10 Tips for Hiring a Personal Trainer You’ll Love

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Finding a personal trainer that’s a good fit isn’t always easy. Read through these 10 tips for hiring a personal trainer that you’ll absolutely love!

You’ve decided to take the plunge!

You’ve got some fitness goals and you think a personal trainer is the way to go. So… what’s next?

How do you find one that’s a good fit? Someone that will help you reach your goals, motivate you, give you that kick in the butt when you need it, and work with your schedule all while still fitting within your budget.

It sounds like a tall order, but if you’re going to go through the effort and money of hiring a personal trainer, you might as well take the time to find one that you’ll love working with.

If that’s what you’re looking for, then make sure to read through this list of tips for hiring a personal trainer.

Let’s get to it!

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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which I’m happy to promote. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Much love & thank you for your support. 🙂 To learn more about my policy, click here.

Why Hire a Personal Trainer

Before you decide to spend the money, you might be wondering if hiring a personal trainer is even worth it? I mean with Google, YouTube, and all the fitness apps out there, you could pretty much do it all yourself, right?

Well… sort of. Yes, the information is out there. But personal trainers offer way more than just a list of the best exercises to do.

Let’s cover 3 pretty sweet benefits of hiring a personal trainer:

Faster results

The first benefit of hiring a personal trainer is that you’re going to get faster results. Plain and simple, you will reach your goals faster.

A personal trainer is a trained professional at getting you in shape. They literally do it for a living.

This means they know all the ins and outs of fitness. They know the best workouts to do, which ones are a waste of time, exactly what you need to do for your specific body type, and more.

So you get to spend less time hunting around for different answers and more time working toward your goals.

Motivation

Another benefit of hiring a personal trainer is the added motivation. They are going to be able to push and encourage you to always give your best.

Your trainer will hold you accountable. They’ll make sure you’re sticking to your exercise plan and not skipping any workouts.

Plus, they’ll make sure you get the most out of every workout.

Exercising by yourself can make it really easy to skip workouts or just go through the emotions. Especially when you’re tired or you’ve had a long day.

A personal trainer will help keep you pumped so you get as much as possible out of every workout.

Proper technique and form

The last benefit of hiring a personal trainer is that they will help make sure you are following the proper technique and form with your workouts. Personal trainers go through education and training on all of the different muscle groups and how to train them correctly.

This means that not only will they know the best exercises, but they will be able to teach you how to do them the right way. This can prevent injury and help you get better results.

10 Tips for Hiring a Personal Trainer

So now that we’ve covered why having a personal trainer is so beneficial, let’s dive into 10 tips on hiring a personal trainer that will have you happy to hit the gym every week.

1. Be sure to ask about their certifications

The very first thing you want to do when hiring a personal trainer is to ask about their certifications. While personal trainers don’t need to be certified to practice, it is always best to hire someone who has gone through the proper education and training.

There are many different certification programs out there. But some of the most popular ones are the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA).

Knowing that your personal trainer is certified can help give you peace of mind that they know what they’re doing.

2. Look for someone with experience and happy clients

In addition to certifications, you’ll also want to ask about your potential trainer’s experience. How long have they been working as a personal trainer?

Do they have experience working with people who have similar goals as you? Do they have any specialty training?

The more experience your trainer has, the better. You’ll also want to ask if they have any happy clients that you can speak with.

This will give you a better idea of what it’s like to work with them and if they’re actually able to help people reach their goals.

Make sure they have expertise in the area you want to train.

Beyond just experience training other people, you also want to make sure your personal trainer has experience working with people who have similar goals as you.

For example, if you’re training for a marathon, you’ll want a trainer who has worked with other long-distance runners before. If you’re looking to tighten and tone, you want someone who is familiar with strength training.

If they don’t have any experience in the area you’re looking to train, they may not be the best fit.

3. Be upfront about your expectations and limitations

My next tip for hiring a personal trainer is to be clear about your expectations of them and any physical limitations that you have. If you want a specific coaching style or have exercises that you can’t do, it’s best to communicate that upfront.

The better your trainer understands your needs, the easier it will be for them to create a workout plan for you.

Nutrition and meal planning

Another thing to consider is whether you want nutrition and meal planning included with your personal trainer. If weight loss is your goal, then making changes to your diet is a must.

Some personal trainers offer that and some don’t. Be clear before you start looking for someone if that’s something that you want.

If nutrition is something that’s important to you, be sure to ask about your trainer’s experience and knowledge in this area before hiring them.

Just like with physical training, you want to be sure they know what they’re doing when it comes to eating a healthy diet.

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4. Check their website and social media

Nowadays, most personal trainers have some sort of online presence.

