What to Look for in a Personal Trainer

Registered Dietitian Melanie Douglass lets us know what we need to find out before you pick a personal trainer.


Personal trainers can be expensive, but look at the expense as an investment—for your health; and because you only get one chance with this one body, your health is always, always, always a worthy investment. The knowledge and habits you learn from a personal trainer will benefit you for the rest of your life. Whether it’s one session, three hard-core months of training, or a constant relationship/expense… any time you spend with a personal trainer will be beneficial.

The best place is to meet and find a good personal trainer is a health club. First things first, there are three critical requirements you should look for:

1) Certification from a reputable organization, such as:

a. National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

b. American Council on Exercise (ACE)

c. National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

d. American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

2) CPR Certification

3) Experience in the area you seek expertise

<>Second, ask the trainer what they’ll do during your first training session. The trainer’s response should include the following:

• Review your health history

• Help you identify and establish realistic goals

• Assess your starting/current fitness level

And lastly, you want a trainer with a personality that connects with you… after all, you’re going to spend a lot of time with this person… you had better enjoy their company!

Ask yourself these questions as you seek out a good personal trainer:

• Does this trainer have a good personality – is he/she positive?

• Would this trainer motivate me to work past my comfort level?

• Is this trainer attentive? Would he/she listen to my comments, concerns and needs?

• Is this trainer reliable? Was he/she on time for our first meeting?


Note: A trainer shouldn’t ever start off by recommending supplements or “diagnosing” injuries or medical conditions. Reputable personal trainers always refer clients to doctors for medical concerns or diagnosis and to registered dietitians for specific meal planning advice.

Visit www.podfitness.com/studio5 to take advantage of a special 8-week free trial just for Studio 5 viewers! No strings attached, no credit card required. Find the perfect personal trainer for you and enjoy unlimited, customized audio workouts. Try it out today!

Melanie Douglass, R.D., NASM

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