How To Find The Best Personal Trainer For Your Fitness Goals

Share this post:

Everyone aspires to be fit- whether it is for health reasons or vanity, improving your fitness quotient is always commendable. When you are fit, you not only look your best, but also feel your best. And in order to do that, you might be wondering: How to Find a Personal Trainer?

Trust Me, You Do need a Personal Trainer. However, read this guide on how to hire the best personal trainer (and WARNING signs to look for), or you’ll be sitting at the end of your workout program, wondering where your money went!

A fit body and fit mind lets you put your best foot forward in any scenario. A personal trainer will help you achieve these goals, and is going to be an asset in your fitness journey. We will tell you why over the course of this article.

But here’s the thing, personal trainers are expensive. You invest time and money and a lot of effort in your fitness regime, but if your personal trainer is not the right match for you, you won’t see the results you expect.

In this article, we will discuss how to find the perfect personal trainer and how they can change not only your fitness game but help you turn around your life.

This is the one-stop guide for everything you may want to know about personal trainers- right from what they are and how they benefit you, to where you can find the perfect trainer and how to save costs.

Who is a Personal Trainer?

Yes, Google and YouTube can present you with thousands of workouts at the click of a button, but are they safe enough for you? Will they actually translate your efforts into tangible results? That is debatable. Here is where a personal trainer comes in.

Personal trainers are professionals who have the necessary skills and knowledge to create the perfect workout plan for you, keeping in mind your safety and specific requirements, and guide you along your workout journey.

Showbiz and social media platforms like Instagram have made the concept of personal trainers much more popular and relatively accessible. Celebrities and influencers credit their personal trainers for their astounding physical transformations as well as associated mental wellness.

Fitness is now an integral facet of the aspirational modern lifestyle, and personal trainers are the coveted guides to help you attain your goals.

What Does a Personal Trainer Do?

To understand why you need a personal trainer and exactly what you can expect of them, it is necessary to understand the scope of a personal trainer’s practice.

  • A personal trainer designs workout programs and helps you execute them. They know how to personalize a program best suited for your individual goals, body type, fitness level, lifestyle, to help you achieve results effectively.
  • They have a working knowledge of the human anatomy, nutrition, and are trained in the essentials of exercise science.
  • Personal trainers know how to help clients reach their desired levels of fitness and health by deploying a combination of resistance training, cardiovascular exercises, and flexibility exercises as required.
  • They know how to motivate and inspire you to work towards your fitness goals even when you hit a plateau or feel demotivated.
  • Personal trainers maintain client confidentiality, have great personal integrity, and put forward their best professional foot forward throughout your interaction with them and beyond. 
  • They are individuals dedicated to self-awareness, safety, personal growth, and constant learning when it comes to fitness and personal health, and strive to instill the same in their clients.
  • They are good at client assessments and screening, which is essential for devising a good and personalized fitness program for you.

Why Do You Need a Personal Trainer?

Narrowing down on the perfect workout routine is tough. It is not that there is any dearth of resources- magazines, the internet, books, apps, and social media is overflowing with exercise and diet recommendations.

But sifting through all this information to lock that one set of exercises and diet that will align with your goals is quite the task.

Not every information you come across is credible, and the world of fitness is often governed by fads rather than facts. Of course, you can try the trial-and-error route, but is it worth all that time, money and energy?
Add to that the risk of injuring or harming yourself when trying out different exercises or diets without supervision.

A personal trainer will help you get over these hurdles, so you can exclusively focus on achieving your fitness goals.

Depending on your personal goals, a personal trainer can help you achieve them quicker!

They will create a workout program that is tailor made for you, which no home workout CD or magazine column can provide. Whatever your goals are, bulking up, or losing weight, or maybe focusing on specific areas of your body- you will be presented with a curated set of workouts to effectively achieve them.

Based on your progress and changing needs, a good personal trainer will know how to tweak or mix up elements in your workout routine so you are always making improvements without plateauing or getting bored.

Staying motivated and challenging yourself is key to making consistent progress and enjoying the process rather than grueling through your workouts mechanically. A personal trainer will constantly challenge you and push you to your limits, yet make the experience a fun and rewarding one. 

