10 Qualities of a Good Personal Trainer

10 Qualities of a Good Personal Trainer

Personal training is an option many individuals consider starting the beginning of the year and for great reasons.  A personal trainer can assist in many exercise-related goals and can be a guide to help any beginner or advanced exerciser.  When searching for a personal trainer however, it is important to do your homework and research trainers.  Listed in this article are 10 qualities and traits you should explore when searching for a personal trainer.

The Top 10 Qualities you should find in a Good Personal Trainer

  1. Certified. A certification is one of the simplest documents a trainer should carry to prove he or she is valid.  The certification is more than a piece of paper, rather it describes what the trainer values and what he or she is feels is most important in the fitness industry.  Not all certifications are created equally however.  Some certificates are mere online certifications which any individual can pay for online.  When searching for a qualified trainer, be sure to find one who is certified through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).  These certifications have strict requirements on experience, education, and will require continuing education.
  2. Education. In order to possess certifications from some the previously listed organizations, a trainer must have at least a bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a certain amount of hands on experience and training.  The formal education will provide a great foundation for the human body and physiology and will supply valid expertise in exercise testing (body fat analysis).
  3. A Great Motivator. One of the most important elements a personal trainer should possess is motivation.  Without proper abilities to motivate a client, it will make the program challenging.  In addition, a great motivator will understand what you (the client) need and want from your personal training and will take the time guide you through a program designed for you, rather than jump you into random exercises you do not want or desire [1].
  4. Communication. This is often one of the most underrated qualities.  The ability to communicate and understand what another individual wants is difficult and takes a good deal of understanding, listening, and cueing in order to be a good communicator.  Communication should be a two-way road for the client and trainer, but the trainer should not be talking your ear off about him or herself during the workout [2].  The personal trainer should understand that the client is paying for the trainer’s time, which means communication needs to be impeccable to make the workout more efficient.  In addition, your trainer should be able to guide the client through an exercise as if you are blind.  If you find a trainer who can effectively do this, you found a great one.
  5. Professional. This may seem pretty obvious, but your trainer needs to be professional at all times.  The client-trainer relationship may develop into a friendly relationship, but it is still a business service.  Some professional qualities for which to search are neatly dressed, clean shaven, friendly demeanor, and on-time.  If you have a trainer yelling at you for two more reps or someone who is chronically five minutes late, then you should consider another option.
  6. Patience. A patient trainer can be one of the most important avenues in training.  There are many times a trainer may want to try an exercise with you and you have a particular limitation.  A patient trainer will not only find an alternative exercise for you, but will also not push you to try something you cannot perform.
  7. Safety. A qualified personal trainer will be able to understand what is safe and what is not.  For example, if you have bad knees and you are overweight and your trainer wants to try a high depth jump from an 18 inch surface, then you should find another option in a trainer.  All exercises should be safe, meaning you will not end up in the doctor’s office or physical therapist’s clinic for a month of rehab following an unsafe routine.
  8. Individualized Programs. Your program should be your program.  This means that if you watched your trainer with other clients, it should differ to some degree.  In addition, your exercise program should be a result of some sort of fitness evaluation in order to measure progress.  If you have great upper body strength and lack in lower body (determined from a fitness evaluation), and your goal is to add full-body strength, then you should be performing lower body strengthening activities.
  9. Walks the Walk, Talks the Talk. A qualified personal trainer is your fitness professional; one who is qualified to lead you through a routine and program safely and efficiently.  If your trainer is obese and has to search for an exercise from his or her phone during the workout, then you really should re-consider your training options.  Your trainer does not need to look like Rambo, but he or she should at least be in decent shape.  Nothing worse than receiving weight loss guidance from someone who is obese.
  10. Experienced. One of the most important elements one should consider when finding a trainer is finding someone who has great experience.  While it is not the end of the world to work with a rookie trainer, it is much more cost-effective to work with someone who has done this 100 times before.  Look on Yelp or other reviews to find a long history of experience and testimonials from individuals who worked with the trainer.



[1] http://www.webmd.com/men/features/finding-personal-trainer

[2] http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/12/health/personal-trainer-traits/index.html

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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