Finding the right fitness trainer

Finding the right fitness trainer should involve analysis of yourself as well as the trainer. Analysis should begin by determining your needs. After knowing your needs, think of the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities of the trainer, know how to ensure training efficacy, and, lastly, know how to end an unsatisfactory relationship.

What do you need from a trainer?

People seek out a trainer for a number of needs. Truth is, however, ability to meet certain needs will vary among trainers. So it's important to know what you seek from training to narrow your choices. Furthermore, it's important to have a criterion as to whether you're receiving what you expect from your trainer.

What's limiting your fitness?

Despite the desire to get healthier, many people lack awareness of what's limiting their fitness. Some know how to exercise but need external accountability. Others might be motivated but have technical needs like learning how to Olympic lift. As such, choose a trainer that can meet your individual needs.

What type of trainer is for you?

Fitness trainers span a wide spectrum as far as qualifications are concerned. Good news is that even modestly qualified trainers can be of great value for less complex needs. Highly skilled trainers on the other hand, are necessary for atypical/complex needs.

Evaluation of efficacy

Have an idea in advance as to how you're going to determine short term and long-term satisfaction with training. Discuss these expectations with prospective trainers. Body changes don't happen immediately so short-term goals might be adherence and performance. For long term goals have evaluation dates set in advance.

Having an exit strategy

This may not seem important but it’s not unusual for people to feel compelled to stay with a trainer despite lack of satisfaction. Reasons for continuing unsatisfactory training range from fear of confrontation to feeling sorry for the trainer. Regardless of the reasons, however, a desire to cease a service relationship should not instill apprehension. To avoid feeling anxiety over “breaking-up” with your trainer, establish and maintain a protocol of honesty. Such discussion can entail whether you and/or the trainer are sufficiently fulfilling her/his role in facilitating results.


Finding a fitness trainer that's right for you is important. Having a clear idea of your needs helps in figuring out what you want from a trainer. Once these things are determined, determine how and when to evaluate whether short and long-term goals are being met.

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