If you want to shape up for the first time or if you’re frustrated because your past efforts yielded poor results, working with a personal trainer is a great way to get one-on-one help.
Ask these questions to ensure you’re hiring the personal trainer most suited to your needs:
Is the trainer certified?
Many organizations – the American College of Sports Medicine and American Council on Exercise, to name two – certify trainers. Don’t put your safety in the hands of someone with no training.
How much experience does the trainer have?
Get references. Ask the trainer’s past clients what they liked and disliked about this trainer and what results they achieved.
Does the trainer specialize in a certain clientele?
Some work primarily with seniors or pregnant women or people with specific injuries or health problems. If you have a bad back, for example, find a trainer accustomed to dealing with that challenge.
How does the trainer structure fees, and how much are they?
Expect to pay more for frequent workouts with the trainer, less if you meet weekly and exercise on your own the other days. Fees vary greatly by city, the trainer’s experience and whether the trainer works independently or for a gym. You can pay anywhere from $25 to $75 per session – and far more if the trainer is in huge demand. Some offer the initial fitness assessment for free.
How does the trainer customize your exercise regimen?
You want someone to create a plan that helps you meet your goals, not one who puts clients through a cookie-cutter program.
Do you like the trainer?
You’re hiring this person to guide you through difficult physical work – sometimes uncomfortable psychological work, too. Without good rapport, you’ll likely come to resent the trainer and quit before reaching your goals.
Tips & Warnings
No matter how good the trainer, it’s up to you to complete the workouts, including those mapped out for you to do solo on the days you don’t meet. If you’re not truly committed to the effort, you’ll get mediocre results at best.