HomeHealth & FitnessHow to Find a Good Personal Trainer (5 Mistakes to Avoid)

How to Find a Good Personal Trainer (5 Mistakes to Avoid)

Before you fork out some money for a private coach, learn this information!

It’ll provide help to spot the distinction between a unhealthy private coach and an AMAZING coach. 

And belief us, having the appropriate coach could make ALL the distinction on the planet.

There’s nothing worse than spending 6+ months in a gymnasium (and 1000’s of {dollars}) with a coach, solely to step on the dimensions and notice that you just haven’t made any progress.


someone singing "The Worst"

I’ve labored with good trainers and unhealthy trainers over the previous 16 years, have labored with the identical on-line private coach since 2014, and we have now a crew of 15 private trainers on Team Nerd Fitness.

Long story quick, we all know our stuff, and we’ll give it to you straight.

Whether or not you need to try our 1-on-1 Online Training Program, this information goes to provide help to with all the main points.

In this information we’ll cowl the great, the unhealthy, and the ugly when it comes to private trainers – each in-person and on-line:

What do you want from a private coach

As Coach Matt explains within the video above, the primary query you want to ask when hiring a private coach: do they match up together with your objectives?

And yep, which means we’re going to have to decide some objectives within the first place!

So begin by choosing your objectives after which decide if the coach you’re paired up with is the appropriate match for you. Like relationship, you’ll be able to meet anyone who’s wonderful however not best for you.

A gif of Chandler saying "kill me"

If anyone is a aggressive marathon runner, they won’t be a nice powerlifting coach, and vice versa.

So, begin together with your objectives for locating a private coach:

  1. Are you attempting to lose 300 kilos? 20 pounds? Get to 10% body fat?
  2. Are you attempting to get stronger or maintain your first handstand?
  3. Do you need to develop into a aggressive powerlifter?
  4. Are you wanting to run your first 5k?
  5. Do you simply need to get in shape, really feel higher, and enjoy exercise?

These objectives will largely decide the kind of coach you’re searching for.

MISTAKE #1: Not ensuring your coach has experience within the space you need to practice in.

Expertise in a single space doesn’t essentially make them a good slot in one other!

After that, you’ll need to take into consideration what you NEED out of your private coach:

  1. Are you searching for a powerlifting coach to present you the fundamentals (squat, deadlift, bench) so your type is true? Just a few periods up entrance and a few later down the road to affirm you’re on the appropriate path would possibly suffice.
  2. Are you new to figuring out or wanting to kick begin your first 2 months of coaching with 2 periods per week to maintain you disciplined?
  3. What sort of particular person are you? Do you want extra hands-on steerage all through your exercises, or more room to take possession and thrive by yourself? Do you want anyone who will cheer you on or do you want robust love from anyone to name you in your bullshit?

Once you set correct expectations with what you need and the way lengthy you want a coach for, then you’ll be able to select one which hopefully will give you the results you want.

How to discover a good private coach

A personal trainer stretching out a client.

Once you discover a coach you might be contemplating working with, the following step ought to at all times be an in-depth dialog.

MISTAKE #2: Blindly accepting what your coach tells you with out ensuring you match collectively! 

They SHOULD be listening to you fully and listen to your full story.

They SHOULD ask about any previous points with accidents or expertise with train. If you’re injured or have any deficiencies, they need to know this to allow them to create a nice program for you.

They SHOULD ask you about your diet. If they don’t ask about your diet, you’re going to be losing your time.

They SHOULD observe what they preach. They don’t have to be an Olympian, however ought to have a wholesome life-style.

They SHOULD let you know about their experience and the way they may help you. They ought to give you the chance to share previous successes of purchasers with you or level to their credentials and historical past of success.

They SHOULD set correct expectations. You gained’t get ripped in a month, however they will let you already know it may take many months to get in form or build the right kind of habits.

That’s what to search for. These are the issues we particularly give attention to with our 1-on-1 online coaching program. We love serving to folks in a manner that matches their life-style, at a tempo that they really feel nice about, whereas truly having enjoyable.

What are the Signs of a unhealthy private coach?

