You’ve seen them working with others at the gym, and you probably have a friend or two who’s had success with a personal fitness trainer. You might think hiring one is fairly straightforward. Proper credentials, check. Available time slot that works with your schedule, check. Fee you’re happy to pay, check. While it can sometimes be that simple, the truth is, when it comes to finding the right personal fitness trainer for you, the more effort you put into your search, the better your results will be. Yes—just like with working out—the more you give, the more you get. Here’s what it takes to find your perfect personal trainer fit.
Step One: Get Real with Your Goals
Funny enough, this step is one many people skip, but according to certified professional trainers, it’s a crucial one. Ask yourself, what does success look like? “I can tell I’ll have a good relationship with a client when they have definable, realistic goals—and they know that achieving those goals won’t be easy or happen overnight,” says Adrian Richardson, a certified professional trainer for Fitstar Personal Trainer in the Fitbit app. Take a moment and get clear about what you want from this potential partnership, and be honest about how much you’re willing to do to get there. “When you can embrace the process and you’re ready to put in the work, we’ll have the strongest connection and you’ll see the best results,” says Richardson.
Step Two: Consider Going Virtual
It’s a common misconception that virtual training is ineffective, but if you’ve ever tried to match Lea Rouse’s moves in Fitstar Personal Trainer you know that’s not the case. “I’ve heard people say virtual training sessions aren’t hard,” says Rouse, a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant, “And I simply tell them they just haven’t found the right program yet.” A virtual partnership is a great option if your schedule doesn’t align with a local trainer’s time.
Step Three: Search and Study
Referrals, gym trials, and internet searches will introduce you to both local and virtual training talent. Checking out the trainer’s own website and social channels is a good way to get to know their fitness philosophy, too. Remember, this is a person to whom you’ll confide rather intimate information, so the more you connect with them from the start, the more comfortable your working relationship will likely become. Once you’ve found one or two (or more!) contenders, it’s time to make contact.
Step Four: Ask Them Questions
Armed with a phone number or email address, and your goals crystal clear in mind, you can confidently reach out to the trainers on your roster. You’ll want to work with someone who knows their stuff, so confirm credentials first. National Strength and Conditioning Association (N.S.C.A.), National Academy of Sports Medicine (N.A.S.M.), and American College of Sports Medicine (A.C.S.M.) are all reputable.
Beyond credentials, you’ll want to ask about training styles, and what you can expect from a session. “Ask