Timbales saidWhat advice would you give for finding a compatible personal trainer?
Since the emphasis in your question is about comparability I'd suggest four things:
Look for someone training clients your age and gender who look like you'd hope to look re condition, strength, stamina and body composition
Look for someone whose clients speak highly of him /her and use words that sound like what you would respond to, personally e.g. 'he's tough and pushes me really hard!' or 'he is patient and smart and supportive and we go at a pace that works me out but isn't too crazy' etc
Look for someone who you think you can respect.
Look for someone who is having his/her clients do the kind of work you want to do (e.g. If you see the majority of their clients doing less free weights and more
Bosu and resistance bands and stuff that would bore you - or viva versa - chances are you won't respond to their approach).
Remember, this is not a date, it's an investment. I urge you to look for some basics, too:
One who will willingly give you references
One who has knowledge of working with clients your age and condition (many trainers do not know how to work with clients outside their peer group)
One who listens more than talks
One who doesn't have his /her cellphone on the gym floor when with clients
One who takes pride in his/her appearance and shows professional acumen
One who takes your blood pressure and pulse and weight in your interview and asks you 'what do you want to accomplish'.
One who shows up on time for your pro-bono session and tests flexibility, balance and strength within the first ten minutes of your workout
Finally, affordability. If you can't afford the trainer you like, save until you can and be honest and frank about that with your trainer. I have given reduced rates to students, limited income seniors, and an occasional eager client because I felt I could invest in them and get results that would satisfy us both. Similarly, I don't bargain - a bargain trainer gets you bargain results (and a bargain client makes bargain effort).