How to Find a Certified Fitness Trainer

Many people hire certified personal or fitness trainers if they have a need to be accountable to someone so that they stick to their exercise goals. Some simply want specific instruction in order to exercise correctly or to receive feedback on their self-administered training programs and progress. After making that initial decision to hire an exercise professional, you have to find one that is compatible with your personal needs.

Anyone can call himself or herself a fitness trainer or a personal trainer. In order to prevent injury and to receive the best possible instruction on exercise, you will want to find a certified pro. The easiest place to find one is through the American Council on Exercise (ACE). The ACE-trainer should have the following:

  • one or more certifications
  • references
  • liability insurance

Make sure that any contracts or business policies are in writing. Note whether the trainer works with a company or works independently. Make certain that you understand the rate schedule and the time involved as well as where the workout session will be located.

Questions to Think About or Ask

Does the trainer seem interested in you or in making a contract with you? How will your fitness level be evaluated? How does the trainer go about creating a personalized fitness plan for you? Is it computerized or does the trainer create it from scratch? Will you get a copy of the program or is it considered company or trainer property? Does the trainer use canned goals or personalized goals? Will you be the trainer's only client at the time and location of training? Will aerobic, flexibility, and strength training be addressed? During that initial workout session, did the trainer work with you, supervise you, or just stand back and tell you what you need to do? Does the trainer's personality mesh with yours and does the trainer's methodology mesh with your expectations? These questions will help you to decide on a trainer or to decide to keep a trainer.

The links below outline how to set goals with a trainer, what kind of fitness testing resources that trainer might use, a little about the trainer's job description and salary as well as how much the trainer should be charging, the importance of sports and nutrition in maintaining a personal exercise program, and some gender-based issues regarding training sessions.

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