment plans? You may want to request a copy of these policies, so you aren’t caught off guard.

4. Look for promotions.

If you’re not ready for a big commitment, look for special promotions. Special promotions may provide the opportunity to try personal training at a discounted price and/or on a short-term basis. This allows you to get a feel for personal training before fully committing to it.

Personalized Fitness For You offers a Start-Up Package for $199 ($320 value), which includes six one-on-one virtual training sessions and a free virtual training starter kit.

5. Consult with potential trainers.

Once you find a qualified trainer who seems compatible with your needs, get in contact with them. See what this trainer has to offer. You don’t want to commit to a personal trainer if you don’t know what you are walking into.

Consultation appointments are the best way to familiarize yourself with a personal trainer. This gives you an opportunity to present your goals, ask questions, and assess your compatibility with the trainer. Most places offer free consulting appointments. If not, ask.

6. Assess your comfort level.

How does your trainer make you feel? Consider your trainer’s demeanor, their means of communication, and their sensitivity to your needs. Do you feel encouraged by their presence? Will they help you accomplish your goals? You should feel comfortable around your personal trainer. If you don’t, it might not be the right fit.

7. Ask questions.

Before you commit to a personal trainer, make sure all your questions have been answered. Discuss the expectations you have for your trainer and vice versa. You and your trainer should be on the same page. Open communication will help you avoid any misunderstandings, and it will allow you to make an informed decision.

Here are some example questions:

  • What is the trainer’s background, education, experience?
  • Does the trainer hold any specialty certifications?
  • How does the trainer offer support to his/her clients?
  • Can the trainer accommodate any special needs? (i.e. injury, illness, medications, etc.)
  • Why does the trainer like his/her job?
  • Is he or she a good listener?

Benefits of a personal trainer

  • Personalized plans

Personal trainers work with you on a one-on-one basis, which allows them to meet your individual needs. They can develop programs that accommodate your injuries, age, medical conditions, or any other special concerns. Personal trainers can also help by varying your workouts. They can provide challenging, engaging workouts that keep you looking forward to the next scheduled session. Whatever your goals are, trainers can help you reach them.

  • Safe, effective workouts

Qualified personal trainers have the education and the experience to help you train effectively. They teach you the proper forms and techniques when you exercise. This maximizes your workout efficiency and minimizes your risk of injury. Safety is a priority when you work out.

Note: Before you start training, make sure your trainer is aware of any health concerns you have. Trainers cannot provide accommodations for you if they are not aware of your limitations. If you have any serious health concerns, get clearance from your doctor before you start exercising. Trainers can work with your healthcare provider to give you the best plan to meet your body’s needs.

  • Motivation

Scheduled sessions with a personal trainer can help keep you accountable when it comes to your health. Trainers can also help you stay motivated. They do so by helping you set realistic, achievable goals, so you aren’t easily discouraged. They offer encouragement as you work. Some personal trainers may even work out beside you, which can be motivating as well.

Final thoughts

Personal trainers are fantastic resources. They support you, and they offer guidance. They celebrate your accomplishments with you. Whether you are looking to get started, need assistance with your post-rehab plan, or are training for a marathon, personal trainers can be a worthwhile investment into your health. Choose a trainer who meets your needs, and you can experience the benefits for yourself.

Interested in starting your own personal fitness journey? Need a personal trainer in the Warsaw/Winona Lake, Indiana area? Contact Joy. She offers virtual and in-person sessions tailored to your needs.

Personalized Fitness For You is also on Facebook. Follow along!

American College of Sports Medicine: “Investing in a Personal Trainer” and “Selecting and Effectively Using a Personal Trainer”
American Council on Exercise: “Working with a Personal Trainer: What to Expect” and “Top 10 Benefits of Personal Training”

Ready to get moving? Personalized Fitness for You has you covered. 

Joy Grout, owner of Personalized Fitness For You, has more than 30 years of fitness and health experience, supported by a Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation. She has worked with a variety of populations in clinical and community-based settings, and she possesses various certifications from national fitness organizations. Her diverse set of experiences allows her to focus on your individual needs and design a program specifically for you. Joy offers effective virtual training sessions as well as in-person training sessions in Warsaw and Winona Lake, Indiana. Joy meets women wherever they are in their journey or stage of life, and she helps them dig deep to find their inner strengths and skills.