Top Five Things To Look For When Hiring A Personal Trainer

Author: Matt K Training | | Categories: About MKT , Exercise training

Blog by Matt K Training

A Personal Trainer (or Trainer) is a professional who helps people achieve certain health and fitness goals. These goals may pertain but are not limited to body weight or composition, physical strength, aerobic endurance, flexibility, mobility, or overall health management.  

Anyone looking to improve their fitness, health, or performance can hire a Trainer. A good Trainer understands that each person has unique needs, goals, and desires and customizes their service accordingly.  

So how exactly does one find a good Trainer to work with? What are some important things to look for? Never fear, here’s a list of the top five things to look for in a personal trainer. 

1. Credentials
There are no licensing requirements or official standards that must be met to become a Personal Trainer. Thus anyone, regardless of training, education, and experience can practice as a Personal Trainer. To ensure the Trainer you are interested in is indeed qualified to help you safely, and effectively achieve your goals, inquire about their certifications. They should have at least one national certification, such as those issued by the National Commission for Certifying Professionals (NCCA) or the International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPs). You can check for the United States by going to and searching for the Trainer’s name in the registry. If it’s there, they: 

  1. Have a recent certification that demonstrates that they’ve completed specified requirements and met a national standard;
  2. Must obtain continuing education credits to maintain their credential(s).

2. Education
College level education is not mandatory to practice as a Personal Trainer. You can choose if you want a Trainer who has completed college-level training or not. An individual with an exercise science related degree likely has a more comprehensive understanding of how the human body responds to, and performs under, stress, and most likely has completed some form of field work or internship giving practical experience. Working with someone who has a degree in exercise science is a good choice, especially if you have specific health conditions that can affect your ability to, or respond to, exercise training.

3. Commitment
Commitment to your goals plays a crucial role in physical training. Trainers are not made overnight! Be sure to ask how long your Trainer has worked in the area or at your facility. If they are employed at a gym, sometimes staffing at certain facilities have a “revolving” door, meaning staff turnover frequently, if this is the case you may start with a certain Trainer you like but get switched to another after a short period. Additionally, ask the potential Trainer if they are working full-time as a Personal Trainer or doing it as a “side gig”. A full-time Trainer will have more “skin in the game” and likely be willing to work with and for you long term.

4. Communication skills
An experienced trainer will ask the right questions to determine where you are starting from and what a reasonable progression to your goal is. They will be able to explain how they intend to help you and recommend an appropriate package or service according to your requirements. If they cannot explain in easy terms about their process and how they intend to approach your situation, they may not be a good fit.

5. Free consultation
Finally, before hiring, make sure you speak with the Trainer. Many trainers provide a free consultation. You must take advantage of such offers. You should communicate with them in an easy manner. After all, this is personal training, so you’ll be disclosing information about your health, lifestyle, and experience. It would be better if you gel well with your Trainer from the onset of the training period.

I hope you found this information useful. If you’re looking for a personal trainer/ nutritionist in Northampton, MA, reach out to Matt K Training

We serve clients across Northampton, Springfield, Palmer, Blandford, Greenfield, Deerfield, Amherst, Chicopee, and the surrounding areas. I also have remote options through my holistic nutrition coaching program and my remote personal training program. You can also find exercise coaching and nutrition coaching on our website.

To learn more about the services we offer, please click here. To get in touch with us, please click here.