To Your Health
August, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 08)
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Other Considerations

Here are some additional tips to make this process a little easier and help you get the information you need to make a decision regarding a personal trainer:

  • Insurance: Any trainer should have a minimum of $2 million in liability insurance. You always should check the policy to see if it's up to date and covers everything you would be doing with your trainer (e.g., some policies exclude sports massage). At a larger chain, the company will pay for the trainer's insurance.
  • Equipment: The trainer needs to have a good range of equipment. However, this is not always the be-all and end-all of fitness. Body-weight sessions can be great if done correctly.
  • Cost: You need to look for a trainer within your price range. Remember, the most expensive is not always the best. Have a look at a few trainers to gauge what the average session price is in your area.
  • Experience Level: For a trainer to give you the best results, they should have at least three years' experience in the industry. This level of experience means they will have honed their skills, allowing you to get the best possible training. You also should look for a trainer who continually updates their skills.

The Compatibility Factor

 - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark One of the most important aspects of personal training is how you and the trainer get along. Arranging a meeting or having a chat on the phone (before you start paying) should give you a good indication as to whether you click. Don't be afraid to try a few trainers; many training companies will offer initial sessions or consultations for free. This will allow you to meet the trainer you will be working with. This might seem like an in-depth process, but it's your money and time, so make sure you pick a highly qualified, professional trainer.

Sometimes all your research and time can't really give you enough of an indication as to whether you and your trainer will be compatible. Like any relationship, sometimes it doesn't work out. The trainer could have all the right qualifications and skills, but if there is a personality conflict or you are uncomfortable with the trainer (or vice versa), that could end the relationship.

Everyone likes to be trained differently. Some people like the boot-camp trainer (drill sergeant); some like a more encouraging trainer. Still others like trainers who are easy on them. You might not be sure what type of style you like until you start. The most important factor in all of this is that your sessions are fun. This will make it much easier to stay motivated, and more importantly, get you the results you want.

Chelsea Cooper, MPA, CPT, is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, performance enhancement specialist, and rehab and exercise specialist. To learn more, visit