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Which personal trainer suits me best?

Personal trainers often come at different experience levels & credentials. What's important isn't just the number of years of experience or certifications the personal trainer has, but how well suited he or she is to your specific needs. Here are a few things to look out for to find a great fit.

Certification & Experience

  • Although certification isn't everything, it tells you the personal trainer has taken formal training
  • Look out for major certifications which include ACE (American Council on Exercise), NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) & NCSA (National Strength and Conditioning Association)
  • Don't just look for number of years of experience. What kind of experience is important too - has the personal trainer worked with someone of your age group, your health status or fitness interests?


  • If you have specific goals in mind (doing a handstand with 2 fingers), you might want a personal trainer who can lead the way
  • Specific credentials like Cross Fit level 1, TRX, Pilates or Yoga Fit are things you could look out for
  • If you're looking to improve your general health & fitness levels, then an all-rounder may be the right personal trainer for you

The Fine Print

  • A great personal trainer is worth his or her weight in gold. But sometimes its also a question of how much gold you have to spend
  • Do comparison shopping by getting a few quotes & average prices. Most personal trainers have hourly rates but find out if they have package pricing too
  • Get into specifics of the figures. What happens if you cancel? What happens if they cancel? How would you be charged if a session starts late, or extends beyond the agreed time?
Personality & Character
  • A great personal trainer can truly make a difference between success or failure at the gym. So you want the right partner who's invested in you & whom you can work with
  • Look out for character traits - is he or her a cheerleader or a drill sergeant? Either is fine, as long as you think the personal trainer is providing you the support you need
  • Look for a personality fit. You don't have to be like them, but you should like them. You'll be spending a fair amount of time with them after all