Choosing The Right Personal Training Studio Or Trainer For You

Many times we get people coming in to the studio to check us out. They want to see what services we offer, how we do it, the general look and feel of the studio and, of course, price. But how do you choose the right trainer and/or facility for you? Here are some helpful tips to make your search for a trainer easier.

First and foremost in your search should be the location your trainer works out of. The biggest questions you should ask yourself are: 

  1. Is it close enough to work/home to make easy to go consistently?
    • THIS IS HUGE! If it's not a distance from either that makes it convenient you are less likely to continue and keep reaching your goals. 
  2. Is the facility somewhere I am comfortable and is it clean?
    • If you aren't comfortable you won't get the most from your workouts, period. 
    • Cleanliness in a fitness facility is important as well. People sweat and you don't need to be touching other people's sweat and whatever is in it.

Your next step is to set a consultation appointment. This is an interview for both you of your potential trainer and for the trainer of you. You may think "Well I'm the potential customer so why are they interviewing me?" To be honest, a good trainer can tell when the situation isn't going to work. Some people's goals may not fit with what they are comfortable training with how the facility is set up. If you are a body builder and you want to gain size, focus on specific muscle groups and work on posing a small studio, such as ours here at Catalyst Fitness, doesn't fit your needs. Other keys for you to look for in a trainer are:

  1. Education. Any trainer worth their weight carries a  nationally recognized certification; i.e. ACSM, NASM, NSCA, ACE, NFPT. Now more trainers are even going on to higher learning and receiving degrees in related fields. Be weary of any trainer who started training "because I like to workout." Having the knowledge to back it up is more important than a general desire to workout.
  2. Patience. A trainer needs to work at your speed and ability levels to make you comfortable. This can be a stressful journey to embark on and they shouldn't add more stress.
  3. Communication. Does the trainer communicate what will be done in the workout, how to properly execute the movements you are doing, what kind of work you should be doing on your own? If not, something needs to change. 
  4. Professionalism. The trainer needs to look the part and act the part. You are paying them to help you with something you don't necessarily know how to do or how to start, so they need to be respectful of that. If you are paying them upwards of $1 a minute, they need to be professional in appearance and attitude.
  5. Personality. As a client you need to feel comfortable with your trainer and that they have your best interest in mind. You will develop a friendship of sorts, especially if you train for years together. 

The last step in your quest to find the perfect trainer is time, cost, and policy. Here's one more quick breakdown of how that should work.

  1. Time is first in this step. Does the trainer have a consistent opening for you at a time that works for you? If not, move one. This is about you, not what works best for them. BUT, sometimes you are setting up lifestyle change and maybe that 6am time slot is exactly what you need to be doing to make you workout. Just a thought.
  2. Cost is a huge part of hiring a trainer. If you go in knowing it isn't going to be a $10 a session, you will be fine. A good trainer will not undersell their time and knowledge. They know something about fitness that you may not, and they are there to help you. If they offer packages, look at the cost per session in each package. Monthly memberships? What's included? 
  3. Policy of the facility. Are you locking in to a contract? If so, check the terms so you can switch sooner rather than later if it turns out to be a bad fit. What about cancellations? Most trainers require a 24 hour notice, but what lenience's do they have with that for sickness or work related issues? Things are unavoidable on occasion, but flat out forgetting or, a personal favorite of mine, "It's too nice outside today to come in" are not forgivable offenses. 

And a few more things to ask you can ask your trainer as you near the "Lets do this!" end point:

  1. What type of fitness assessments do we do and how often?
  2. How far out do you program my workouts?
  3. What about nutritional consultations? 
    • Not every trainer/facility as a dietician on staff so they may not give you meal plans, but, they can help you in calorie goals and learning to make healthy choices.

I hope these tips help (sorry the list kind of grew as I typed on and on) you on your search for a trainer to help you make your best self a reality. 



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