You want to work with a personal trainer but aren’t sure which one to choose. If you live in a small town, you may have limited local options. But if you live in a bigger city, the number of trainers available might feel a bit overwhelming. The first step in finding the best personal trainer near you requires answering one key question…
People decide to hire a personal trainer for a multitude of reasons. For instance, some want to lose weight but haven’t been able to get results on their own. Others want to increase strength and need a fitness expert to help them achieve this goal.
Knowing why you want to hire a personal trainer serves a few valuable purposes. One is that it helps narrow your search. The best trainer for weight loss may not be the best trainer for strength gain (or a different goal). Yes, they may be able to provide some results, but if you’re looking for the best, their areas of expertise matter.
Understanding the exact results you desire can help you find a trainer who is able to provide them. It’s like looking for a “doctor near me” or doing a search for a “doctor specializing in hair loss near me.” The second search will provide more specific results for practitioners who can address this need.
Additional reasons to want to hire a trainer include having someone to be accountable to, someone who offers continual motivation, or someone with the knowledge to help overcome your biggest challenges. So, take some time and think about why you want to work with a personal fitness trainer. This can help you when doing your search.
There are more than 300,000 fitness instructors in the U.S. How do you know which one is the best? Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to who the best personal trainer is. It’s more about figuring out who the best trainer is for you.
It’s like how a certain diet may work for your friend, but doesn’t help you lose weight at all. We all have different preferences when it comes to eating. If the diet is outside of these preferences, it doesn’t matter how good it is. It isn’t likely to provide you the results you want because it will be hard to stick to long-term.
The same is true with personal training. If you want to increase the odds that you’ll continue to show up for your personal training session, you want to find someone who offers the type of assistance or fitness training you prefer.
Factors to consider when looking for the best personal trainer for you include:
Whether they are certified. Certification isn’t required to work as a fitness coach. That said, a certified personal trainer is someone who has completed a training course and passed an exam verifying that they understand how to create a safe and effective workout plan. In this way, finding someone who is certified means that they have a certain level of knowledge in exercise science. If the trainer works at a well-known gym, they are likely certified. However, if you don’t know, it’s not out of line to ask.
How long they’ve been personal training. This doesn’t mean that a new trainer can’t give you results because they can. This is more about knowing how much experience the trainer has so you can make the best decision for you. Some people prefer working with a personal trainer with years of experience. They want someone who has “seen it all.” Others might feel more comfortable with a newer trainer. Maybe they’re new to exercise and would feel less judged by someone who is new as well. Or maybe the amount of time someone has been personal training doesn’t matter to you at all. In that case, skip this factor and focus on the other ones instead.
Whether they specialize in any fitness areas. Maybe you have a specific obstacle you’re trying to overcome. Or you want to advance your training in a certain area. Finding a knowledgeable trainer, someone with experience in the areas you’d like to work on, provides access to the information that can help you meet your fitness goal. If you are an athlete and want to build your strength, a coach who is a conditioning specialist can help achieve this goal. If you have back or knee pain, a corrective exercise specialist can create a workout program that addresses these issues.
If they offer additional services. Are you looking for a trainer solely for an exercise plan or do you need help in other areas too? For instance, some trainers provide nutrition advice or meal planning. This may be beneficial if you’re trying to lose weight and want to adjust your diet as well. If their program involves working out at home, do they give you the tools you need to do this successfully? This could be as simple as giving you a log to record your workout sessions. Some trainers even supply clients with the equipment needed for at-home workouts. If you want a personal trainer to provide these things for you, it’s something to consider when making your decision.
Their training style. People are motivated in different ways. While one person may find motivation in a boot camp-style trainer, this can be demotivating to someone else. Find a trainer who uses the methods that you respond to most. If you’ve never worked with a fitness trainer, you may not know which style you prefer. That’s okay. Try a trainer with one style and see how you respond. If their style works for you, great! If it doesn’t, find a trainer with a different style and work with them for a bit. Keep looking until you find someone who trains in a way that makes you look forward to your daily workouts.
What their training session looks like. Are you looking for a trainer who can help you get fit in 20 minutes or an hour? Is their session primarily cardio, strength training, or a mixture of both? Find a trainer who provides a workout that fits into your lifestyle while also helping you meet your goals. This creates a more enjoyable session, which keeps you coming back for more.
The type of clients they work with most. Some personal trainers work primarily with beginner or intermediate-level clients. Others generally train those with an elite level of fitness, such as pro athletes. Look for a trainer or coach who works with your fitness level. Or maybe your trainer works solely with busy moms or corporate professionals. If this is you, it may be a good fit.
Taking the time to do your research helps improve the odds that you’ll find the best personal trainer for you. What if you can’t find a local trainer who has the qualifications you want?
One of the benefits of online personal training is that you aren’t limited to your geographical region. This is especially helpful if you live in an area with limited (or no) access to an experienced personal trainer. You can work with a training professional from anywhere in the world.
Another benefit of this option is if you are interested in home-based personal training. Some people find a gym intimidating. Others don’t have access to an affordable gym or simply would rather work out at home because it fits better into their schedule. Working with an online trainer can help you achieve your fitness training goals in all of these situations.
The same consideration factors apply when choosing the best online personal trainer for you. Look at how they train, what their specialties are, and whether they can help provide the results you desire. This can take time, but it’s time that is well spent if it means connecting with an online trainer who is a good fit for you.
Once you know the type of personal trainer you want, the next step is to find them. If you have a gym membership, ask other exercisers who they enjoy working with and why. Some gyms even list their trainers online with ratings as provided by past clients.
If you don’t currently belong to a gym, you can also search online. Do a search for “personal trainers near me” and see what comes up. The benefit of this approach is that the results are often provided with that trainer’s reviews. Read through these reviews and see what others say about working with them.
Keep in mind that even the best personal trainer can have unhappy clients. No trainer can please every client every time. So, when reading reviews, look for overarching themes. If one person brings up an issue they didn’t like but no one else mentions this same concern, it may be a preference issue. Yet, if everyone is complaining about the same thing, this is a sign that you’ll likely experience that issue as well.
Everyone’s fitness journey is different. So, the best personal training professional for one person isn’t necessarily the same for someone else. Knowing what you want and which factors are most important to you can help you find a trainer who checks more of your boxes.
If you’re serious about fitness, you may even become a personal trainer yourself. ISSA offers Personal Trainer Certification. This course teaches everything from fitness assessment to workout program design. Who knows? Maybe you’ll become the best personal trainer around, giving others access to a coach who is perfect for them.
Start your dream career completely online! Take the course, pass the certification final exam, and be guaranteed a job - or your money back!