Fitness Facts

Choosing The Perfect Personal Trainer


by Gini Grimsley, MS, CSCS

(NAPSI)—Exercising with a personal trainer has transformed from a luxury amenity into a highly effective lifestyle routine in many people’s health and fitness journeys. One reason may be that, according to a recent report by International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), a global health and fitness association, 83 percent of consumers who exercise in-person with a personal trainer are on track to meet their fitness goals.

Personal trainers not only focus on the workouts inside a gym, but influence habits outside the gym and have become an essential part of their clients’ wellness team. If you’re thinking about hiring a personal trainer, there are many things to consider.


Set clear goals and search for trainers who specialize in your area of focus. All personal trainers know the basics but if you’re looking for something specific—competing in a race, for example—you may need to work with a trainer who has a more specialized skill set.


Never hire a trainer who does not hold the minimum standard qualifications to practice personal training. Certifications from these reputable associations are considered the gold-standard:

•The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

•National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

•American Council on Exercise (ACE)

•American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM)

Inquire about other specialty certifications, too, such as pre- and post-natal, corrective exercise, or Olympic weightlifting. 


Interview your prospective personal trainers and get to know them. You’ll be spending a lot of time with this person, so it’s important you enjoy being around them. Have them share their training philosophy: Personal trainers should be able to articulate what they do and why, helping you understand their thoughts around fitness and how they’ll help you reach your goals. Don’t forget to ask about availability to ensure the trainer can fit you into their current schedule on your preferred dates and times.

Tailored Programming

A great personal trainer will be able to take what they learn about you during an introductory session and build out a program structured specifically for you. The program should be holistic and focus on activities and lifestyle habits conducted inside and outside the gym. Have them outline a plan for you, detailing mini milestones you can achieve during the process.

Ms Grimsley is a Personal Training expert at VASA Fitness. Learn more at

"The vast majority of people who exercise in-person with a personal trainer are on track to meet their fitness goals, says Gini Grimsley, a Personal Training expert at the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association."