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Selecting a Personal Trainer

Ryan MacGregor, CPT

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Nearly every professional in the fitness industry will tell you that a thorough interview is a necessary and perhaps the most important part of selecting a personal trainer. That's certainly sound advice, as you always want to ensure that your money is buying the product you intended to purchase. Given that many people simply don't have the time or knowledge to ask the right questions, however, this approach is not as straightforward as it may seem. More often than not, your prospective personal trainer will end up conducting all the interviews!

Our database of personal trainers contains responses to the most important questions you should ask a personal trainer, so we recommend that you read the listings to help narrow your choices to a few trainers. If possible, talk to other clients for their perspective and observe your prospective trainer at work in the gym. If you're satisfied with what you see and hear, arrange to meet your trainer privately for further examination.

A good personal trainer is a good listener. He or she should not be more interested in impressing you with health and fitness wisdom than understanding your desires and goals. Are you trying to fit into an old dress or pursuing a career in professional wrestling? Regardless of your objectives, a personal trainer's job is to help you reach them.

In your initial interview, be frank about health conditions or history of problems that may be exacerbated by physical exercise. Remember, a personal trainer is no substitute for proper medical evaluation by a physician or physical therapist. A trainer who wishes to see a doctor's note authorizing you to participate in a fitness program is only looking out for your well-being.