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Everyone has a first time in everything. And basically, when you decide it’s time to do some hard work for your body, it’s completely expected that you are lost like a ship without a sail. You have no idea where to go, and even if you have the will to learn, anything you try can, and probably will, go wrong. That’s the time when you realize you need a personal trainer.

right personal trainer


But how to choose the RIGHT personal trainer? There are so many of them! And they are all saying they are the best! And all of them have some clients before and after photos! Let us guide you through this wild sea, so you don’t lose your money and find the best possible option for you.

When I started going to the gym, I remember how everything looked easy but I couldn’t do anything right. It was the most annoying feeling ever. Bench press was like the simplest thing in the world. You just lay down on the bench, grab the damn row and start going up and down.

When others were doing that, it looked amazing, but when I started doing it, it looked like I have some kind of brain damage, and can’t control my arms! That’s when I figured that I will pay the personal trainer, to teach me how to learn these not-so-simple-after-all things.

I changed a few of them, and this is what I wish that someone told me before I wasted money on wannabees.


Do you like his/her personality?


Maybe this doesn’t seem like an important thing to think about, but do you really want to spend a few hours a week with someone you actually don’t like?

Even worse, do you really want to spend time and PAY someone you actually don’t like?

Yeah, me neither.

My first personal trainer was a pure moron, but I was thinking “Never mind, I will not make friends with him, I’m paying him to help me achieve my goals“. Boy, was I wrong… A few weeks after we started, I quit. I just didn’t want to see him again. I felt discouraged and to be honest with you, he wasn’t really cheap. Knowing there has to be someone else, I started searching for a personal trainer again, and this time I was searching for someone who has a nice personality.

If you have multiple trainers on your mind, give them a call and ask to meet them. Have a drink with them or something like that. If they are trying to skip that part and are like “Come to the gym and we will figure everything while I’m working my pectorals“, just switch to someone else.

A personal trainer who is watching you with dollar eyes is not the trainer that will make you feel good.


Experience and credibility


So you found someone with a cool personality but what about their skills?

Newbie trainers, sorry.

You definitely don’t want to go with someone new in business with no experience or credibility. New trainers are often still trying to find what best works for everyone, not realizing that everyone is different, and there is no pattern that will work always. They will probably do little experiments to see how your body will react and you really don’t need that.

right personal trainer

If that is not the case, and they do know what is best for you, you will still have slower progress. That’s where the experience counts. Experienced trainers already had someone similar to you, and they will give you instructions they already gave to someone.

Of course, those instructions will not have a 100% impact on you, because you are not like someone before, but again, thanks to their experience they will be able to make changes and adapt everything a lot quicker to your needs.

Credibility is also a big thing to check before you shake hands. On their profiles, you can find a lot of information about them, but you really want to go the other way. Try to find and connect with people who hired that guy. Ask them about their honest opinion about the trainer.

Being a personal trainer is a job just like any other. Marketing is the same, they will post only good testimonials. 

No one will post something bad said about them!


Is he working for you, or for the money?


This is very hard to say because there are so many scammers out there, but there are also many good people.

Trainers who have patterns are the trainers who are not dedicated to their clients.

You need someone who will work for your results with you. Here’s how it looks when you encounter dedicated trainer:

  • During every exercise, he talks to you
  • He is explaining every exercise and why is it good for you, how that exercise benefits your body
  • He is explaining his plan in details, he wants you to get familiar with the path to your goals
  • He is correcting your form and explains how to avoid mistakes
  • He is caring about your diet, and during the days off he is following up with you.

When you have all those green lights, you can tell that he really cares for you, and actually, he cares about his credibility. By being dedicated he will ensure great marketing for him because you will tell everyone how great he is. Makes sense, right?

And of course, we have those “give me the money” trainers who treat you like a simple income. You will spot those if:

  • They are slowing down your progress so you can pay them the next month
  • They are manipulating you with diets that don’t work
  • They are talking about themselves all the time
  • They always have “some stupid client that blamed them because he wasn’t doing things right”, and they enjoy telling those stories.
  • They are not following up with you, not trying to get to know you,

Pay attention to these things. You need someone who will prioritize you and your result over the money.

right personal trainer

Is he aware of YOUR goals?

I met thousands of personal trainers who are like:

Hey, hey, I know, trust me, (hold my beer) I got this, I know what you need, just do what I say, and you will look great

Well, first of all, I don’t just want to look great, I want to be a healthy, dummy! Not everything is about how we look!

