1 – Credentials. In every profession, you learn new things and ideas the longer you are in that field. You pick up new ideas from peers and hopefully create your own. Unfortunately, so many people in the fitness industry take a basic weekend course and think that’s it. There is so much to learn and each new client brings a new set of obstacles. Every person that walks through the door brings a new set of injuries, illnesses, and challenges. It takes time to develop ways to address those needs, and even then, trainers find they have to consult with other experts in that field for guidance. You will NOT find a perfect trainer. We are all imperfect and have areas we need to improve upon and grow. You need to find a trainer that can motivate you & connect with you……and someone who is constantly learning and improving themselves so they can pass that down to you. A weekend certification can teach you a lot. But what then?? Trainers, like other professionals, need to continuously educate themselves and learn as much as they can about their field.

2 – “Niche”. What is it you are looking to learn? Zumba? Kettlebells? Martial Arts? Dance? Yoga? Do some research. Find a trainer who is considered the best in that particular area. Maybe your goal is to just get started and lose some weight. Interview several personal trainers and see who has the potential to help you reach your goals in the most efficient, effective, and SAFEST way possible.

3 – Client Testimonies. Ask for client testimonies, before/after pics, etc. Seek out the people who are currently training with the trainer in question. Do their goals align with yours? Are they making the progress you would like to see in your own life? If none of them can say they are better for training with _____, then there is your red flag. Don’t hire someone just because they are a nice person or a friend of a friend. Training costs money. So, make sure you make the right investment.

4 – Hire a trainer who does a fitness assessment/consultation PRIOR to the first workout. If you hire a trainer over the phone/internet and they tell you to show up tomorrow ready to workout, RUN. You are not built like everyone else……so hire a trainer who will put in the time to get to know your body, your mobility issues, your overall health, and the “kinks in the chain” that keep you from getting stronger. Hire a trainer who is willing to get to know you and what needs to be done to get you moving. Not everyone can run a mile, jump onto a box, swing a kettlebell, deadlift a barbell, or even squat their own body weight on Day 1. Forget the glorified workouts you see on TV. Work with a trainer who will help you move better with each session……who knows you, someone who knows when to push you and when to change things up to assist you. Some trainers may joke around about making someone puke, or kicking their a@$…… but that should never be their goal. It doesn’t take a genius to make you puke or really sore……anyone can do that..…but it takes skill to make you better and stronger than when you started.

5 – “You get what you pay for.” Sorry, I realize this isn’t what you wanted to hear. But it’s true. If you don’t have to make some sort of investment into your training…..ask yourself why? Trainers who make a career in the fitness industry spend a lot of money on certifications, continuing education, equipment, etc. They make that investment because it makes them better trainers; and therefore; it makes their clients better. And no, they won’t give that information away for free.

And after all of this if you are still saying you can’t afford a trainer, try taking the money you spend eating out each week and put that money towards improving your health by hiring a qualified trainer……put in some hard work…..and you will see why that investment is so important. And so worth it.