How to Hire a Personal Fitness Trainer – What to Look For and Why

You may want to hire a personal fitness trainer to increase your motivation to exercise, get a healthy fitness plan and achieve your weight loss goals. These tips on how to hire a fitness trainer will help!

Before the tips, a quip:

“I am pushing sixty,” said Mark Twain. “That is enough exercise for me.”

My favorite form of exercise is the 10 Minute Solutions DVD series – I alternate between dance fitness, Pilates, and kick boxing. You don’t need a fitness instructor to use these exercise DVDs, and I’ve lost over 25 pounds with them! Click the image for more info, and read on for my tips for hiring a personal fitness trainer…

Reasons to Hire a Personal Fitness Trainer

  • You’re uncomfortable at health clubs or even women’s fitness centers; you don’t know how to use the Bosu balls, wobble boards or stretch bands.
  • You’re recovering from an illness or injury. If you’ve recently hurt your back, gone through chemotherapy, or had a major surgery, a personal fitness trainer can guide you through the best exercises.
  • You have a specific goal: a marathon, triathalon, or your first 10K race. Some personal fitness trainers specialize in particular programs (such as boot camp workouts!).
  • You’re completely bored with your old exercises and need a new fitness plan.
  • You need motivation to exercise or a fitness instructor to guide you in creating a fitness plan. A personal trainer gives you real reasons to exercise.

Tips for Hiring a Personal Fitness Trainer

Before you hire a personal fitness trainer, ask for an interview. An informational interview should always precede the first session, which is often free or discounted.

A personal fitness trainer should:

  • Evaluate your current fitness level and future fitness or weight loss goals, whether it’s losing 10 pounds or learning office workout tips.
  • Help you establish a realistic personal fitness plan.
  • Encourage you to try new equipment (such as Bosu balls) while letting you enjoy your tried-and-true exercises.
  • Listen to you, and take your concerns and feelings seriously. When you’re hiring a personal fitness trainer, choose one who acts professionally and courteously.
  • Pay attention to how you’re doing the exercises, and give you feedback and pointers.
  • Help you modify your fitness plan or weight loss goals as needed.
  • Give you diet and healthy eating tips.

For a taste of what a fitness instructor can offer, read 14 Health and Fitness Tips From a Personal Trainer.

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About the fees a personal fitness trainer charges: Fees for personal fitness trainers range from $30 to $100 per hour, depending on the size of your city or town and the state or province you’re in. New York City personal trainers earn around $100 per hour; small town personal trainers or fitness instructors earn significantly less. Some fitness instructors come to your home; others will meet you at a local weight room or health club, or at their own private gyms.

Hiring a personal fitness trainer through a health club, your local gym, or a community recreation center may be a less expensive option. Many community centers offer the services of certified personal trainers for a reasonable cost.

Make sure your personal trainer is certified through a quality fitness program. The following high-quality organizations offer fitness certification programs – but if your personal trainer hasn’t attended one of these places, don’t immediately reject them! Find out where they obtained their fitness certification credentials, and research the institution yourself.

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to hire a personal trainer or fitness instructor. You could also try your local health club, fitness center, or community recreation center.

Some of the best fitness certification programs are offered by:

  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • American Council on Exercise
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine

Your trainer will set you up with a fitness plan or weight loss goals – but the ultimate outcome is up to you! Hiring a personal trainer can motivate you to lose weight, but you have to do the workouts and follow the fitness plan to achieve your fitness and health goals.

If you want to lose weight, read What is More Important When You Want to Lose Weight – Exercise or Diet?

If you have any thoughts on how to hire a personal fitness trainer, please fire away below…

Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.

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7 thoughts on “How to Hire a Personal Fitness Trainer – What to Look For and Why

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    If you can’t afford to hire a personal fitness trainer – here’s some good news!

    New research shows that women benefit more from playing recreational soccer than from running when it comes to overall fitness. And that’s not all: women playing soccer experience a higher degree of motivation when it comes to sticking to their sport, and they increase their ability to bridge and create new acquaintances.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Hi Lilly,

    Yes, I think hiring a personal fitness trainer might help your daughter — but I also think it depends on why she’s overweight. If she needs basic instruction about her eating and exercise habits, a trainer could definitely help with that.

    But, if there are other reasons for her weight gain (such as depression or thyroid problems), then a fitness trainer might not be able to tackle those issues.

    I think the most important thing is to find the right personal trainer for your daughter…similar to what Gini was saying above. If you can find the right person — someone your daughter connects with and respects — then it might be just what she needs!

    I hope this helps, and wish you all the best,

  • Lilly R.

    What do you think about hiring a personal trainer for a teenage daughter who is overweight? She’s 13, and I think she needs more than a gym teacher at school or her nutrition classes. Maybe a fitness trainer would work for her. She’s been overweight for years.

    Lilly R.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Thanks, Gini — I hadn’t considered personality traits in working with a personal trainer. But, it’s like working with a massage therapist, life coach, counselor, or doctor…you have to make sure you fit with the person you’re working with! After all, you’ve HIRED them, and you want to get the most you can out of the experience.

  • Gini Grey

    I’ve worked with two personal fitness trainers in the past (not at the same time, of course) and found it to be so helpful. One of them was more helpful than the other in supporting me to achieve my goals and stay with it – the reason had to do with personality, so I would recommend getting a sense of the trainers personality to see if it is a fit for you.

    For me, the trainer that worked best was goal oriented but also focused on present time success – she worked me hard but not too hard (whereas the other trainer was too hard for me). The trainer I liked best was authentic and very positive and fun to work with. The trainer I didn’t fit as well with was a bit phony – too happy, too pushy and too talkative, not listening to me, so I ended up not enjoying our training sessions as much. Yet I know other people who really like her style. So if you can get a sense of the trainer’s personality, let it be a part of your evaluation when choosing a trainer.