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How to select your ideal personal trainer

Updated on January 13, 2011
Image taken from "Pistols Drawn" at and used under Creative Commons- Attribution licence
Image taken from "Pistols Drawn" at and used under Creative Commons- Attribution licence

Getting into shape is a daunting task for most people, especially those who have had an inactive or unhealthy lifestyle for an extended period of time. Many people will simply have no idea where to start, what to do, what is effective or unsafe, and so on.

Over recent years Personal Training has become a rapidly growing industry, due to an increased public awareness of the health issues associated with being over weight, obese or simply inactive. As a result, a person new to exercise will have a wide variety of options to explore in finding the right trainer for their needs.

To help make choosing the right trainer a less overwhelming experience, lets look at some logical considerations, from the obvious to the slightly less obvious.


Obviously location is an important consideration, as choosing a inconvenient location will have an impact on how often you make it to training, and how enjoyable the overall experience is. For many people a location close to the workplace is ideal, as it allows them to train immediately before or after work, or while on their lunch hour. Other people may find training closer to home more convenient, or in some cases you may choose a personal trainer with a mobile studio, who can come to you.

Consider your schedule and choose appropriately.


The price between different trainers varies widely. Some trainers may have more advanced qualifications, may have a higher profile due to sporting achievements or other media publicity, or may simply be so successful that their services are in high demand. These trainers will naturally charge a higher fee.. However you can also find many more affordable trainers who can help you achieve your goals with out breaking your budget.

Trainer's background and experience.

This is a little obvious, but definitely worth considering. If you were an experienced athlete, sports person or body builder who had decided to find a personal trainer to help improve your performance, naturally you would try to find the trainer who has gotten the best results in your area of interest. But not all trainers have a strong sporting background, many are people who have previously been inactive, out of shape and unhealthy, but have significantly changed their lifestyle to a point where their new challenge is to assist other people to make the same change from unhealthy an inactive to fit and healthy. For an inactive person with no prior interest in sports or exercise may be able to relate better to this kind of trainer, rather than one who has always excelled at sports and always been fit and healthy.

It is important for client and trainer to be able to relate and understand each other.

Your fitness goal, & ideal physique:

Similar to the above, it is worth thinking about what sort of physique you would like to build, and what sort of athletes usually have that physique. For an overweight or obese client, the initial goal is simply to lose weight and become healthy. But beyond this stage, consider if your ideal body type is lean like a marathon runner, or more muscular like a sprinter, or even more muscular still like a body builder. Alternatively your goal may be less to do with aesthetics and more to do with strength, or flexibility, postural correction, rehabilitation or simple functional exercises to assist you to carry out tasks at work at home without injury due to poor lifting technique.

Consider your goals and look for a trainer with knowledge and experience in this area.

Any special considerations, or personal requirements:

If you have any special considerations such as dietary or other requirements, these should also play a part in deciding upon your ideal trainer. While it is not strictly necessary to find (for example) a personal trainer who is a vegetarian, it would be advisable for the vegetarian client to find a trainer with some knowledge of vegetarian nutrition who can accommodate these needs. Obviously the relationship is not going to work out if you are a vegetarian and your trainer proscribes tuna, chicken and steak at meal time!

All of these suggestions are merely factors to weigh up if you are fortunate enough to have a variety of local trainers to choose from. Don't be put off if no particular trainer satisfies all of your criteria, just make the choice that seems most suitable. The Personal Training Industry has come a long way in recent years, with improved education and increased standards of professionalism, and you should have no difficulty in finding a great trainer who will motivate and inspire you to success in enjoying a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Get active and enjoy life!



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