What should I look for in a personal trainer?

A personal trainer should be friendly and have great communications skills. They should be able to collaboratively work with you to come up with a plan that uses their expertise but more importantly incorporates what is comfortable for you.
A personal trainer should be accredited from a reputable organization and be CPR certified Look for a personal trainer who has a good knowledge base of anatomy and physiology. A good trainer will adapt and create a program around your goals, needs, and physical limitations. Communication is essential the trainer should be personable, outgoing, and make working out fun and safe.

First you would want to make sure your trainer is certified. However, not all certifications are equal. Try to find a trainer that is certified through an organization such as NASM, ACSM, NSCA, ISSA or any other agency that is accredited by the NCCA.  Keep in mind that certifications are only a piece of the puzzle. Experience is just as important. Certification and experience compliment each other.

Just as each personal training certifying organization is different, so are individual trainers. The best thing to do is to interview your potential trainer.  Ask questions; do they have the knowledge and skills necessary to help you achieve your goals and are they a good personality match for you and what you want to accomplish. Developing a personal, yet professional relationship with your trainer is very important. Go with your gut. Your trainer should be someone you like and that you can get along with. Ask yourself if you think you could get along well with the trainer and whether you think the trainer is sincerely interested in helping you. If the trainer is a good match there is a higher probability that you will stick with them and the program, and achieve what you have set out to do. This doesn't mean that they are your best buddy, but rather they are the best fitness professional to help you achieve your goal.

All answers are great above and I agree with all responses, for me I think a trainer should have the big 3.  If you have them you will never fail as a trainer and you will always keep your clients happy and satisfied.  I come from the belief that if you believe right you will live right.  A trainer who has the below 3 attributes will always be successful and treat their clients great.

  1. Passion - Passionate about their clients, passionate about their profession and themselves
  2. Purpose - Know what they are doing, having a very clear vision and strategy for their professional life and most importantly a clear vision and strategy for their clients
  3. Meaning - The care, they are empathetic and there is deep motivation behind everything that they do were there is substance in their sessions and their professional life.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.