Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we can be connected with almost anyone at the click of a button — whether that’s a date, dog-walker or even someone to build your IKEA furniture. So, why is is so damn hard to find a personal trainer? It’s not that there’s a shortage of personal trainers, of course. It’s more a matter of finding the right one. You need someone who makes you feel comfortable, but still pushes you to give every training session your all.
If you can swing it financially, it’s definitely worth doing. Hiring a personal trainer is one of the best ways to see physical results quickly. A certified pro will show you proper form as well as building a personalised program for you, which will keep you from getting injured. And most importantly, working with a trainer encourages accountability. When you know there’s someone waiting for you at the gym at 6 a.m., you’re way less likely to bail on your morning sweat session.
Sold on the idea of private training? Here’s how to find the right fitness pro to help you see results and have fun while getting fit.
How to find the right perfect trainer
Know your personality
Every trainer has a different style. You likely already have a “fitness type,” so think about the classes you attend and teachers that you love sweating with. If you’re a big fan of the F45, a no-nonsense attitude and love when the trainer screams so loud it looks like their eyeballs are going to explode, you probably won’t respond as well to a soft-spoken, quiet instructor. On the flip side, if getting yelled at makes you hella resentful (I will roll my eyes at you if you tell me I’m holding this plank to look better naked…) it would behoove you to find a trainer who can motivate you properly.
In order for the trainer-client relationship to work, both of you need to be on the same page. Think of it this way: Most people hire personal trainers because they want to lose weight. If that’s not your goal (and we can think of 8391 better reasons to get serious about your personal fitness!), you should get clear on why you want to work privately with a professional and be able to articulate that sentiment. Maybe you’re working toward a particular athletic feat, like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or finishing a triathlon; or perhaps you want to treat yourself to a private workout once a week as a form of self-care.
For example, when working with my trainer, I let her know that I was training for a marathon and had already done my cardio for the day. She was able to include some glute and hamstring exercises in our session that helped strengthen my hips—a key muscle group for distance runners.
Get personal recommendations from friends
So your BFF’s arms have been looking very toned lately—it’s not weird to ask who she’s been working with to get that definition! You’d do the same thing if she got an awesome haircut, right? If you’re getting a personal recommendation from a friend, they’re going to be 100 percent honest with you about how they feel about their trainer, revealing the good and the bad. That’s way more valuable than a Yelp review.
Reach out to your fitness community
If you already take classes at a few studios, ask the trainers you already work with who they might recommend. And maybe you’d really love to work with one of your Pilates instructors one-on-one, but are unsure if she does privates. Just ask! Trainers are always flattered to hear their clients appreciate them. If you’re a member of gym, often times they’ll include a free personal training session with your membership—you just need to ask to redeem the service.
Finally, you need to trust your gut. Maybe the fitness pro you thought you’d get along swimmingly with just doesn’t get your sense of humour, and you’re not vibing. That’s OK! Odds are pretty good that your trainer feels the disconnect, too. It’s better to cut your losses and let them know it’s not working, rather than trudge through the rest of your sessions together. Sometimes you need to kiss a few frogs in order to find your perfect match!