What To Look For In A Personal Trainer | Stephen Coleclough
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What To Look For In A Personal Trainer

What To Look For In A Personal Trainer

Using a personal trainer can help you achieve your fitness goals as quickly as possible.

They can provide you with practical advice, encouragement, and ensure that you are exercising safely.

Using a personal trainer also makes you more accountable for your actions including how often you workout and what kinds of foods you are eating.

However, to get the most benefit from a personal trainer it is important to find someone who appropriate for your current fitness levels, fitness goals, and personal preferences.

If you hire a trainer you are incompatible with, you may find yourself dreading workouts and never achieving your fitness goals.

To help you choose the right personal trainer, this post will share a few important factors that you should consider. 


Using a personal trainer with the right credentials ensures that they have a good  understand of human physiology, fitness training, and health.

At the very least, they should have one or more of the following qualifications:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing – Gym
  • Level 2 Diploma in Health, Fitness, and Exercise Instruction
  • Level 2 Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness
  • Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training
  • Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training

Ideally, they should also have membership of a professional organisation like the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) or National Register of Personal Trainers (NRPT).

All personal trainers working in the UK should have public liability insurance, a first aid award, and a cardio-pulmonary resuscitation certificate (CPR).

If a personal trainer does not have these qualifications, they may not know how to devise an exercise regime that is safe and effective. 


Obtaining references from a personal trainer’s previous clients is a useful way to assess how good they are at their job.

It’s not enough to use online reviews, instagram posts, or Facebook posts as they can be faked.

Instead, ask for the contact details of past or current clients so you can ask them questions about the personal trainer’s performance.

This can give you some great insight into their training style, punctuality, demeanour, and so on. 

Training philosophy

Most personal trainers will have a particular approach for their training programs.

Some may prefer to focus on strength training in the gym while others will use more outdoor cardio sessions.

They should be able to explain their philosophy and tell you how it will help you reach your fitness goals.


Selecting an experienced personal trainer is usually a better option as they will have perfected their training philosophy.

Their past experience also makes it more more likely that they will know the kind of approach need to help you reach your specific fitness goals.

To determine a trainer’s experience, ask them:

  • How long have you been in the fitness industry?
  • How many clients have you worked with?
  • How long ago did you obtain your qualifications? 


The personality of a personal trainer can make a huge difference to the effectiveness of each session.

However, the kind of personality type that is the most effective will vary based on your own personality and work ethic.

Some people find that a very demanding and aggressive personal trainer helps them achieve incredible results.

Others prefer to opt for someone who is calm and moves at a slower pace. 


Consistency is key when is comes to reaching fitness goals.

You will need to find a person trainer who is available whenever you want to work out or when you need a little motivation boost.

You can also consider location when assessing their availability.

Is the personal trainer near you or will you need to travel 30 kms to have a session?

Will they come to your house or will you have to go to them?


It’s important to track your progress when undertaking a fitness training program.

A professional personal trainer should have tools to do so.

Ask the trainer what metrics they would consider tracking and how they will record those metrics.

Ideally, they will use a platform that you can also access to see how much you are improving over time.

If the trainer doesn’t track the progress of clients, it may indicate that they do not take a professional approach to their work. 


The final consideration when selecting a personal trainer will be how much they cost.

The average cost of a personal trainer is around the £30 to £50 mark.

However, you can expect to pay much more if you are working with an elite trainer.

I hope you found What To Look For In A Personal Trainer useful.

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Stephen Coleclough
Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is a personal trainer and online fitness/nutrition coach from the UK. He loves heavy squats, smashing PRs and bacon sandwiches. You can follow him on Twitter at ColecloughPT.

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