This can include a website, social media profiles, or both. Checking out their online presence can give you a good idea of what they’re all about and if their values align with yours.

Their website should give you an overview of their services, their rates, and some of their past clients’ testimonials.

Their social media profiles can also give you a good idea of their personality and teaching style. Plus, it’s a great way to see what kind of results they’ve been able to help their clients achieve.

But don’t let their follower count fool you. Just because they have a lot of followers and take nice pictures doesn’t mean that they are good at training other people.

5. Make sure it’s a good fit

One of the most important tips for hiring a personal trainer is to find someone whose personality meshes well with yours. You want someone who is encouraging and supportive but also knows how to push you to reach your goals.

You’ll be spending a lot of time with this person, so it’s important that you get along and feel comfortable around them. Here are a few things to think about:

Do they listen to what you want?

Although the personal trainer is the “expert” in this situation, what you want definitely matters. They are there to guide you, not force their opinions on you.

For example, if you let your trainer know that you hate running or a particular exercise is causing you pain, they should listen to you. A good trainer will help find alternative exercises when possible to still help you reach your goals.

Do you trust them to challenge you without pushing you too hard?

A personal trainer is there to push you. They can be that extra kick in the butt we sometimes need to perform our best.

But you should never worry that they are pushing you too hard. You should feel challenged, not overwhelmed. A good trainer knows when to ask you to dig deep and when to let you take a step back and rest.

Do you like their coaching style?

The last thing to think about when it comes to meshing personalities is the personal trainer’s coaching style. Do they tend to be more aggressive and drill sergeant style or are they more encouraging and supportive?

And which do you respond best to?

If you find yourself getting mad at your trainer or easily tuning them out, they probably don’t have the right coaching style for you.

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6. Ask about where the training sessions will be

Next on the list of tips for hiring a personal trainer is to sort out where the training sessions will be. One of the most important things I’ve learned about being consistent with workouts (with or without a trainer) is that convenience matters.

It doesn’t matter how great the personal trainer is if it’s too difficult to make any of the sessions. Trainers will typically meet with you at the gym, at your home, or online for a virtual session.

Here are some pros and cons of each location:

At home

One option for your sessions with a personal trainer is to have them come to your home. Most personal trainers charge extra for this, but it can still be a good option.

Pros:

  • Super convenient
  • No commute to the gym
  • You aren’t restricted by gym hours
  • You don’t have to pay for a gym membership
  • You don’t have to worry about childcare

Cons:

  • More expensive
  • You might need to provide your own gym equipment
  • You have less equipment to use and therefore fewer options for the types of exercises you do
  • You have to clean your house and get it presentable (This sounds silly, but it would be the biggest reason I would never have a personal trainer come to my house. 😂)

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At the gym

The most common place to meet with your personal trainer is at the gym. This is the traditional setting that most people think of when they think about working with a personal trainer.

Pros:

  • Lower rate because your trainer can schedule back-to-back clients
  • More equipment available to use at the gym
  • Familiar environment that makes it easier to get motivated for your workout
  • You could potentially share a session and get an even lower rate

Cons:

  • You have to commute to and from the gym
  • You might not be comfortable exercising in front of others
  • You have to pay for a membership at the gym

Online

An option that has gained considerable popularity since covid happened is having online personal training sessions. You get a lot of the perks of at-home sessions without the extra price tag.

Pros:

  • You can stay at home and skip the commute to the gym
  • Often cheaper than in-person sessions
  • You don’t have to have a gym membership
  • Easy to customize to your schedule
  • You don’t have to clean your house beyond the one room you’re training in

Cons:

  • It’s harder for your trainer to see and correct your form
  • You have to provide your own gym equipment
  • You have less equipment to use and therefore fewer options for the types of exercises you do

Before you hire your personal trainer, decide which location you would prefer to have your sessions so you can discuss that before you begin.

7. Pay attention to their communication skills

Next on the list of tips for hiring a personal trainer is to pay attention to their communication skills. How do they get in touch and interact with their clients?

Do they return your call or text promptly?

Do they answer your questions thoroughly?

Do they make you feel comfortable and respected?

If a personal trainer is difficult to communicate with before you’ve even hired them, it’s not likely to get any better once you’re paying them for their services.

Do they give clear instructions, feedback, and encouragement?

You also want to be familiar with how they communicate during the sessions. Do they explain how to do the moves well?

Do you get good feedback and encouragement from them?

Or do they just bark orders at you and make you feel like you can’t do anything right?

It’s important to have a trainer that gives clear instructions and positive feedback so you can progress toward your fitness goals.

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8. Find out their expectations of you as the client

The next thing you want to discuss before you hire a personal trainer is their expectations of you as the client. What do they expect you to do at each session?

