5 Steps To Finding The Right Personal Trainer For You

As many of you know, I have been a personal trainer for quite some time now. I never actually intended on becoming a personal trainer when I was studying Athletic Training in college and then Sports Medicine in graduate school.

After graduate school, my goal was to land a job working with a local high school or collegiate sports team and work my way up to where I would eventually work with professional athletes.


After moving to San Diego in 2000, one thing lead to another and I found myself providing personal training services and enjoying the relationships I was developing with my clients and the difference I was helping to make in their lives. It didn’t take me long to realize I was right where I wanted to be.

Personal training, if provided correctly, has the ability to positively change a person’s life, forever.

The question is, how do you find the right personal trainer for you? What should you look for? What should you ask? What should you expect? All important questions that I will help you answer.

5 steps for finding the right personal trainer:



If you belong to a gym, keep your eyes open and notice the personal trainers and how they are interacting with their clients. You typically can get a good feel for their training styles and more importantly their character by just watching at first. Based on what you see, you can then decide if they are a potential candidate for you to consider working with or not.


Any legitimate personal trainer will provide this. In fact, they should offer this before you even ask. There must be a mutual comfort level and connection established right from the start. If you belong to a gym, ask for a free initial session with the gym’s top three personal trainer’s and then make your decision. This same concept applies if you’re using online personal training services or directories. If any of them refuse to provide you with a free first time session to make sure there is compatibility on both ends, move on.

If you want to successfully attain your health goals, you must have the right chemistry with your personal trainer. There needs to be a good connection and the right level of comfort from the very beginning. Trust your intuition.


In all my years of providing personal training services, I rarely advertised. The majority of my clients came to me as a referral from someone I was already working with. Ask your family and friends about their personal trainers, if they have one and what they like about them and would they recommend them. Always a great option.


Proper training and education to provide personal training services is a must. On the flip side, I also believe that certifications and education only go so far. The rest comes from the personal trainer’s personality (being personable, trusted, attentive, etc), and work ethic, two of which cannot be taught. Two must-haves for sure.


If you’re looking for a personal trainer to help you feel and look your best, they too then must be feeling and looking their best themselves. Do as I say and not as I do is not going to work.


[box] Follow these 5 steps and it shouldn’t be long before you find the right personal trainer for you.[/box]


Here are some additional Tid-Bits to consider:


* A personal trainer should NEVER have a clip board, cell phone, or coffee in their hands during a session.

* Hands on their hips or looking around while you’re doing an exercise is definitely not cool.

* Showing up late, cancelling last minute, or not showing up at all also sucks and should not be tolerated.

* Over promising, under delivering. Saying they’re going to email or call you and then they don’t, not good.

* There’s a reason it’s called PERSONAL training. If you don’t have that right connection, find someone else.

* Ignore all posted biographies of each personal trainer you see. Remember, words are cheep. Show me.


As I mentioned earlier, personal training has the ability to positively change a person’s life forever…IF it’s provided correctly. Whether it’s personal training services that you are physically receiving or if it’s a virtual program like my 4 and 8 Week Wellness Programs, my top 5 suggestions apply to both.


If you’re currently looking for a personal trainer to work with or find yourself looking for one in the near future, and you’re finding it challenging and need help, I will personally help you with the process. Just reach out to me and I’ll do all I can to make sure we set you up with a personal trainer that’s right for you.


If that means I am interviewing them, checking on their education, certifications, references, whatever it may be to make sure you’re in good hands, I’ll do it. I’m serious! My purpose, my mission is to do all I can to help you feel your best, look your best, and ultimately live your best.


I would love to hear you’re experiences and any additional suggestions you may have for finding the right personal trainer. Please share these with me in the comments below. Thanks!


“Take Care Of Your Body, It’s The Only Place You Have To Live.”

~ Jim Rohn


  • Mike, what are your thoughts on #5? I think about this quite a but. There are several coaches, Andy Reid and Ken Hitchcock come to mind, who are world class despite not physically resembling their players. Do you think it is more important in personal training than coaching or do you think the other attributes trump this?


    • Hey John, thanks for you comment and question. There’s strategic coaching and then there’s physical coaching. Coaching in the sense of strategic coaching such as Andy Reid (great coach by the way) it’s all about strategy and the x’s and o’s. In his role, physical resemblance is not important. What is important in his role is that he practices what he preaches when it comes to work ethic, working hard, understanding defenses, etc. which he certainly does. He can’t preach work ethic and then be late to practices and meetings in the same way a personal trainer which provides physical coaching can’t preach the importance of exercise and eating healthy and then not follow the concepts themselves.

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