Are you interested in hiring a personal trainer? But perhaps you’re unsure if it’s even worth it and if it would be a good fit for you.

If so, read on because I’ve broken down the pros and cons, as well as tips on how to vet personal trainers.

Pros of Having a Personal Trainer

  • Helping you set fitness goals. A good trainer will help you turn vague goals like “I want to lose weight” into specific, realistic, and time-bound objectives.
  • Promotes fitness motivation and accountability. Knowing that someone expects you to show up can be a powerful motivator to keep going, even when you don’t feel like it.
  • Builds effective exercise routines for you. A personal trainer can build workout plans that align with your goals, preferences, and fitness level.
  • Is a source of invaluable fitness tips. A good personal trainer will provide insightful tips that help you train better, eat more healthily, and see better results.
  • Teaches you about healthy living. In addition to gym support, a personal trainer can help you improve your diet and take better care of your health with practical strategies.
  • Can help with weight loss. Your trainer can put together a workout plan that supports weight loss and provide nutritional guidance.
  • Teaches you the fundamentals of strength training. A good trainer will educate you on exercise selection, programming, proper form, effort, recovery, and many other things.
  • They can work with you online. If in-person training is not an option, you can hire an online personal trainer. This approach is more flexible and allows you to work with experts from around the world.

Cons of Hiring a Personal Trainer

  • It’s an ongoing expense. A 1:1 session with a trainer can cost as little as $35-40 or as much as $100+. It’s an ongoing expense, even with package deals or splitting costs through semi-private training (where the coach works with up to 4-5 people together).
  • It can be hard to find a good trainer. It takes fitness knowledge and experience to rate the validity of a personal trainer’s guidance.
  • You will primarily work 1:1. This is a good way to get a lot of guidance, but it may not be your cup of tea if you’re a fan of fitness classes.
  • Not all trainers know that much about nutrition. Training and proper diet go hand in hand, so you may not get the best results if your coach can’t help with the latter.

Tips on How to Vet Personal Trainers

  • Look for a trainer certified by a reputable organization like ACE, ISSA, NASM, or ACSM.
  • Consider a trainer who specializes in areas relevant to your needs––for example, injury recovery, weight loss, or muscle gain.
  • Read testimonials and reviews from previous clients to see if the trainer has credibility and experience.
  • Evaluate their coaching approach. A good trainer will take the time to learn more about you through an initial interview (simple conversation), a fitness assessment, and by having you complete a questionnaire.
  • Go with your intuition. Does the trainer seem invested and trustworthy or distant and not interested in helping you? Certifications, experience, and testimonials aside, you can usually learn a lot about someone just by having a conversation.