Some trainers might make you sign a sort of “contract” where you discuss your goals and you promise to commit to showing up and doing your best.

They might have expectations on how they want you to deal with missed sessions, rescheduling, or being late. They also might have ways that they want you to communicate what you need as a client so that they can make sure they are supporting you as much as possible.

You want to make sure that you are comfortable with their expectations and that you feel like they understand your needs.

9. Know your budget ahead of time

My next tip for hiring a personal trainer is to know your budget ahead of time. Be clear on how much money you’re comfortable spending.

Personal trainers can range in price from about $30-$100 per session.

Think about how often you want to train and what other expenses, like membership fees or equipment rentals, you might have so that you can find a trainer whose rate falls within your budget.

10. Set a trial period

Last on the list of tips for hiring a personal trainer is to set a trial period. Even if you follow all the steps on this list, it’s not a guarantee your trainer will be a perfect fit.

Sometimes everything sounds good in the beginning, but then you get a few sessions in and realize it’s not going to work out. Setting a trial period at the beginning gives you the freedom to try things out without feeling stuck.

I think setting a trial of 2 weeks or 3-4 sessions (whichever comes first) will give you a good indication if the personal trainer is someone you want to continue working with.

If you don’t, you haven’t wasted too much of your time and you can keep looking for someone who will be a better fit. If you enjoy working with them, you can set up a more long-term agreement if that’s something they prefer.

FAQs about hiring a personal trainer

Now that we’ve covered all the tips for hiring a personal trainer, let’s cover some questions that commonly come up:

What should I know before hiring a personal trainer?

Before you hire a personal trainer, you need to understand the role of a personal trainer. They are there to guide you and help you reach your goals.

They can’t, however, do the work for you. A personal trainer can offer you great workout plans and do their best to push and motivate you, but ultimately your results will depend on your own effort.

It’s also really helpful to know what you’re looking for in a trainer. Here are some things to ask yourself ahead of time:

  • What are your fitness goals?
  • What’s your budget?
  • What coaching style do you respond to best?
  • Do you want nutrition and meal planning as well?

The more clear you are on what you’re looking for, the easier it will be to find a personal trainer you’re happy with.

What should I ask a personal trainer?

Before you hire a personal trainer here are some questions to ask them:

  • What are their certifications?
  • How much experience do they have?
  • How much do they charge?
  • Where will the sessions take place?
  • Do they offer meal planning as well?
  • With your goals in mind, what type of training plan do they recommend?
  • What is their coaching style?
  • What do they expect of you as the client?

How much should you spend on a personal trainer?

How much you spend on a personal trainer honestly depends on your budget. You can find trainers who charge as little as $30 per session or as much as $100.

First ask yourself: How much can I afford? What’s this worth to me? Also, take into account the location of the sessions.

Having a personal trainer come to your home instead of meeting at the gym usually costs a bit more, but can be really convenient.

How long should I hire a personal trainer?

Depends on what you need them for. If you’re brand new to exercising and you just want someone to show you some workouts to do and how to use the machines at the gym, you could probably get away with only doing 3-4 sessions.

That’s typically enough to get you started and then you can branch out on your own from there.

If, however, you’re looking for someone to offer motivation, support, a specific fitness plan to reach your goals, and variety in your workouts, you’re looking at a longer commitment.

In that situation, I would start off with about 3 months and just reassess from there. If after 3 months you feel like you can do it on your own, then you’re good.

If after 3 months you feel like your trainer is the only reason you’ve made it that far, then keep going to your sessions and reassess in another few months.

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How much does a personal trainer cost per hour?

Personal trainers can cost as little as $30 a session and up to $100 a session or more. It all depends on their experience level and reputation for getting results.

The more experienced and popular a trainer is, the more they are likely to cost.

Some personal trainers work in 30-minute sessions and some do 60-minute sessions. You’ll have to talk with the personal trainers at your local gym and see what they offer.

How much does a personal trainer cost per week?

Most personal trainers charge by the session. Depending on your schedule and your needs, you might meet for multiple sessions a week or maybe just one.

Your weekly rate will depend on how often you’re training with them a week. Some personal trainers might also offer a discount for booking multiple sessions per week.

Conclusion to 10 Tips for Hiring a Personal Trainer You’ll Love

I hope these tips for hiring a personal trainer have given you a good starting point as you begin your search for the perfect personal trainer.

The most important thing is to be clear about what your goals are and what you’re looking for in a trainer. From there, do your research and interview potential trainers until you find the perfect fit!

Got any tips for hiring a personal trainer? Let us know in the comments or email me at Candice@littlestepsbighappy.com. Follow me on Pinterest for more workout tips.

Want more fitness tips for moms?

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