Finding Fitness Trainers You Trust

Written by Joan Price

how to find the right fitness trainer Do you want a personal trainer to whip you into shape or coax you into a cardio routine? Here's how to find one that's a perfect fit.

There you are dripping with sweat, muscles trembling, as you grunt out a last rep with a pair of dumbbells. And your trainer is right there beside you, taking your stray beads of perspiration on the chin.

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When you set out to hire a personal trainer, know that you'll be sharing not only your sweat, but also your goals, barriers, limitations, body-image issues, habits, frustrations and triumphs.
A good trainer should motivate you without intimidating you. A good trainer should also inspire confidence and trust.

So how do you find a trainer who's right for you?

fitness video of jon giswoldWatch this video of Success Fitness Jon Giswold on exercises you can do anywhere.
You'll need to interview potential matches. You can do an initial screening by phone, but plan to meet the finalists in person. Even if you have to pay for each initial consultation, it's worth it to find someone who you trust and enjoy.

Before you begin your interviews, think of who will best motivate you. If you get enough of a demanding boss at work, you may lean towards a trainer with a gentle approach. If you need someone who won't let you weasel out of a workout, you may want a trainer who stresses discipline.

If you can't imagine baring your midriff during a workout, you'll probably want to pass on a trainer who shows off her pierced bellybutton, even if her credentials are perfect.

Personal trainer Michael Youssouf suggests you ask yourself:

  • Are you comfortable with the gender of the trainer?
  • Does the trainer communicate well and seem to listen to your answers?
  • Do the goals the trainer has set for you seem attainable and reasonable?
  • Do you and the trainer have a rapport that will make the workout enjoyable?
  • Whether or not you choose a trainer of the same gender is a personal decision. Some women feel less intimidated with a woman trainer. But other women feel a sense of competition with a woman trainer they don't feel when training with a man.

    Similarly, some men only feel driven by a male trainer, while others feel more comfortable working with a woman.

    Whichever gender you choose, it's essential that you feel comfortable with your personal trainer. Working out, losing weight and getting in shape is challenging enough without putting additional obstacles in your way.

    Once you find a trainer with the right personality, you need to make sure he or she has the right skills and credentials.   


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    Joan Price is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Health & Fitness (with Shannon Entin), The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Medical Resources , and Joan Price Says, Yes, You CAN Get in Shape! She is chairman of the board of advisers and vice president of programs for


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