Just working out is not enough, as your diet plays a very crucial role in achieving the level of fitness you aspire to. A good personal trainer will also be knowledgeable about nutrition and help design a diet for you to maximize your results without cutting down on essential nutrition.

For some, accountability is probably one of the key reasons to get a personal trainer. Hitting the gym, following a workout routine off the internet or a home video is something that you can do based on your ‘convenience’, but it leaves a lot of room for making excuses, procrastination, and turning ‘cheat days’ into ‘cheat weeks’.

Consistency is key for achieving fitness goals, and a personal trainer will make sure you follow through.

With a personal trainer, you make the most of your time, money, and energy, and maximize on the fitness experience 🙂

What to Look For in a Personal Trainer?

There are a lot of personal gym trainers out there. But how do you get the perfect personal trainer for you, rather than landing up with a run-of-the-mill trainer?

1. Is as Passionate About Your Fitness as You Are

First of all, your personal fitness trainer needs to be someone who enjoys their job and is as passionate about your fitness as you are. That way, you will always have a great experience with them and they won’t be skimping out and doing the bare minimum for the payment.

A passionate private fitness coach would be truly invested in your fitness journey and help you be your best self!

2. Is Compatible With Your Goals and Body Type

Whether you are a beginner in the world of fitness and want to take baby steps, need to lose weight, aspire to bulk up and build muscle mass- there is a personal trainer for you. However, you need to be careful when hiring a trainer and make sure they are right for your body type and goals.

Of course, a personal fitness trainer who has prior experience helping hard gainers build muscle effectively, or knows how to initiate an absolute beginner into fitness without any injuries or lack of motivation, will be better able to help you do the same if these are your goals.

Choosing a personal trainer who specializes in your body type and knows how to execute your goals is crucial for making it a successful partnership.

3. Testimonials to Sift the Good From the Average

An average personal trainer is as good as a bad one. To find a perfect personal trainer for yourself, you need to pay attention to the testimonials the trainers have to show for themselves.

Check with people you know for recommendations. A good track record is not a guarantee that the private fitness coach is going to be a perfect match for you, but the probability of them being good at their job is definitely more.

4. Has Professional Certifications (Must Have)

A good certification is the hallmark of a good personal trainer who understands his job in all its dimensions, and knows how to derive the best results without compromising on safety.

ACE (American Council on Exercise), ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association), NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), CrossFit, and NPTI (National Personal Training Institute) are all recognized and impressive certifications that your personal trainer could have to show for themselves.

Certified Personal Trainers, or CPT, have undergone extensive training and qualify after rigorous research-backed tests. A CPT will be able to identify the best route to get your desired results, and you don’t have to worry about any safety issues or injury from being pushed too far beyond your limits.

While an elite professional personal training certification does not guarantee excellence in the real world, it provides the foundation to being a good personal trainer.

5. Has Favorable Personal Qualities

The bond that you would be sharing with your personal trainer is one of great trust. Their personal qualities definitely come into play when determining how successful your partnership through the fitness journey will be.

You will be vulnerable and demotivated at various points of your fitness journey- it is up to your personal trainer to break your barriers and motivate you to push your limits.

Your personal trainer’s passion, sense of purpose and responsibility, communication skills, and compassion are all important factors in developing the level of trust and engagement that is essential to see concrete and favorable results.

The Big Question: How Much Does a Personal Trainer Cost?

There is a perception that personal trainers cost a bomb. While they are definitely an investment, the costs depend on various factors.

The kind of training you are looking for, how many days of the week you plan on working out and for what duration, the mode of training, as well as your locality (the average economic bracket of your area, whether you live in a smaller town or a metropolitan, and so on), are all decisive factors that impact the personal trainer cost.

Factors Affecting the Cost of a Personal Trainer

When you are in the market looking for a new personal gym trainer, you will come across people quoting various rates. To ascertain whether they are worth the money, here are a few questions to consider:

  • What is Your Personal Trainer’s Level of Expertise?

The more experience your personal fitness trainer is, the higher they will charge you. Experienced trainers provide personalized workout routines and diet advice to reach your fitness goals the fastest and most effectively.

Additionally, they know exactly how far to push you without compromising on your safety and risking injuries. It is only natural that they charge higher for their years of experience that you will benefit from.

  • What are Your Personal Trainer’s Certifications?