Our Lego friend is terrified of bad personal trainers.

Beware the “entertainment exercise” trainers with a routine that isn’t catered to your objectives.

MISTAKE #3: Thinking a exercise is more practical as a result of it’s complicated.

Many trainers simply attempt to confuse you with needlessly advanced actions, and put all their purchasers via roughly the identical cookie-cutter plan.

Why? as a result of they comprehend it makes them look educated with out truly needing to do one thing successfully:

“Now steadiness on this bosu ball whereas doing these dumbbell squat lunge curls and standing on one foot together with your tongue out! Muscle confusion!

I hope you saved some vitality for the row machine.”

Make sure the training from your PT matches your goals!

Tough exercises are nice, however do not forget that whereas it’s simple to get somebody drained (“go do 100 burpees!”), it’s more durable to assist somebody slowly enhance and construct momentum.

Sure, it would elevate your coronary heart charge and tire you out, but when it’s not constructing in the direction of your objectives in a manner that you just couldn’t do at house, what are you paying for?

They may additionally have simply obtained a primary certification and stopped their schooling there, counting on ‘conventional wisdom’ moderately than doing the analysis and constructing the expertise.

If your coach says any of the next phrases, run for the excessive hills:

I’ve overheard all of those sound bites from actual trainers in actual gyms, and it made me weep just like the Native American within the Seventies air pollution advert:

Your coach needs to be results-focused, not centered on scheduling you a new session and retaining you round.

I typically see purchasers working with trainers for months and months and that shopper by no means seems to be any completely different.

The coach is simply curious about cashing one other examine.

Remember, your private coach works for YOU: Don’t allow them to construct a program that doesn’t truly suit your wants!.

Do they regulate your exercise to deal with any pre-existing accidents you might have, or do they only offer you a cookie cutter exercise?

Are they encouraging or serving to you reach the best way you need to be inspired, or are they scrolling via Instagram fashions on their telephones when you’re doing all your units?

Are they placing within the time to allow them to see you get outcomes, or are they placing within the time to allow them to examine the field and accumulate your cash?

You’re paying cash for this particular person’s experience and a focus – it’s not an excessive amount of to ask to discover anyone who takes these issues significantly.

Getting in shape requires you to go when you don't feel like going

What certifications ought to a private coach have?

A personal trainer high-fiving a client.

There are a huge number of private coach certifications and different “credibility indicators.”

The extra conventional path – a diploma in train science or kinesiology could imply the coach in query is educated concerning the human physique.

However, that doesn’t converse to any expertise they might or could not have teaching in real-world circumstances.

6 of the preferred private coach certifications are:

  1. NSCA: National Strength and Conditioning Association
  2. ACSM: American College of Sports Medicine
  3. NASM: National Academy of Sports Medicine
  4. ACE: American Council on Exercise
  5. NPTI: National Personal Training Institute
  6. CrossFit

T-Nation provides a rundown of the professionals and cons from a coach’s perspective that we really feel can be helpful perception from a shopper’s perspective. Be positive to examine them out if you need to study extra about what’s behind your coach’s certification.

CrossFit certifications are accomplished in a single weekend. While a CrossFit certification doesn’t make a coach unhealthy (there are lots of fantastic CrossFit coaches on the market!), it doesn’t assure excellence both.

Here are our thoughts on CrossFit.

A certification from NPTI – the National Personal Training Institute – is a credential gained from going to a full faculty on private coaching (moderately than attending a class or taking a check).

While no certification can totally promise excellence, we imagine trainers with NPTI certifications are value your consideration.

CAVEAT TO ALL OF THIS: Plenty of trainers who’ve NO certification are unbelievable, and loads of different trainers have essentially the most elite certifications and are horrible trainers.

MISTAKE #4: Blindly accepting a coach’s credentials or discounting a coach with out sure credentials.

Certifications may be a start line, however it shouldn’t be the figuring out issue.

One of crucial issues to search for in your coach isn’t a credential or certification in any respect, however actual expertise and an enthusiasm for serving to you attain your objectives.

For instance:

Looking to powerlift or get into Olympic lifting? Look for somebody who has efficiently competed of their fields, or somebody who truly coaches athletes who do compete!

