How to Find a Good Personal Trainer: 3 Steps to Take & Questions to Ask

Personal training is an investment of your time and money. This is why it’s important that you find the right trainer who can help you achieve your fitness and wellness goals. But what exactly should you be looking for and how do you know when you’ve found the right fit? And what questions should you ask in that very first meeting with your new personal trainer?

We’ve got you covered in this guide to finding a good personal trainer. Plus, scroll down for some signs that you might not be matched with the right trainer…

How to Find a Good Personal Trainer

Step #1: Decide on Your Fitness Goals

What are your goals? And does the trainer specialize in what you’re looking for?

Before waltzing into a gym and signing up for your first session with a personal trainer, it’s important to do some soul-searching first. This way you know exactly what you’re looking for and can find a personal trainer to match your unique needs.

Here are some questions to ask yourself upfront:

  • What exactly are you hoping to achieve from personal training?
  • What are your fitness, nutrition, or health goals? Are you trying to get in better shape, build muscle, train for a sport, or develop a specific skill? 
  • What kind of fitness regimen are you looking for? (powerlifting, cardio, strength training?)
  • What is your fitness experience level? Do you need hands-on support or do you already feel pretty comfortable in the gym?

The personal trainer that can help you run your very-first half marathon might be a different trainer than the one who can help you feel comfortable in the weight room. The right personal trainer for you will have expertise or credentials in the area you want to train in. But you need to know what those are before you sign up. 

For example, at Parado Power, our coaches have different backgrounds and experiences. Some are nutrition coaches who can help you work towards better body confidence. Others have backgrounds in strength training and can help you learn how to squat or lift weights using the correct form. The right trainer for you all depends on the goals you’re looking to achieve. 

So, knowing your goals ahead of time can help us guide you to the support you need. 

Step #2: Do Your Research

Now that you know what you’re looking for from a personal trainer or fitness program the next step is to find the right gym to start your personal training. This is an important step because not all gyms are the same! And you’re about to be spending a lot of time with your personal trainer, so finding a gym that fits your needs is an important consideration. 

This decision all depends on your goals and your personal preferences. It’s also important to take into account logistical considerations like location and cost. Most gyms offer one-day passes that present the perfect opportunity to give the space a test run. 

Here are a few things to consider as you’re exploring gyms near you:

  • How far is the commute? 
  • Does the gym offer personal training? And can these trainers help you meet the unique goals you outlined in step 1?
  • Do the personal training costs fit your budget?
  • What are the gym’s hours and when do they offer personal training? Does it fit your schedule?
  • What is the gym’s atmosphere? Do you feel comfortable and welcome? (For example, there’s a big difference between a big box gym and a small private gym!)
  • Does the gym have the equipment and space you need?

Getting a feel for the gym before you sign up for personal training is a great way to ensure you’re finding the right program and space for you. This will set you up for success! 

Step #3: Schedule a Consultation & Ask Questions 

So you know your fitness goals and you’ve found the right gym for your training. Now’s the time to book your first meeting! 

Before touching any gym equipment, all personal training sessions at Parado Power start with an initial get-to-know-you meeting. During these meetings, our coaches are looking to better understand your goals, fitness level, experience, current nutrition, and any prior injuries or current health concerns. Our coaches will also perform a quick assessment to see where your starting point is and help set expectations for the future. This helps us build the best program for you.

But this meeting isn’t just about answering their questions. This is a good chance for you to get to know the coach you might be working with. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and express what you need during this time. 

Here are some great questions to ask:

  • Why did you decide to be a personal trainer?
  • How long have you been a personal trainer? 
  • Can you tell me more about some of the successes you’ve had with current or previous clients?
  • How do you like working with clients? What is your training style? 
  • What is your approach to training and building a fitness program?
  • What are your certifications? (Our coaches at Parado Power have certifications including StrongLifting, Precision Nutrition, CSCS, NSCA, and ISSA!)
  • Can you tell me a bit more about your background and fitness experience?

Through these questions, you can get to know your trainer, their background, area of expertise, and prior successes with clients. You’ll also be spending a lot of time with your trainer. So making sure your personalities match is also an important consideration. In other words, you need to like them! You might want a personal trainer with a hands-on and supportive cheerleader attitude. Or maybe you want a trainer who means business. 

This conversation is a great way to get to know them. And their answers help you determine whether this is the right trainer for you and your goals.

5 Signs of a Good Personal Trainer

But how do you know that you’ve found the right fit? Here are 5 signs you’re matched with a good personal trainer:

  1. Your workouts and fitness plan match your goals: The time you’re spending with your personal trainer shouldn’t feel cookie-cutter. Your workout plan should be helping build towards your goals. If you don’t feel like it is, this isn’t a good sign for the success of your program.
  2. Your trainer adjusts for your needs & injuries: Adjusting and modifying exercises to both avoid future injuries and prevent the recurrence of prior injuries is incredibly important. Your trainer should be knowledgeable about your injuries or pain points and adjust your workout program to ensure your safety. 
  3. You feel comfortable with them: You should always feel comfortable expressing what you’re feeling to your personal trainer. This is important for your safety and the success of your program. If you don’t feel like you can express your needs, it’s time to find a new trainer. 
  4. You’re seeing improvements: Your trainer should be helping you check in on your goals so you can see the progress you’re making. It’s important to be realistic in your expectations. Gains don’t happen overnight! But if you’ve been working with a personal trainer for a while and still not seeing the results you’re looking for this could be a sign that the partnership isn’t working. 
  5. Your training sessions are challenging but not too challenging: If you’re new to working out, it’s normal to feel tired or easily out of breath during your sessions with a personal trainer. But at the end of your workout, you should be feeling good. If you feel like your workouts are beating you up more than helping you grow, this is something you should express to your trainer to tone down the intensity.

Not sure if a personal training session is working for you? We recommend sticking with a program for one to two months before quitting. 

Since those first few sessions are introductory, this gives you some time to get into the swing of things and get to know your trainer and your workout program before making any decisions. This also gives you a chance to progress through phase one into phase two of your exercise program, which is when most people start seeing progress. 

Personal Training at Parado Power

Ready to start tackling your fitness goals with hands-on support, motivation, and expert guidance? Get started with small group personal training at Parado Power today. 

At Parado Power, you’ll be working out with one to three other members. But you’ll each have a custom program specific to your goals. It’s the best of both worlds – individualized coaching, plus the motivation of a small group.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Personalized Programming: No cookie-cutter workouts here! Whether or not you have goals already, your coach can help you make them concrete and achievable. Our coaches can lay out a plan to meet your targets in the time you want.
  • Hands-on Support & Motivation: Your coach will help you build a strong foundation and specific skill set, strengthen weak areas, and stay motivated to reach your goals.
  • Lasting Results: Not only will your coach help you transform your health, but they’ll teach you how to maintain those results.
  • Consistent & Flexible Schedule: Our coaches work around your availability, not the other way around. You might train with different coaches throughout the week, but your programming will match your schedule while remaining consistent.
  • Fun, Inclusive, & Positive Environment: Working out should be fun! That’s the number one rule at Parado Power. While working with our coaches, you’ll laugh, smile, and sweat, all while building a healthier mind and body for life.

Ready to get started? Meet the Parado Power team and sign up for a free introductory conversation today. (And don’t forget to bring your questions!)

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