A certified private fitness coach will definitely cost you more, but their training and experience is going to be well worth the extra bucks.

  • Where Will the Sessions be Conducted?

Whether you will be training at the gym, or your personal fitness trainer will come down to train you at your home, is a factor that affects the cost.

A personal trainer at the gym would be considerably more affordable.

For personal trainer at home, the trainer would have to set aside time for transit and work his schedule around your individual session- which justifies the extra charges.

  • Will You be Training Solo or in a Group?

Solo sessions with a personal trainer typically cost more than group sessions because of the exclusive attention you will be getting from your trainer.

  • What is the Duration of Each Session?

The duration of your session could be 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or 90 minutes, and could be held daily, a few days a week, or weekly.

The duration and frequency can be decided upon mutually, based on your requirements and convenience, however, these factors also affect the cost.

The longer your private fitness coach needs to be available, the more expensive he is going to be.

  • How Many Sessions are You Booking?

Typically, booking sessions in packages of 5, 10, 20, or so, sessions at a time makes you eligible for discounts when booking a personal trainer at most gyms.

The more sessions you book at a go, the cheaper a deal you will usually get.

Average Personal Trainer Cost The US

Below are the average estimates of how much a personal trainer could cost you in the US on an average:

  • Each 30 minute session costs between $25 to $50
  • An hour long session would cost somewhere between $40 to $70
  • A 90 minute session would cost you between $60 to $100
  • Group fitness classes have an average starting price of $35

When you purchase sessions with your personal fitness trainer in a package of 5, 10, or 20 classes, based on the schemes they have going on, you can expect considerable discounts on your total.

Does Your Gym Affect Costs?

The gym you go to also matters when determining the average personal trainer cost.

A lower-end gym in your neighborhood would be significantly more affordable than a global gym chain, and a luxury gym would definitely be exponentially more expensive.

Here is a breakdown of the average personal trainer cost:

  • For global gym chains like LA Fitness and Gold’s Gym, you can expect a personal trainer to charge you an average of $60 to $80 per hour
  • Swanky luxury gyms like Crunch and Equinox provide personal trainers costing about $80 to $160 per hour.

Online Training and In-Home Personal Training

If you don’t want to head out to a gym and prefer your workouts in solitude, the two options you could consider are online personal trainers and in-home personal trainers.

If you already have some basic workout equipment at home or if you are a beginner and your private fitness coach decides that you could do without any equipment at the moment, then training at home would be a perfectly viable option for you.

A personal trainer coming down to train you at home or conducting sessions online could have varying charges, but here is a rough estimate to give you an idea:

  • In-home personal training sessions cost an approximate of $65 per hour. Considering the undivided attention you will receive, and your trainer setting aside exclusive time for transit and your session, the higher charge is quite justifiable.
    Of course, sessions could be much more affordable or significantly more expensive depending upon your trainer’s transit time, level of experience, and so on.
  • Online personal training is a convenient modern solution in tandem with our busy modern lifestyle. It is accessible, somewhat more cost-effective, and is quite flexible when it comes to timings. However, you would have to compromise on getting immediate feedback on your form or real-time feedback on your progress.
    It will definitely cost you less to get an online personal trainer than an in-person trainer if you plan on working out more than a couple times per week. The cost of a session with an online personal trainer depends on his level of expertise, your progress, the frequency of sessions you expect, and so.
    Also, a personalized one-on-one session with your personal trainer would cost you more than if you subscribed to a pre-designed program. An estimated range of pricing for an experienced online personal trainer would range between $50 to $75 per hour.

E-books by Experienced Personal Trainers

While fitness e-books cannot substitute the role of a personal trainer in designing personalized workout routines and preventing any injuries, they can definitely enhance your experience or give you a basic initiation into the world of fitness till you catch hold of a personal trainer.

Bad Personal Trainers: Warning Signs

Not all personal trainers come in the same mold, and finding the best personal trainer is hard. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to figure out if you have landed with a bad egg:

Warning Sign #1: Unnecessarily Complex and Confusing Fitness Routine

A complex fitness routine does not necessarily mean it is more effective.

A lot of bad or inexperienced fitness trainers design seemingly complex fitness routines that are confusing for their clients to make themselves seem more ‘knowledgeable’ and experienced than they really are.

