You’ve decided to ramp up your fitness routine and hire a personal trainer, awesome for you!  Ok you made the big decision, now what?  And it is a big decision, it’s a serious commitment, you’re investing your time, money, and your future, so you need to treat it like the big time investment it is.  So how do you do that?  I’ve got some ideas, some of them may be good, some of them may be terrible, we won’t know until you test them out.

First things first, do you belong to a gym?  You kinda need to, so go sign up somewhere, go ahead, I’ll wait.  Good you’re back.  So now that you belong to a gym, ask about the personal trainers.  My tip is to get schedules straight first, and then meet with all the trainers who fir your schedule.  I say schedule first because let’s face it, you could have Bob Harper himself at your gym but if he only works Monday through Friday and you have a nine to five job its probably not going to work.  Don’t let yourself fall in love with a trainer you can’t have, just like on “Say Yes to the Dress” when they won’t let a bride try on a dress out of their price range.

Now that you’ve found a trainer or two who works with your schedule, set up some meetings.  Trainers are people, and you are people, and sometimes not all people mesh all that well together, so before you write a big check, make sure you can stand your trainers face.  If you work better with a drill sergeant type you probably don’t want a cheerleader for your trainer, and vice versa.

Maybe you find a couple trainers who have similar availability and who you really like, it makes picking someone a little tougher, but suck it up, there are much worse problems to have (like hammer toes for instance).  How should you narrow down the field?  Ask some questions!  Do you have a specific goal in mind?  A triathlon?  Big time weight loss?  Lower blood pressure?  Adding muscle?  A fitness competition?  Go over these goals with your potential trainers and ask if they have ever worked with clients with similar goals.  Do they have a specialty that might intrigue you?  Yoga?  Boxing?  Functional training?  Kettlebells?  Well now is the time to ask about this kind of stuff.

Time to get down to the nitty gritty, aka money.  Personal trainers aren’t cheap, and they should be worth every penny you’re forking over.  Do you have it in your budget for multiple hour or half hour long sessions?  I don’t, but I’m not going to hate if you’ve got it like that.  Maybe you can afford one training session a week, and you can have your trainer put together a couple of workouts for you for the rest of the week.  Does your trainer do small group training?  If the answer is yes, look into putting together a small group with similar fitness goals, you’ll save some serious dough.

If I was picking out a personal trainer tomorrow, those are the things I would think about.  Noticeably absent from the list is choosing a trainer who is certified.  That’s because it’s a no brainer.  You should always choose a certified trainer, no exceptions.  Most gyms won’t let just anyone work there as a trainer, so as long as you go through your gym you should be all set.  However I know that there are plenty of people out there not associated with a gym or training center who are hawking their services, so do your homework!  Just because a person is in shape doesn’t mean they’re qualified to train you and worth the big bucks.  So start calling around, ask questions, and start picking out smaller clothes!!