How to Choose a Personal Trainer (and Gym). Part 1

Admit it, you take a good deal of time choosing your favorite beverage. Let’s face it, there is nothing in this world that can get the day off to a good start like a cup of really delicious espresso coffee. It is simply the perfect beverage. It has it all; the right combination of sweetness and bitterness, a unique and alluring aroma, and it always, always, hits the spot! It’s hard to define how coffee does what it does. In fact, the Specialty Coffee Association of America say there are no less than 172 words to describe coffee!

And we believe it is worth spending the same reasonable time and effort in choosing the right fitness trainer, gym, or studio for you. But, how you pick the best from the huge choices out there? Which fitness studio? What class would provide the most benefit for you? And, the question we will look deeply in today, how do you choose your personal, or group, trainer; the person who will, from now, share the responsibility for helping you sculpt your dream body, or develop a healthy spine with Pilates, mindfulness in yoga, or build your ability to run a half-marathon.

How to Choose a Personal Trainer (and Gym). Part 1:

The math is pretty simple here; to make any body change happen, you have to spend at least four to five hours a week with your trainer, either in group classes or private sessions. What we’re saying here is that you will be putting your coach into third priority place after your family and close friends. As you know, we are all influenced by the people around us, and your trainer will be no exception. He, or she, has the very real ability to modify your lifestyle, fuel, or kill, your motivation levels and, overall, change not only the way you look and feel, but you as a person. So, yes, take the process of choosing your trainer seriously.


Here are a few guidelines on how to choose your trainer. This list was created by Pilates instructors, choreographers, and fitness trainers, with over fifteen years’ experience of teaching and personal training, as well as more than twenty-five years of working out in many studios, gyms, etc. Of course, following the suggestions in the list is not compulsory, but we recommend at least considering the factors mentioned.

And the buzzkill: please do not print the list out and take it straight to a trainer. Every trainer is human too, and will appreciates you putting your faith in them

Ok, that said, here is the list.

The Guidelines on How to Choose Your Personal Trainer 

Please note, the following principles will work when choosing a personal or a group trainer:

1. First, do a simple check to ensure the trainer is qualified. It could be anything: Is the club she, or he, works in credible? If she runs her own studio, dig into the “About” page to look through education, experience, and first impression. Participation in relevant industry conferences, or articles published in relevant magazines would also be a good sign. Or perhaps they have written a book you can find in bookstores?

2. If possible, contact your trainer prior to the class. Briefly describe your goals and ask for feedback. Our experience is that genuine, dedicated instructors will write to you, or call you back, explaining how their particular class can benefit you, or not, and, as importantly, why.


Let’s look at two real cases, where trustworthy answers were provided by fitness specialists:

Situation #1 

The client’s request:

Hi there! My name is Dolly, I am 45. I’ve never practiced sport before. My lower back hurts, and my doctor has recommended I try Pilates. You have a class for beginners, Is this right?

An example of a good answer:

Hi Dolly! Thank you for your interest in my class. Definitely, Pilates is one of the best solutions for preventing and relieving back pain, and strengthening your back overall. If you have a minute, please look through my articles about benefits of Pilates in ____ medical journals, my e-book, “Pilates for Beginners,” and testimonials from my clients…

I am happy to invite you to the first class so can you try it for yourself. Please come ten minutes before the class is due to begin so I can ask you a few questions. That way, we can be sure you get the best out of it.

Should you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Situation #2 

The client’s request:

Hello! I am looking for an effective weight-loss program with a personal trainer. I used to play tennis, but quit a few years ago because of my highly demanding job with a lot of business trips. Can you help me?

The example of a good answer: 

Hi there! You are right, any time is a good time to resume your sports classes. I’d like to invite you to personal meeting where we can discuss your future goals, class schedules, and a healthy eating plan.

Please let me know what time is ok for you.

A note: even the busiest trainer in a world will find a few minutes to respond to your request. Not necessarily because he loves you (yet anyway), but because he loves his job

3. Next, go for a first class. This is when you will get 90% of the information you need. Keep these five questions in mind…

… you can get all the answers from “How to Choose a Personal Trainer (and Gym). Part 2”!

6 thoughts on “How to Choose a Personal Trainer (and Gym). Part 1

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