Don’t confuse a difficult fitness routine that pushes you to improve yourself, with an unnecessarily strenuous one that tires you out while offering minimal gains.

Warning Sign #2: Deceiving about Results

Often, bad personal trainers are more focused on getting more sessions booked than on helping their clients achieve their desired results effectively.

Instead of designing a routine that will help you see results safely and effectively in a few weeks or months, they will intentionally make you ride out a plateau so you need to keep booking sessions with them. 

Another mark of a deceiving personal trainer is one who makes false promises of miraculous transformations or ‘spot reductions’. These are unscientific, improbable, and harmful, but are unfortunately very tempting to clients- which these bad personal trainers profit out of.

Warning Sign #3: Lacks Experience

If a personal trainer lacks experience, they cannot suitably customize a fitness program that will get you the best results for your body type or fitness goals.

They may compromise on your safety when it comes to designing workouts, pushing you too far beyond your limits, dietary advice, and so on. You may end up harming or injuring yourself when working with an inexperienced personal gym trainer.

Warning Sign #4: Lacks Certifications

Certifications are a mark of training, knowledge, and experience. It is not just a fancy embellishment to a personal trainer’s profile.

If a trainer lacks certifications, they cannot give you the best nutritional and workout guidance, and may not know the correct safety protocols.

Warning Sign #5: Not Sufficiently Communicative

Good communication skills are indispensable in a personal trainer. There needs to be very clear and open lines of communication between you and your personal trainer for the partnership to work out.

A personal trainer with poor communication skills is a bad one, because they cannot adequately explain the fitness program to you, check in with you regarding your comfort level and difficulties, or motivate you when need be.

Warning Sign #6: Not Aligned with Your Goals and Requirements

A personal trainer, by definition, should be one aligned with your personal goals.

If they do not fulfill that category, they are not the right fit for you. If your goal is to lose weight and your personal trainer specializes in training for bulking(just an example), then there is a clear disparity in goals and specialization.

A bad personal trainer would also be more likely to put you through a standard training module instead of personalizing the routine around your goals, past injuries, progress, and so on.

Warning Sign #7: Always Recommending Products (Beware of this)

A bad personal trainer would keep encouraging you to try out various health mixes or purchasing equipment when you do not necessarily need these.

Often, trainers make a commission off your purchases and they end up pushing products of dubious quality or exorbitantly priced ones. This is not only harmful for you physically and financially, but it is also extremely unethical for your personal trainer to do so.

Warning Sign #8: Not Invested Enough

A bad personal trainer is lackadaisical during training sessions- simply instructing you to do your sets while he sits around scrolling through his phone or just keeping time.

Instead, they should be watching your posture with a hawk’s eye, taking notes on your progress, giving you constant feedback and motivating you to keep going.

A personal trainer who is not invested enough in the progress of your fitness journey, is not a good one to keep around.

Warning Sign #9: Oversteps His Role

A personal trainer is not a dietician or a trained medical practitioner, and is not qualified to recommend supplements or make medical diagnoses.

A bad personal trainer would overstep his role and attempt to do these, which is not only unethical but potentially dangerous.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Personal Trainer?

The benefit of hiring a personal trainer on your fitness journey is unparalleled.

If you have been working out on your own for a while and have not seen the results you were hoping for, then the key ingredient you were missing is a personal trainer.

Some of the notable benefits of hiring a personal trainer are elaborated below:

Benefit #1: Customizes a Fitness Routine Tailor Made for You

Your fitness goals, body type, and lifestyle are important factors to creating a fitness routine that is tailor made for you.

A personal trainer, with their experience and knowledge, will customize a fitness routine compatible with these factors unique to you, so that you can attain your goals through the most effective route possible.

Benefit #2: Takes Cognizance of Your Safety

Working out without a trained professional monitoring your posture and how much you are exerting yourself can land you with injuries. You may also have pre-existing injuries that are exacerbated by an unguided workout routine.

A run of the mill diet from the internet that promises weight reduction or bulking may also cause you to miss out on essential nutrition.

A personal gym trainer will give you dietary advice and craft a fitness routine taking into account your safety, so you see benefits without risking any adverse effects. 

