Finding the right personal trainer

  • Timbales

    Posts: 13999

    Mar 07, 2013 2:51 AM GMT
    What advice would you give for finding a compatible personal trainer?
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    Mar 07, 2013 3:29 AM GMT
    Find one that matches the body you would like to achieve. Then "interview" the trainer. See if he has people skills. Some trainers have the knowledge to build great bodies.. their own at least. But are unable to articulate and apply that knowledge to clients.
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    Mar 07, 2013 3:37 AM GMT
    Yup - agreed. Just had my first training session (because a free one was offered) and was pretty disappointed though I realized I know a lot more than I thought and just need to be a bit more disciplined.
  • sportsjockla

    Posts: 502

    Mar 07, 2013 4:20 AM GMT
    Depends on what you are looking to achieve. Ask the trainer what he specializes in.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Mar 07, 2013 5:27 AM GMT
    how big his peen is and how tight his shorts are
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    Mar 07, 2013 6:33 AM GMT
    I watched all the trainers at my gym closely for a couple of months before I approached the one that would ultimately become my coach and mentor for the past year. I paid attention to how their clients looked -- did they change in that couple of months? were their bodies approaching what I was after? were they breaking a sweat or were they just chatting? I also paid attention to the types of exercises the trainer favored. I respect and see a place for dynamic stabilization exercises, but I didn't see myself hopping on boxes or juggling on a bosu ball; I was looking for someone grounded in classic bodybuilding hypertrophy training with mostly free weights. I also wasn't looking for a best pal, so I wanted someone serious who pushed his/her clients hard without excessive chatter. I'm happy that I was patient and observant. My trainer has become a huge influence in my fitness life and ultimately inspired me to pursue a training certification so that I can share what I have learned.
  • MuscleComeBac...

    Posts: 2376

    Mar 07, 2013 11:37 AM GMT
    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).
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    Mar 07, 2013 11:38 AM GMT
    Find someone who has a bigger body than you lol
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16412

    Mar 07, 2013 11:57 AM GMT
    This is an interesting thread for you Tim...

    I'd take some time and "interview" several (maybe at least 5 or 6). Write down the traits that are important to you and score each at the conclusion of the "interview".

    What is most important to you Tim? Facility? Resume? References?
    Manner and approach during interview (including personality of the pt?)
    Think about whats important and list them accordingly. Sometimes you don't need a scoring process... just a "feel" after the interview might be enough.

    When you start working with the trainer, it isn't over. How structured are they? How responsible? How communicative?

    Lots to consider!
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13999

    Mar 07, 2013 11:51 PM GMT
    Great suggestions. I'm a little overwhelmed thinking about hiring a personal trainer. I have an idea of what I want to accomplish, and I know I don't want a drill sergeant who will yell at me. I don't respond well to that.
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    Mar 07, 2013 11:59 PM GMT
    I've had the same trainer for over 2 years. He knows better than I do when I have reps and sets left in me. He also knows when I'm fried. Talk to clients of the trainers in your gym to take their temperature on satisfaction.
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    Mar 08, 2013 12:03 AM GMT
    Ask the trainer for references of clients who have worked/are working with him and interview them, too, if they are willing. Also, if you don't want a drill sergeant, then tell him that's not what works for you. Communicate. But the ideal trainer is the one that knows your goals and needs, and knows best how to get you to achieve them.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13999

    Mar 08, 2013 2:43 AM GMT
    Would anyone who either goes to a trainer or trains be willing to tell me what a normal rate is?
  • pelotudo

    Posts: 225

    Mar 08, 2013 3:05 AM GMT
    It all depends on where you live / where the gym is / what type of gym it is.

    I would say anywhere between $30-$80 an hour is normal (here in the Chicago metro area). Most "good" ones are probably going to be around $50 an hour.

    Also, personal trainers from gyms (especially chain ones) are probably going to be more expensive than independent trainers. It may take a little more work to find the independent ones, but they can be worth it. You could google "personal trainer" and your location, or, since I guess your goal is probably more physique / bodybuilding oriented (given the nature of this website), another thing to do may be to go on

    You could post in the personal trainer forum, and ask if they know anyone in your city...the trainers you will find on that site are definitely going to not be the BOSU-Ball and plastic band types. They are going to kick your butt...but your physique will change drastically.

    Just an idea!
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    Nov 22, 2013 2:46 PM GMT
    I watched and carefully observed the trainers at my gym for months before choosing a new guy that appeared. He was about teaching proper form/technique while focusing only on the client and their safety and progress. There are too many lame trainers that are more into watching the gym floor newsfeed on TV and/or taking out their cell phones while they are with a client. As mentioned before, interview folks and score a free session with them to see if you click. Training is not cheap, so do your homework to end up with the best possible match.
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    Nov 22, 2013 3:04 PM GMT
    Well first of all he has to be sexy ... (totally jk ... well maybe noticon_cool.gif)