How to Find a Personal Trainer

One thing I’ve learned from years of experience in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, fitness manager, and business owner is that the variance and quality level of personal trainers out there is huge. There unfortunately isn’t currently a lot of regulation in the field – you have anyone and everyone from those with a fifty dollar internet certification to those with a master’s degree or Phd, years of experience and multiple nationally recognized training certifications. However, working with a good trainer can be one of the best things you can do to help you reach your goals in the fastest, most efficient, and safest way possible. Here are the top 5 things to look for in your search:

1. Do Your Personalities Mesh Well?

This is really, really important – you’re going to be spending time with this person for at least a couple of hours a week – you have to get along with them!

2. How much experience do they have? Have they helped people like you get to their goals?

Experience and past success is, arguably, more important than credentials. I have a long list of credentials myself, including a Master’s Degree in Human Movement and five different training certifications, but I’ll be the first to tell you that experience is at least as important as the letters behind your name. There’s just no replacement for it.

3. Are they qualified on paper?

That being said, your trainer has to be at minimum be certified by a nationally accredited organization – NASM, ACSM, NSCA are probably the top three. Preferably they also have a degree in a related field.

4. Are their rates competitive?

Personal training is a service. You really can’t ‘bargan shop’ and expect to get a quality trainer. Rates should be at least reasonable – here in the Sacramento market an hour session goes for anywhere from $50-$70 and up – but you have to remember, if you’re paying too little, there’s probably a reason why.

5. Do you have a good feeling about the person you’re doing business with?

Maybe the most important factor; go with your gut. If you feel good about working with this person, go for it! Everyone who has a quality experience with a trainer ends up being very happy they did it – just do yourself a favor and get going!

If you’re in the Sacramento, CA area and are interested in group or one-on-one personal training, please visit

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