Finding a Personal Trainer Who Fits You

You’ve decided on hiring a personal trainer. You’re unsure of who is better or what to look for in a stellar trainer, so you just pick one at random by scrolling through your Instagram feed. Sometimes this works out fine. Other times it ends poorly and you’ll have a bad impression of all personal trainers. You need to find a trainer who fits you, your needs, and adequately addresses your goals. This may take extra effort, but will be well worth it in the long run. You may want to do a little research on the trainers you have in mind before hiring them.

Looks Aren’t Everything

Just because someone has enormous biceps and washboard abs, doesn’t mean they will be a good fit for you or even that they know to be a good coach! There are certain things you should be looking for to get a really quality personal trainer, and then there are things you should look into for your own personal preference.

Personal Trainer Credentials

First and foremost, you need to check their credentials. Make sure they have a certification accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). This is a benchmark sign of a quality certification. Secondly, make sure they are up to date with their certification. Unfortunately, some trainers don’t do other serious trainers any justice by trying to slip by without keeping their certifications up to date. Just like a school teacher is required to continue taking classes and learning to keep their license, the same goes for personal trainers and their certifications.

This requires continuing education to uphold; a trainer consistent about recertification is assurance that they are keeping up with new research trends, and training approaches.

Personal Trainer Niche Considerations

Another part of your research, for the right trainer fit, should be to ask them what their focus is as a fitness trainer. Look for your answer to be something like: 1.) insight into the kind of training/client that they specialize in (most often, for NFPT trainers anyway, it will be the general/apparently healthy fitness client) and 2.) some version of “my focus is on YOU”! The really great trainers will be focused on you, what you’re looking for and how to help you achieve your fitness goals. You’ll be able to tell if they truly are looking into your best interest by the way your interactions go in subsequent sessions.


Personal Training Particulars

There are also optional things you may want to talk with your potential trainer about. Something you can try is to set up an interview appointment with your potential trainer. This gives you a chance to meet them face-to-face and get a grasp on their interpersonal skills to see if you will be a good match. Some examples of optional things to ask are:

  • Price and policies
  • How they best motivate their clients
  • How they best teach
  • How they hold you accountable
  • Their schedule flexibility
  • Their experience in personal training

If any of their answers don’t line up with how you are best inspired, best taught, and most likely to stay active in your program, then maybe you should keep looking. If you fail to progress and they aren’t pushing you hard enough, or are pushing you so hard that you can’t breathe, it’s okay to switch trainers. They may even recognize the mismatch and refer you to another trainer for both your best interest. Your trainer needs to be someone that you feel comfortable with, and vice versa, or neither of you will get out of the relationship the desired result.

But, speaking of results…whatever you do, make sure that you don’t jump ship to another trainer just because you don’t see results in a week. This is a long-term transformation. Maybe it’s taken you a pretty long time to get in an unhealthy state; so we can’t place expectations on our trainer for an “after” picture without training smart, and over a period of time. You have to work at it; your trainer can’t make it happen for you overnight. So, if you’re thinking that your trainer isn’t exactly the match for you, make sure it’s for reasons that are reasonable.

If you’re out there seeking a good trainer fit, we commend you! You obviously care enough about your own health and fitness, and probably the health of those in your life as well, that you’re serious enough to look for a professional to assist you with these goals. We wish you the absolute very best in your pursuit for the right trainer match. If you can use a little extra help, give us a call! We may be able to help point you in the right direction! And definitely search for NFPT trainers in your area!



Ryan Farrell started working with the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) in 2012. As NFPT's Marketing Coordinator, Ryan is responsible for aiding company reputation by building brand awareness and establishing strong working relationships among NFPT, its affiliates and industry partners.