How to Choose a Personal Trainer: The Essential Checklist


So you are finally taking the plunge and are about to embark on a mission to find a personal trainer.

You have tried to develop your own workout routines or maybe you have tried one of the popular at-home workout programs such as P90x or Insanity, but have still not been able to achieve the results you desire.

I applaud you for your determination to take your fitness to the next level, but before you pull out your credit card for any ordinary person that claims to be a PT, it’s important to do your research and ask the proper questions in order to find the right personal trainer for you.

These questions include: what type of experience do they have training individuals with similar goals to mine? Will I be able to personally relate to my trainer? How much will it cost me?

In this article I will walk you through the essential checklist in order to find the perfect PT for you!

#1 Where is your personal trainer located?

This is by far the most important requirement you will need from your personal trainer. If it is hard enough for you to get the motivation to go to the gym by yourself, it will be just as hard if you have to travel a long distance to meet your personal trainer. You need to make the process of getting to the actual training session as painless as possible.

If you are going to meet your personal trainer in your local gym, make sure that it is close to your house. If you prefer one-on-one training sessions that are more private, you might want to consider having your trainer come to your house.

If you have ample space to train and the trainer can easily transport the essential workout equipment, private at-home training sessions may be a great option for you. This all depends on the type of training you are looking for.

how to choose a personal trainer location

#2 When is your personal trainer available?

The second most essential requirement is that your personal trainer can fit into your schedule. This goes without saying, but if your trainer can only work in the morning, and you can only train in the evening, it will never work out. You need to make sure that your schedules align before moving onto the following questions.

how to choose a personal trainer availability

#3 What credentials does your personal trainer have?

Finding a PT with legitimate credentials is essential, but is all too often overlooked. This is especially true if you work out in a local gym. In corporate gyms such as Jetts Fitness there are legal requirements to hire personal trainers that have reputable certifications.

Smaller gymnasiums on the other hand can be more relaxed about what type of credentials their trainers hold. If you go to a local gym, you should have some knowledge on what the most reputable certifications are so you can ask your potential personal trainer which one they carry.

how to choose a qualified personal trainer

#4 With whom does your personal trainer have experience training?

In terms of importance, right next to the credentials your personal trainer holds, is the actual hands-on experience they have working with clients. And more importantly than that, is whether or not they typically train clients with similar goals to yours.

You need to find out what type of training your PT specialises in. Some specialise purely in weight loss, while others focus solely on athletic performance.

For example, let’s say that you are a 40-year-old woman that is looking to get back into exercise in order to lose 10 kilos and tone up a little bit. Finding a personal trainer that typically works with women in your age range that have similar goals would be better than hiring a powerlifting personal trainer whose specialty is to get you as strong as possible.

choosing the right personal trainer

#5 Will you be able to relate on a personal level with your personal trainer?

Your personal trainer should be more than someone you see a couple times of week in order to put you through a tough workout. Your personal trainer should be somebody that you can truly relate to and be able to hold a conversation with.

I personally become great friends with all of my clients that I have trained over the years. We talk about stuff other than nutrition and exercise. In order for my clients to have the best results, they need to have complete trust in me. In order for them to have trust in me, they need to see me as a friend.

This part of finding the right personal trainer for you might take some trial and error. If you are just starting out, I personally recommend purchasing no more than one session from any given personal trainer. This will give you a good feel of how well you connect with your trainer. Once you have established that the trainer is right for you, then you may purchase more sessions.

choosing the right personal trainer

#6 How much does your personal trainer cost?

Determining the price of the personal trainer is the last important step to make a full commitment. A personal trainer that charges too much can be a real deal breaker. Personal trainers range greatly in how much they charge depending on their experience, where they are located, and for mobile trainers, how far they are required to travel.

The average price for personal trainers in Australia will typically be anywhere between $50 and $100 for 1 hour of training. I would not recommend paying more than this if they are just getting started in the industry.

paying a personal trainer


Well that about wraps up my checklist for how to choose the best personal trainer for you. If you have gone through this checklist and everything seems right, don’t hesitate to pull the trigger. Personal trainers can be fantastic motivators and teach you a ton about diet and exercise.

There is no doubt that you will be on your way to the body of your dreams in no time once you have a personal trainer that fits these criteria. Now what are you waiting for? Get out there and go find your trainer!

Tyler-reid-ptpioneerArticle by Tyler Reid: Tyler has been working as a certified personal trainer for over 10 years specialising in weight loss and functional training with women between the ages of 30 – 65. He also enjoys helping others become industry leading personal trainers through his website

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