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Hiring a personal trainer? The 4 most important questions to ask

It’s unfortunate that there is no real standard for trainers similar to lawyers, doctors or most other health care practitioners. There are so many online personal training certifications these days that anyone can get one and call themselves a trainer. The regular lay person has no idea if the trainer they hire is experienced and or any good. Personal trainers are now the ‘expert’ that a lot of people go to for their health and fitness information so it’s important to find one that has a really good certification, educated and experienced.

Most people hire a personal trainer because they are in need of help to reach their health and fitness goals such as, motivation to lose weight, gain more energy, feel better overall, get stronger, gain more muscle, sleep better, correct muscular imbalances, and often times to help with back pain from a sedentary lifestyle. To reach these kinds of goals it’s not enough to simply workout more with random exercises that anyone can throw at you, it’s important to exercise right with a balance program designed specifically for you. A program that is designed specifically for you created after a full assessment is done to ensure you get a well-balanced program that is catered to your specific health and fitness goals.

So, following are the 4 most important questions to ask when hiring a personal trainer:

 1. What types of certifications do you have?

The certifications that are most recognized are American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), C.H.E.K Institute (Exercise Coach), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and of course a Bachelor of Science in health related field such as athletic training, sciences, health, nursing, physical therapy and other health related science degree. This shows an overall education based in science and health.

2. How many years of experience do you have as a trainer?

In the book, “The Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell he states that being successful or an expert in any one thing takes about 10000 hours or 10 years. After his years of studying successful people such as Bill Gates, he saw the pattern that it was right around this number a person really became a great success. Now I’m not saying not to hire a trainer because they don’t have any experience, everyone has to start somewhere but be sure you are aware of what you’re getting and that you don’t overpay for an inexperienced trainer.

3. Do you love to exercise?

I personally think this is very important question because you should have passion for what you do and know what it feels like to do it. If for example a trainer doesn’t even like exercising themselves how can they be a good motivator to you? They wouldn’t know how great it feels to do a hardcore workout or how incredibly rewarding it feels inside and outside to finish one.

4. What is your assessment process?

It’s important to assess a person before throwing random exercises at them. In my business I do a postural, core, movement, flexibility and lifestyle assessment so that I can better assist my clients to reach their goals and stay out of pain. Posture and core strength are very important because it’s the foundation of your ‘house’ in a sense. Imagine if a builder built a house without a strong foundation and there was a storm, it would be severely damaged and take a long time to fix not to mention the wasted money spent to repair it. Not all trainers have the same assessment process but they should assess you so, be sure to ask about it.


That’s it those are the top 4 most important questions you should ask when hiring a personal trainer at least the most important to me and what I’d want to know if I were hiring one. I also think it’s important to ask lots of questions when you hire anyone for that matter. Do your homework you pay good money for a trainer so you should know what you’re getting. You wouldn’t just purchase a house without first getting the comps and looking inside would you?


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