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How to pick a personal trainer at the gym?

Okay, you have finally realized attempting to do the Insanity, P90x or Chair-A-Cise weight loss DVDs are not working. You had the best intentions when you ordered them. Actually you were fired up but you have fizzled out. Now, the DVDs are on the shelf with the others you ordered from previous years. Not to mention all the fitness equipment that’s occupying space whose destiny is the spring yard sale. It’s finally hit you, you can not do it alone. Time to join the nearest fitness center and get a personal trainer.

This is usually how the scenario goes. You sign up and request a personal trainer. Typically the sales rep or personal training supervisor assigns you a trainer who either (a) is one of their good friends or (b) whichever trainer is next on the list to receive a client. However, is this the best way for choosing a trainer for you? No, like anything else you are investing your money and time you should do the research.

Here are a couple of things to consider.

Join the gym and don’t mention you want a trainer. Exercise, perhaps,  riding the treadmill, elliptical, etc. at the time which you will normally come and observe the personal trainers there. Use it as research or fact finding time. This process will take about a week or two not just a one time thing. Notice how the trainers interact with their clients. Are their personalities to passive or to aggressive for you? Does their training style (fast, medium or slow pace) fit your goals? Does the trainer talk with clients during the session about things other than fitness or is it more a serious “drill sergeant” type workout? Do they have the look/appearance of a trainer? Also, it’s very important to note just because the trainer has a lot of clients doesn’t necessarily mean they are a good trainer, again, maybe they are the sales reps good buddy or perhaps they may have a great personality which draws people to them which has little to do with personal training abilities although it does enhance the experience. Be sure to ask several members who have been their at least 6 months who do they recommend.

Additionally, have at least two trainers to consider/compare and introduce yourself to both. Tell them you are thinking about getting a trainer and ask some questions such as how can they assist you in reaching your goals. Very carefully listen to the answers. Do they seem concerned more about pressuring you to sign for sessions (money) or really listening to your concerns. Do they seem knowledgeable and are they impatient with you asking several questions? Ask several of their  clients questions and their overall opinion of the training sessions.

Lastly, once you decide on a trainer only purchase about 4 sessions. Don’t do a long term “package” deal and then realize this is not the trainer for you. If you see it’s not working don’t hesitate to get another trainer. Remember you are trying to reach your fitness goals not worry about hurting a trainers feeling who is already in good shape (physically). For more great health and fitness blogs visit

Daryl Madison

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