In need of a personal trainer, but don’t know where to start?
Here’s a list of 13 questions to ask before choosing the right personal trainer for you:
1. Should I even get a personal trainer?
This is a good question to start with since you are spending your hard-earned time, money, and energy on these individuals. Personal trainers come with positives and negatives.
One one hand, you can search YouTube or Google and find lots of workouts and fitness tips and tricks.
On the other hand, YouTube (and the internet in general) can oftentimes be filled with bad information and fake trainers.
Certified personal trainers can also give you that push you need to succeed and can keep you accountable to your fitness and dietary goals.
After making a decision, you can move on to the next questions.
2. Do I want a local or virtual personal trainer?
A very realistic and common question to ask in today’s world. Virtual trainers are becoming more and more popular.
And why not? With a virtual trainer you have the option to workout from home or the gym if you have a membership.
A lot of personal trainers are great at communicating through email, Instagram, or their websites. These same tools can also be used to see if the trainers are legit or not. They’ll oftentimes show off their students or have pictures and videos on these sites so you know they’re the real deal.
3. What are their areas of expertise?
You may hear the words “personal trainer” and automatically think “fitness know-it-all’s”, but in reality, that’s not the case most of the time.
Most trainers get certified in specific areas of fitness. Some know the basics, others are experts. Some know nutrition, others don’t. Some know biomechanics, others simply know muscles and that’s it.
This is why you must check to see…
4. Are they certified?
All trainers should tell you their certifications. If you join a local gym, the gym will almost always (at least they should) verify the certificates, and you shouldn’t have to worry about that.
If you decide to go with a virtual trainer, always check to make sure they are verified. For example, if the trainer says they have a NASM certificate, checkout the NASM Credential Validator Tool.
Our personal trainer directory will show the trainers’ verified certificates, which we check individually. If there are some that don’t specify, you can to ask them to show you verification.
If you know nothing about certificates and what they mean, check out Fitness Mentors’ Best Personal Trainer Certification Study. They did an astounding job explaining the different types of certifications and the validity of each one.
5. Do they have previous success stories?
This is something you can ask to the trainer straight up, or you can ask around.
Generally social media or their website will show some of their previous work.
You can also ask the local gym that they work at, or if you find previous students, definitely ask them if they were pleased with the trainer’s work.
6. Are they going to push you to succeed?
Take it like this. If you saw your friend sitting on the railroad track with a train approaching, wouldn’t you push him to save him?
You’re going to push him because he’s you’re friend. It’s the same way with good trainers. They’ll push you because they want what’s best for you, even if you don’t see the point.
7. What are their views on the mental side of fitness?
Some may not care very much about the mental aspect of fitness, but it is my very strong opinion that your mental attitude is crucial to succeeding not only in fitness, but in life.
This is also very important if you are thinking about hiring a trainer who has spiritual or religious beliefs you may not agree with.
A lot of trainers will apply their spiritual or religious beliefs into their workouts, which is something to look out for.
Just as an example, yoga (not advocating or condemning) has a very strong spiritual background.
So keep an eye out if you’re concerned about that.
8. What are your fitness/diet goals?
This question is directed at you and the personal trainer.
You don’t want to begin a training program if you don’t know exactly what you are getting out of it.
For example, you may go in thinking that you are going to get toned down to a slim 170 lbs. when the trainer has you planned to bulk up to a meaty 225 lbs.
Communication is key.
9. Do they offer a complimentary session?
Complimentary sessions are a fantastic way to know if this trainer is right for you.
This is especially the case when signing onto a multi-session plan.
10. How much do they charge?
This is always good to know before signing onto really anything. I really just added this in here to make sure you didn’t forget to ask.
11. Do you offer discounts for booking more appointments at a time?
Not all trainers do this, but you can always ask.
Some trainers like to get you set up with a schedule rather than taking it week-by-week.
If they do want you to schedule a multi-session plan, it can’t hurt to ask if they have any discounts.
12. How often do we meet?
The amount of meetings is important for two reasons:
- It lets you know how much you are going to be spending, especially if you’re paying by the session.
- If you are making weekly or monthly payments, be sure that you are meeting often enough to make it worth it.
13. What equipment do I need (for online trainers)?
Like I mentioned earlier, most online trainers will have at-home workout programs and plans for the gym.
Just be sure you check in with them before beginning so you don’t have to spend an extra $500 on a pull-up bar, yoga mat, punching bag, deadlifting belt, and shake weight (just for your information, if they have a shake weight listed as equipment you need, please find a different trainer).