What should I look for in a personal trainer?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 16, 2014 4:50 AM GMT
    Been shopping around, have an appointment tomorrow. What should I be looking for? What makes a good instructor?


    woops, wrong forum.
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    Mar 16, 2014 4:53 AM GMT
    Someone who looks like what you WANT to look like...I wouldn't take workout advice from a bitch who couldn't look straight down while standing and see their toes....maybe that's just me...icon_lol.gif
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    Mar 17, 2014 9:52 AM GMT
    The best instructor for me personally has been YouTube and Google.

    Why? Because everything and anything you possibly want to know about working out, your body, nutrition and getting fit is right there in front of you, often as free as ever.

    I'm not knocking personal trainers and instructors - I think a lot of them can be magnificent at what they do and I think they often provide an excellent amount of motivation for the right people. However, I never once saw the point in paying someone continually to show me the same workouts over and over again when I could just look them up on the internet through excellent tutorial videos and instruction for free.

    When it comes down to it, it's you that has to do the workout not the trainer - so I guess look for one that you have an easy time following direction from or that you feel a good rapport with.
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    Mar 17, 2014 11:38 PM GMT
    Rolfron saidThe best instructor for me personally has been YouTube and Google.

    Why? Because everything and anything you possibly want to know about working out, your body, nutrition and getting fit is right there in front of you, often as free as ever.

    I'm not knocking personal trainers and instructors - I think a lot of them can be magnificent at what they do and I think they often provide an excellent amount of motivation for the right people. However, I never once saw the point in paying someone continually to show me the same workouts over and over again when I could just look them up on the internet through excellent tutorial videos and instruction for free.

    When it comes down to it, it's you that has to do the workout not the trainer - so I guess look for one that you have an easy time following direction from or that you feel a good rapport with.


    Many people continue to pay personal trainers as way of holding them accountable. Many people lack the motivation or determination to continually push themselves or even show up for a workout. If you are paying for it whether you're there or not, that can be motivating. Plus, a trainer can usually encourage you to do more than you would have on your own.
  • rugbyjockca

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    Mar 17, 2014 11:55 PM GMT
    I'd add that another advantage to a personal trainer over youtube is that they can adjust your form based on how your body works. Even the best youtube video can't tell you if you're arching your back too much or need to retract your shoulderblades, etc. We all have blind spots and a trainer can be a valuable second perspective.
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    Mar 18, 2014 8:13 AM GMT
    rugbyjockca saidI'd add that another advantage to a personal trainer over youtube is that they can adjust your form based on how your body works. Even the best youtube video can't tell you if you're arching your back too much or need to retract your shoulderblades, etc. We all have blind spots and a trainer can be a valuable second perspective.


    Might I suggest a workout buddy? Workout partners are free and are able to critique and adjust your form. Partners and spotters can also help you to push your strength further than you think you can.

    Again, I mean no harm to personal trainers - I just take the cost-effective, self-sufficient route to personal fitness. If you have the money and believe in what a trainer can do for you, by all means.
  • rugbyjockca

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    Mar 23, 2014 8:52 AM GMT
    I agree that a workout buddy is a great thing to have. In my case, though, I haven't found anybody with the right schedule, goals, and experience to make things work. My trainer is there for one thing: training me. He's paid to spend his time making my workout better. His schedule is what I decide, he's paid to show up with no distractions or baggage.
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    Mar 23, 2014 4:01 PM GMT
    Personal perspective. All about what you believe works best for you. Whether with a trainer or with a training buddy whichever gets you results that you want from working out. If you feel you want to talk to a trainer that's a good sign not a bad one. Trainers dedicate themselves to health and may have the information that you may need to continue with weight loss or muscle gain.

    I started with a trainer and he helped me lose a lot of weight. Now it's to the point where I believe I need a training buddy when I'm not with my trainer, funds being the main reason, but also because that's what I feel is the next step in my personal journey.
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    Mar 26, 2014 4:46 AM GMT
    A trainer that offers a limited-time money back guarantee is usually a perfect option, since they have to please you or else you can have your money back. Offer a first session where it is free for the client. This is usually very great option for both of you. For one, the client can see how you work and if they think you guys can work well together. For me, it offers a chance to see if I can see "click" with my client.

    The trainer-client relationship has to go both ways. If your trainer is not interested in what you want, then it is both your loses.

    One last tip, you should sit-down with your trainer and tell him that either he or she has to change, or you will have to look elsewhere.
  • topathlete

    Posts: 882

    Mar 27, 2014 3:30 AM GMT
    rugbyjockca saidI'd add that another advantage to a personal trainer over youtube is that they can adjust your form based on how your body works. Even the best youtube video can't tell you if you're arching your back too much or need to retract your shoulderblades, etc. We all have blind spots and a trainer can be a valuable second perspective.

    Very true but unfortunately there are many trainers who don't properly cue their clients and may not know proper form themselves. I see clients right in front of their trainer have poor form on squats and deadlifts.
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    Mar 27, 2014 2:27 PM GMT
    A military background is a big plus, you get a strong motivation to stay disciplined and honesty. The trainer I worked with is a former marine and he really motivated me.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4433

    Mar 27, 2014 3:54 PM GMT
    I agree that you really don't need a trainer unless you have serious bodybuilding aspirations. Or if you need someone to motivate you. Personally I like having a gym partner to make sure I show up and work but I don't wan't/need someone standing over me barking "Come on! Come on!" to squeeze out a few more reps. But some people do. And I did hire one to follow me around one day while I did a couple of reps of just about every exercise I do. Just for form comments. Especially on back exercises. But honestly, except for guys going for serious shows, I've never seen one do much more that motivate. So pick one who you enjoy listening to. You should be able to watch them working with other clients in your gym.