When you meet your potential trainer tell him exactly what do you want to achieve. If he starts BSing about how your goal is fine, but his goal for you is better, just find someone else.

Remember that you are paying them to help YOU achieve YOUR goals. Working with someone who doesn’t believe in you or your goals is just a waste of time. And the worst thing is, that if you do that, you will end up working for something they are targeting for, thinking you are on your path.

If you see you are not going the way you thought you are, then it’s time for someone else.


Don’t try to save money on a trainer


Well, this is more like friendly advice.

There was a time when I couldn’t afford quality trainers. So I looked at how much money do I have, and what can I afford. At some point, I reached the level where I would settle with a cheap trainer thinking “If I pay this one, I will save more money, so I can buy something else“. Wrong.

Money shouldn’t play the role in your goals. If you can’t afford quality, save some money, and you will be able later. You don’t have to hire someone right now. It’s better to wait for quality time, then to waste time due to impatience.

Cheap trainers have cheap results. Is that really worth your money and time?


Is he certified?


Once upon a time certificates were very expensive, and only premium trainers could afford them. But today, the standard is much higher and a trainer who is serious about his career will definitely have the certificate.

Let’s not confuse this thing: being certified doesn’t mean he knows what he is doing!

The certificate is nothing but a simple plus, definitely not something you should judge about regarding your decision. It simply means you can see that trainer invested his money and time to get it.

I know many certified trainers that I wouldn’t classify as money and time worthy. They are doing their best, but they are just not good at it. And that is fine. Eventually, they will find something else, or figure out how to improve themselves.

Use all the above-mentioned criteria when choosing your personal trainer. A certificate is a simple must. If a trainer doesn’t have it, start searching for someone else.

I mean, how do you expect someone to invest something in you, when he doesn’t invest in himself?


Is he a true motivator?


Motivation is an essential thing when it comes to progress.

The longer your road to success is, the more motivation you will need. If you are hiring someone to help you in the gym, they also must have some serious motivation skills.

A good trainer will easily find what drives you, and he will use it to fuel you. The time of those screamo motivators is long gone, well at least when it comes to training.

In my opinion, if I’m working my butts off, and he is standing behind me and screaming “C’MOOON WUSS, DO IT, C’MON ONE MORE, YEAAAAAH“, I swear I will find the first available thing to slap the shit out of him.

A good trainer will sit down with you and start figuring out why did you come to him, what do you want to accomplish, and he will use that information to make you get up when you fall, without screaming in your ear.

Motivation is nothing but psychology, and it takes time and talent to learn that skill. 

If you, however, enjoy being screamed at, good for you, almost everyone has that skill.


Can he advise you on a proper diet?


Again, the problem with patterns.

Many trainers out there heard that the Ketogenic diet is working, and they are giving it to everyone. When someone quits because it’s too hard (and it really is), they try to force it, and it doesn’t end up well. You quit and lose a trainer, and they lose a client.

Advising something really good like a Ketogenic diet and Intermittent fasting is a good thing, but not forcing it when it doesn’t work is not.

If the diet you are running doesn’t work for you, makes you feel bad, gives you cheap results, tell that to your trainer. He might advise you to be on it for a few more days, for his tracking purposes, but eventually, if you are unhappy with it he will have no problems with switching to something else.

The best thing is to tell him exactly where the problem is with the current diet, and if he is good, he will give you something different that will solve your problems.

Sentences like “Just deal with it, it’s really the best for you, no pain no gain” are red flags.

I lost over 100 pounds, and I’m telling you that diet doesn’t need to be “no pain no gain”. There is always a way to enjoy it, you just have to find it.




Don’t rush when choosing the right personal trainer. Have patience. It will pay off.

Meet the potential ones first. Make sure you are fine with their personality, with their philosophy. Make sure they are 100% certified, too. If you don’t like someone, don’t hire him. Not even if he has a good background. Check out his credibility, what are other people saying about him?

Make sure he is dedicated to your progress and your goals. If the money is the only thing he cares about, you are not getting anywhere. You need someone who will listen to your needs.

Motivation is a big thing to ensure that he is able to catch you if fall down and get you back on track.

The personal trainer must be familiar with the nutrition because the proper diet is 80% of success.

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That’s it, folks!

Vladan Ubiparip
Founder at Extreme Loser

Vladan Ubiparip

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