Benefit #3: Keeps You Accountable

Without a personal trainer keeping tabs on you, you may be tempted to fall off your diet or workout routine. You may take a couple of ‘cheat days’ but that could end up running into weeks till you give up on your routine altogether.

Fitness requires dedication and sacrifice on an easy lifestyle, and it is easy to give up. A personal trainer will make sure you are following your exercise routine and keeping to your diet.

Accountability to a personal trainer ensures that despite a few occasional cheat days, you do not completely fall off the wagon, and can bounce right back up.

Benefit #4: Challenges You

After a while, you can get used to a workout routine and get by with minimal exertion. A personal trainer will challenge you to move on to more difficult workouts and beat your own records. (That’s what they’re here for)

If you feel like a routine is too difficult, your trainer will challenge you to keep going, taking cognizance of your safety.

He knows exactly how far to push you without risking an injury given your body type, flexibility, endurance, and so on.

Benefit #5: Keeps You Motivated

It is easy to feel demotivated when you keep working out religiously and cutting back on all the delicious junk food, but see no apparent results.

Hitting a plateau after steady progress can make you want to give up on your fitness journey completely.

Having a few heavy meals and missing out on your daily workouts for a week may feel like the end of the possibilities of a transformation.

Fitness is a steady curve, and you cannot expect an overnight transformation. It is all about the tiny improvements that often evade the untrained eye.

The best personal trainer will keep you motivated and inspire you to keep going when you feel like giving up- pointing out your steady progress, and giving you advice on how to bounce back after a plateau or if you fall off the wagon for a while.

Benefit #6: Tracks Your Progress

A personal trainer keeps track of your progress, and gives feedback on where and how you could improve.

Working out on your own could feel like you are Sisyphus with his rock. Regular reminders of your progress and little personal wins, every time you break your own records, from your personal trainer will keep you on track and motivated to keep going.

Also, when your personal trainer keeps track of your progress, it is more apparent if a certain set of workouts is not showing the desired results and can be substituted.

Benefit #7: Can Modify Your Routine to Keep Things Fun and Effective

Not every workout routine or diet works for everyone. A routine needs to be modified to suit your requirements, without negating the benefits.

Your personal trainer knows exactly how to modify pre-existing routines to help you achieve the best results. Also, if you keep to a specific routine, your body may get accustomed to it and stop showing apparent results.

By switching up a few exercises or dietary elements here and there, your personal trainer will ensure you keep making steady progress and overcome a plateau.

The repetitive nature of a fitness routine can make you feel bored and unmotivated after a while.

This is why it is important to have a personal gym trainer who can change things up every now and then and teach you new things so you stay excited and have fun with fitness instead of grueling through it.

Benefit #8: Answers Your Questions and Guides You Through Your Fitness Journey

If you mindlessly follow a fitness routine without any idea of why you are doing what you are doing, you will be at a loss after a while.

A personal trainer will explain your fitness routine to you, answer all your queries, and provide expert guidance on how to improve.

Open lines of communication between a client and a personal trainer ensures that there is transparency in the fitness process, and you learn, engage with, and enjoy the journey instead of going through it mechanically.

And to your question: Should I use a personal trainer? Yes you should!

What Results Can You Expect Upon Hiring a Personal Trainer?

The Best personal trainers are not magicians who can swish their magic wands to give you a miraculous overnight transformation. They will guide you, train you, and motivate you- but you will have to put in the work yourself.

You must set reasonably attainable goals and expectations upon consultation with your personal trainer that are compatible with your current level of fitness, body type, and lifestyle, and he will help you achieve it as long as you are diligent about following his instructions and guidance.

The best personal trainer will craft you the perfect workout routine and give you advice pertaining to your diet and nutrition, to save you time researching and possibly getting misled.

However, you will only see results when you put in the time, effort, and commitment to achieving your desired goals.  

Key Takeaway: Is a Personal Trainer Worth It?

Yes, the best personal trainers are somewhat expensive, but they are definitely an investment that will change your fitness game.

A good personal trainer will actually help you save a good deal of money and time in the long run by helping you cut down on the trial-and-error, poor investments in fitness products and equipment, and avoid any possible injuries which can compound to cost you a bomb in medical bills.

With the right trainer, you will see consistent improvements, and move steadily and safely towards your desired fitness goals while having fun along the way!

You Might Like: