5 Things to Look for in a Personal Trainer

Wed. August 17, 2016 12:00 AM
by Stacy Lane, Fitness contributor

Finding a personal trainer who makes you feel comfortable enough to expose your biggest flaws can be challenging. But they're called "personal" trainers for a reason -- they're there to guide you to your personal fitness goals, and to do so, they need to fit with your personality.

The number of personal trainers in America will jump 24% by 2020, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the field increases, clients will need to do more research to find the perfect fitness coach. It's important to consider everything from what your trainer wears to how they talk.

Here are five qualities you should look for in a personal trainer:

1. Patience: Patience is the key to a good client-trainer relationship, says celebrity trainer Ashley Borden. Trainers should understand that what works for one client may not work for another. He or she should do an assessment of your body when you first meet to familiarize themselves with your needs.

2. Communication: Your trainer likely will not be with you at all times during your workouts. That said, they should be able to explain things to you on the phone and teach you how to do certain moves without physically being present through every workout.

3. Professionalism: While it's important to maintain a close relationship with a client, there also needs to be a level of professionalism. If you notice a trainer is busy on his/her Smartphone or is constantly late for your workout -- you may want to take another look at another trainer.

4. Education: Trainers should have -- and be able to show you -- an appropriate fitness certification for their area of expertise.To become certified, personal trainers must pass an exam through accredited organizations such as The American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Most exams cover exercise physiology, training and exercise procedures, nutrition, functional anatomy of the body and weight management. Each organization's certification exam will ask different questions. Trainers should also stay up-to-date with the latest fitness trends and new research published in scientific journals.

5. Personality: As a client, you want to feel comfortable and trust that your trainer has your best interest in mind. Many trainers have relationships outside of the gym with some clients, and that's A-OK! Essentially a trainer becomes a friend, motivator and event a mentor. They become more than just your personal trainer. If you don't "get them" and they don't "get you" it's going to be an arduous road ahead for both parties.

Right Fit for You, an LGBT-Friendly Personal Trainer Network in Chicago can help you locate the personal trainers available in your area and filter your results to cater to your activity of interest, price range and gender. With more than 45+ Personal Trainers in their database, you are bound to find the "right fit." The network plans to expand to other markets in late 2016.