Need to lose a lot of weight? Ask a coach to share with you success tales from people who find themselves such as you.

In our view, discovering a coach with confirmed expertise and a observe report of performing or teaching (or each) within the space of your objectives is essentially the most worthwhile step you’ll be able to take to guarantee high quality.

The credential is simply a start line.

Trainers aren’t low cost, however the advantages may be priceless.

Remember, you aren’t paying merely for his or her time with you. You’re paying for the years and years they’ve spent studying, coaching, and training.

It’s the years behind the certification that makes their time so worthwhile, so count on the price of a coach to be considerably greater than the price of a primary membership at your gymnasium.

How a lot does a private coach value? Are Personal Trainers Worth it?

This Lego wants to know how much personal training costs.

The value of a private coach can differ dramatically relying on:

  • Where you reside (in an costly metropolis, small city, and many others.).
  • The amount and length of your coaching periods.
  • What sort of coaching you might be searching for.

But you need specifics.

The common North American coach costs $55 for an hour session.[1]

That’s an “average” so let’s break it down a little.

Here are the costs for working with a coach in numerous capacities at my generic business gymnasium within the NYC space (positively on the costlier finish):

  • 4 periods monthly: $95 per session = $380/month
  • 8 periods monthly: $85 per session = $680/month
  • 12 periods monthly: $79 per session = $948/month

This is what one can expect to pay for personal training near NYC.

Is this pricing roughly than you anticipated?

Here is how a lot a private coach prices at:

  1. Global Gyms: Most large field gyms provide private coaching:
    • LA Fitness: you’ll be able to count on to pay about $60 per session.
    • 24-Hour Fitness: it’ll be about $80 per session.
    • Anytime Fitness: as little as $35 a session.
  2. Luxury Gyms: If you go to a extra upscale gymnasium like Equinox, count on to pay “luxury” costs of $110+ an hour.
  3. In-Home Personal Training. If you don’t need to head to the gymnasium, you’ll be able to even have a private coach come to your private home. The value on this might be in every single place, however a tough common could be about $65 for an hour session.

Different trainers can have completely different {qualifications} and experience, main to vastly completely different coaching experiences.

This may be actually necessary.

MISTAKE #5: Thinking “more expensive” routinely means “better results.” 

Cost just isn’t the appropriate metric. VALUE is the appropriate metric!

Depending in your objectives and the outcomes you’re after:

  • $30 per session could be overpaying for a crap coach who provides you a generic exercise and doesn’t care about you. 
  • $100 per session could be a STEAL if it’s an incredible coach that will get to know your life and your character, motivates you in the best way you want to be motivated, and helps you get past a plateau if you stall.

That’s why remembering your “get in shape” goals is vital when shopping for a private coach.

If you’re wanting to do 5 periods to enhance your powerlifting method, that’s completely different than hiring a coach to be with you in particular person 3x a week to get you to the gymnasium.


You’re not simply paying for an hour of anyone’s time.

You’re paying for his or her years of expertise, education, coaching, and experience.

You’re paying to outsource ALL of your health questions to anyone who is aware of what they’re doing.

Somebody who provides you the boldness you’re coaching appropriately.

This Muppet knows strength training will help him gain muscle and lose weight.

So as an alternative of “I am paying this trainer for 1 hour, this is too expensive,” what you’re actually paying for is confidence, momentum, and (hopefully) outcomes.

As anyone who has labored with a web-based coach since 2014, I might pay any amount of cash to my coach (simply don’t inform him that) as a result of I like getting outcomes after years of battle.

How does an in-person coach examine to our online coaching program?

Our pricing is available in at a less-expensive value than 4 periods monthly with a coach.

In addition to constructing you a exercise program for the month, we additionally provide help to together with your diet, mindset, and objectives, and reply all of the questions you might have.

There are very actual execs and cons to hiring an online personal trainer, so be sure you learn that subsequent part.

So a coach may be AMAZING and value each penny, IF you might have the appropriate one who additionally takes an lively position in your nutrition.

After all, exercises solely make up 1-3 hours per week.

