personal trainer

How to Find a Personal Trainer: Comprehensive Guide

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Working with a qualified personal trainer can boost your success rate by over 30%! However, finding the right trainer can be difficult, especially if you don’t personally know of one that meets your needs.

We took the time to put together this comprehensive guide detailing how to find a personal trainer so you can rest easy. We also included some tools to help you find the right trainer!

Keep reading to learn how to find the best personal trainer for you!

How to Find a Personal Trainer

Before I dig too deep into finding the right trainer, it’s worth mentioning that we have a database of personal trainers on this website. All these trainers have gone through our vetting process and made the cut.

Otherwise, you can find a trainer through your network, social media, or online. But let’s get to that in a minute.

What do You Need From a Personal Trainer

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Photo by Elina Fairytale on – How to find a personal trainer that meets your needs.

Not just any trainer will do, you have specific personal goals, and you should find a qualified trainer to help you reach them. Personal trainers typically specialize in different fields. For example, powerlifting, CrossFit, or running.

What Are Your Goals?

What are you hoping to accomplish by working with a personal trainer? Knowing your goals might help determine how to find a personal trainer that meets your needs.

  • Do you want to lose a specific amount of weight?
  • Are you trying to get to a particular body fat percentage?
  • Is your primary goal to increase your strength?
  • Do you want to compete?
  • Are you hoping to run your first 5k?
  • Do you wish to feel and look better?

Answering these questions will help you determine the best kind of personal trainer for you. Of course, you want a coach with expertise in the area your goals are associated with!

What Are Your Needs?

Your goals and needs may be different! For example, your goal might be to lose weight, but you may also need to learn the basics of working out.

  • Do you perform better with hands-on training?
  • Would you rather learn with direction?
  • Do you want to try powerlifting, bodybuilding, or another sport?

These questions will help you determine the style of personal trainer you want to work with. When you start talking to trainers, both of you should be setting expectations for how the relationship will work.

If a trainer does not like the expectations you want to set, they are probably not a good fit for your needs.

Personal Trainer Conversations

Once you find a trainer you would be comfortable working with; you want to have a conversation with them. Don’t blindly accept what this trainer tells you if you aren’t sure they are a good fit.

The trainer should listen to you entirely and ask about past issues, injuries, and experience with exercise. They must know how to work around the problems or unique circumstances you have.


The personal trainer you are talking to should ask you questions about your nutrition. If they don’t, this may signify you are wasting your time.

The trainer should have past client success stories, testimonials, or case studies to share their results with previous clients.

Signs of a Bad Personal Trainer

Beware of trainers just using trendy exercises rather than understanding the science of the movement. Instead, the trainer should cater workouts to your specific goals.

Many of the most effective movements are not complex. However, suppose your trainer is making the program seem complicated. In that case, they may just be aiming to make it look like they know what they are doing without actually knowing.

Tough Workouts

There is nothing wrong with a challenging workout IF it is also working towards your goal. However, workouts shouldn’t be needlessly difficult. There should be a purpose to every movement.

Lack of Knowledge

It is not uncommon for someone to get an easy certification without working to understand body mechanics. The last thing you want is a personal trainer who doesn’t know what they are doing.

So if your prospective trainer uses any phrases related to these, it is time to pack your bags:

  • “Squatting too low is bad for your knees.”
  • “Machines are safer than free weights.”
  • “This exercise will burn fat from your stomach.”

All of these phrases demonstrate an evident lack of knowledge.

Focusing on the Money/Time

Your personal trainer should focus on getting you the results you are paying for. Be wary if they focus on scheduling more sessions during your interview conversations or selling larger packages.

Look at their other clients. Are they getting results regularly? If not, keep looking for a better fit.

A good personal trainer will focus on the results you want to achieve. They adjust their clients’ workouts as needed, are present with their clients (not on their phone), and put in the effort to help their clients get results.

What Certifications Should a Personal Trainer Have?

Certifications aren’t the only determining factor. However, they do make a trainer more credible. A degree in exercise science shows they understand the human body. A good certification shows they more than likely know how to apply that knowledge.

Here are some of the most trusted certifications:

It is important to note that not all trainers with certifications are good trainers. On the other hand, there are plenty of excellent trainers with no certifications. Look at the results they have provided clients!

How Much Does Personal Training Cost?

As with any profession, you aren’t just paying for the trainer’s time. You are also paying for their knowledge and experience. Therefore, a personal trainer will cost significantly more than a basic gym membership.

The determining factors in cost associated with personal training include:

  • Location
  • How many sessions
  • Type of training
  • Experience

Some trainers charge as low as $35 per session, and others charge as much as $1,200 per month or more. It is up to you to look at what their program includes and decide what it is worth to you.

Will More Expensive Training Get Better Results

The simple answer is NO! But, there is more to it. The cost shouldn’t be the metric you focus on. Instead, look at the results the training provides.

A $35 session will usually include walking you through a simple workout routine. A $3,000 training package could consist of months of training, custom workout plans, diet plans, stage prep, etc.

Remember your goals, and find an experienced trainer who can help you meet them.

In-Person Training vs. Online Personal Training

Generally, pricing for online programs will cost less than in-person training. But, there are pros and cons to online personal training.

Online personal training works with your schedule. You don’t have to meet your trainer at a specific time; you go when you can. You will also be able to work with your trainer regardless of where in the world you are.

The downside is that your online personal trainer cannot “force” you to go to the gym or provide real-time feedback on your workouts. If you don’t go to the gym, your money for a trainer is wasted.

How to Find a Personal Trainer That Meets Your Needs

If the interview conversation went well and you feel ready to get started, take a step back, and test them out. Pay for around five sessions to get a feel for the training before diving in full force.

This trial period will allow you to determine if your communications styles work well together and if a long-term training relationship makes sense.

The Reality of Personal Training

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Personal trainers help you reach your goals faster. However, if you don’t put in the effort, you will not get results.

Don’t use your trainer as an excuse for the results you are getting if you aren’t following the plans and advice they give you. If you aren’t comfortable with the solutions your trainer is providing you, discuss them and try to come to a compromise.

How to Find a Personal Trainer Online

Finding the right personal trainer isn’t always easy. You may have to try a few before finding a good fit. However, this should be a much easier task with the advice above!

Not sure how to find a personal trainer still? Check out this tool to find qualified trainers!

Remember, knowing how to find a personal trainer is only one step. You must hire and work with a trainer for some time to get measurable results!

In 2013 I attended TVCC with my studies focusing on nutrition and biology. After leaving TVCC I pursued a career in inbound marketing and have worked in many different industries including health and fitness, firearms, coaching, and many more. I spent 6 years training for powerlifting and 6 years after training for a bodybuilding show in Idaho, which sadly did not come to fruition.

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