How To

How to Choose the Right Personal Trainer

To ensure that you receive safe and effective training, a personal trainer must have a current NCCA-accredited certification. In 2003, an initiative was launched to require all personal trainers to be accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). This accreditation will raise standards in personal training and better protect customers.

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Because of their 26-years of experience in accreditation many allied health professions, such as nurses, occupational therapists, and dietitians (e.g., nurses, dietitians), the NCCA was chosen. Only 10 out of more than 90 fitness certification agencies are currently accredited. The American Council on Exercise has accredited all four of its certifications. Visit to see a complete listing of NCCA-accredited certification organizations. Click the NCCA link.

To ensure that the certification is current, don’t be afraid to ask for a duplicate. Recertifications typically last between two to four years. To verify the status of a trainer, you can always reach out to the certification agency. There are some other factors to consider when choosing a personal trainer after you have checked the certification.

Refer to References

Ask your trainer to provide testimonials and phone numbers of clients who have shared similar goals and traits. It is a good idea to choose a trainer who has experience with clients like you, or maybe matches your physical characteristics (e.g. age and body type). This will allow the trainer to understand and empathize with your unique challenges.

Ask previous clients if they are satisfied with their experience with the trainer. Ask whether the trainer was punctual, professional, prepared, and if each client felt that their individual needs were met. Ask friends and members of your gym who have worked with trainers to recommend them.

Talk to the trainer

It is important to have a professional but personal relationship with your trainer. Be open to your intuitions regarding the impressions that the trainer makes on you. You should find a personal trainer who motivates you with positive reinforcement, not negative. You should also choose a trainer you enjoy. Consider whether the trainer would be a good match for you and if they are interested in your success. Hire the personal trainer that you feel is the most qualified to help you get the best results.

Work Experience and Specialization

Ask about the trainer’s years of experience working with clients. Ask about the trainer’s experience working with clients with special needs.

A personal trainer should plan a session to accommodate any medical conditions or past injuries. Personal trainers in reading should get your permission to discuss your concerns about exercise with your doctor. They should also ask for medical clearance.

Learn More About the Training Fees

The length of the session, the trainer’s experience, qualifications, and geographic location where they work and you live will all affect the rates. A personal trainer who works in an exercise club may charge less than someone who comes to you at your home or workplace.


Although a college degree in nutrition or exercise science is helpful, it does not mean that a professional in this field cannot be effective.

Business policies and Liability Insurance

Personal trainers are often independent contractors who do not work for a gym. It is important to verify that the trainer you are considering hiring has professional liability insurance.

Reputable personal trainers will also ensure that you are familiar with the cancellation policy as well as the billing process. It is best to get these policies in writing to avoid any confusion and protect your rights.


Some people prefer to exercise in the morning and others in the evening. What is the best time to talk to a personal trainer? How about the gender of the trainer? Some people prefer to work with trainers of the same gender, while others prefer to have a trainer who is the opposite. Before you start a relationship with a trainer, it is important to consider these factors and any other compatibility issues.

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