What concerning the different 165? That’s the place the progress occurs! And your coach needs to be serving to you there too!


This Lego athlete is ready for his personal training.

Warning: I’m going to be barely biased on this space, however I’ll share the trustworthy execs and cons of on-line coaching:

As I’ve talked about, I’ve been working with an online trainer since 2014, and it’s allowed me to prove an internet troll wrong after which lose 22 pounds in 6 months whereas getting tremendous robust!

Here are the Pros of Online Personal Training:

#1) Freedom to suit your schedule. With a web-based private coach, you’ll be able to practice when and the place you need to suit your schedule – your coach builds the exercise program for you forward of time, so you’ll be able to match it in at your comfort.

Compare this to a conventional coach, and also you’re on the mercy of their busy schedule. If they solely have time Friday morning at 8am, and also you’re not a morning particular person, battle ensues.

#2) Persistent worldwide accountability. I’m borrowing this phrase from a NF Coaching Client, Jeff (his success story is great). No matter the place within the globe you might be, your on-line coach comes with you.

Which means the accountability by no means stops. If you journey for work, your coach can plan for that and construct you a particular journey routine. Getting relocated for work? No downside – your coach will nonetheless be there.

#3) Nutritional steerage. With most conventional private trainers, you interact with them solely throughout your scheduled visits: they provide help to work out and that’s about it.

With a web-based private coach, you’re related at any time when you might have entry to the web. And I might think about that MOST on-line teaching packages, work with you on crucial a part of the equation: eating healthier!

AKA all the things that occurs within the 23 hours exterior of the gymnasium.

#4) More cost-effective. Most in-person private trainers are costly, particularly for those who work out with them two or thrice a week.

That’s as a result of in case your coach is working with you, they will’t work with anyone else on the similar time.

When you’re employed with a web-based coach, since you aren’t coaching with them 1-on-1 within the gymnasium, they will present more cost effective steerage.

When you issue of their availability by way of chat and their assistance on habits and your diet, you’re a life-changing expertise for those who discover a coach that matches your character.

#5) It could be the solely choice. With so many gyms closing because of the pandemic, you may not even have a lot of a selection right here. Here’s our information to staying in shape (while staying inside) for those who want to practice from house. 

When evaluating on-line coaches versus common coaches, I’m going to share the cons as when you have the choice between a GREAT on-line coach and a GREAT in-person coach.

Neither of these is assured.

Here are the cons of a web-based coach when put next towards a real-life equal:

#1) Your coach can’t do the give you the results you want. There’s nothing stopping you from skipping a exercise and mendacity to your on-line coach that you just did it. Nobody wins on this situation, however I can completely see it occurring.

So yeah, a web-based coach can’t decide up the load for you, and so they can’t yell at you to put down the donut. You have to do the work!

#2) No real-time suggestions and prompt type examine. If you’re studying how to powerlift, otherwise you’re going for a specific heavy raise, having a coach proper there may be HUGE.

They can let you know to transfer your squat barely wider. They can information you thru the motion and constantly remind you – even when drained – to maintain nice type.

Although we do form-check movies, the place we have now coaches and purchasers ship clips backwards and forwards to one another, it’s not the identical as having anyone critique you in real-time.

If you’re wanting to nail a significantly difficult raise, or study a harmful gymnastics transfer, working with a educated skilled in particular person is invaluable.

#3) The worth of sunk value. If you pay for a month of on-line teaching, there’s nothing inherently motivating you to go to the gymnasium when it’s chilly and also you’re drained – your coach can’t yell at you, and also you’re not letting anyone down within the second if you don’t make it.

Compare this to working with a actual coach in particular person.

You paid $100 for a session, and for those who don’t present up, that cash is *POOF* gone. So you inform your self, “I already paid for this, and my coach is gonna be mad, I should probably go.”

And then you definately go. And you’re so glad that you just did.

Wayne stoked he made it to the gym today to meet his personal trainer!

Although your on-line coach can discover that you just haven’t signed in in your app, and so they can ask what’s occurring, that is after the very fact in contrast to an in-person coach getting stood up.

There’s a lot to think about when debating in-person coaching vs. an online personal trainer.

I wouldn’t say one format is clearly higher than or superior to one other. It actually depends upon what you’re after and the circumstances of your scenario.

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: I’ve been working with a web-based coach since 2014, and it’s really been life-changing for me.

I had some objectives that had evaded me regardless of a DECADE of effort, and it took a nice coach to coax out the appropriate technique. It’s how I say (jokingly) that I went from Steve Rogers to Captain America.

And it was my coach’s programming that obtained me a 420-pound deadlift at a body weight of 172 kilos:

Rebel Leader Steve showing how to do a 420 lb deadlift at the gym.

I’m not gonna set any powerlifting information, however I’m more healthy, happier, and stronger each month, and I’m rattling happy with that.  

For anyone that may’t afford a top-of-the-line skilled coach for every session, having a web-based coach to construct your programming and information your meals selections is a verrrrry shut second.

How to rent a private coach

It's now time to buy stuff!

HERE’S MY ADVICE: Give your new private coach 5 periods earlier than making a resolution that issues aren’t figuring out (periods are sometimes bought at a low cost in a package deal).

The first session is commonly exploratory, explanatory, and introductory, and the coach wants to check your limits and actions to construct upon that.

This isn’t a “get fit quick” technique, however moderately one that would take months and months for you to discover the appropriate particular person to help you in your journey.

Don’t count on miracles in a day!

Just a few phrases of knowledge for those who do rent a coach:

DO NOT USE YOUR TRAINER AS AN EXCUSE: Too many individuals will rent up a coach and provides no effort within the gymnasium or the kitchen.

Then, after they fail to see outcomes they will flip to their buddies and say “man, my trainer is terrible, THAT’S why I’m not losing weight/getting stronger/etc.”

This occurs a lot extra typically than you’d suppose. A coach is a information, like Morpheus.

Morpheus is kind of like a personal trainer, he'll show you the way but you have to do the work.

You have to take the capsule and stroll via the door your self.

MAKE CRITICISM CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM: Often when the coach asks them to do one thing (walk every day, throw away junk food, eat a vegetable), the shopper/trainee comes again with 1,001 the reason why they will’t do this.

No compromise or dialogue of potential options. This stinks.

Instead of claiming “no,” provide another answer and negotiate a plan: “I don’t really like broccoli, do you have a way to make vegetables taste better?”

In different phrases, don’t search for issues, search for options.

IF YOU ENJOY WORKING WITH YOUR TRAINER: Let them know and proceed working with them.

The extra data you may give them in your progress, the better will probably be for them to alter your program as you go on.

IF YOU DON’T ENJOY WORKING WITH YOUR TRAINER: That’s okay too. Not all relationships finish in marriages.

Some first dates suck, and a few trainers aren’t what you want.

I believe you may be trustworthy with them and allow them to know that it’s not a good match and you’ll not be persevering with to work with them.

Good trainers at this level will ask what they may have executed higher.

Trainers who’re merely after your cash could guilt journey you or beg you to stick round. Try anyone new and maintain the search going.

REMEMBER: that is a lifelong quest, and also you’re on the hunt for a nice information to provide help to in your journey.

They gained’t do the give you the results you want, and so they can’t work miracles.

Have correct expectations, do what you’re instructed, and this might be the most effective funding you’ll make in your whole life!

Trainers within the Rebellion, what did I miss?

Those who’ve had expertise working with Trainers, any knowledge to share out of your expertise?

One closing notice: Going to a gym is intimidating, particularly for those who’re beginning out.

If you might be in a location the place there aren’t any nice trainers, you don’t have entry to a gymnasium, otherwise you’re simply not prepared to work with anyone in particular person, think about trying out our Online Coaching Program!

Schedule a free name to study extra by clicking on the picture under:

Nerd Fitness Coaching Ad

If you might have questions on what you want to search for when it comes to coaching with a coach in particular person, and even questions on working with a web-based coach, go away them within the feedback under so I can chime in!



picture: Decathlonwikimedia: high five, BicycleWikimedia: stretching, Amazing playground: bicycles and football



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular