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ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (197,194)
Fitness Minutes: (294,448)
Posts: 27,079
6/23/14 9:38 A


It's not unusual for trainers who work at gyms to have private clients on the side. If you happen to know a trainer locally, you might ask them if they take private clients.

I've seen many posts on Craigslist from trainers who set up their own boot camp classes at a local park. You may want to look for one of those classes to start. Once you know how the trainer is, you can ask to work with them privately later.

You do need to ask for credentials. If you ask any trainer who they have their certs from, they all should be able to show you documentation if you ask. If they don't, that's not a trainer you want to work with. All of us have to keep our certs up to date and current if we want to work with clients.

Personal training can be expensive, so you might consider trying a boot camp class or working in a small group. instead of working one on one, many trainers work with small groups of 2-5 in order to reduce training costs. I've done that before. You still get good attention even though you're in a group.

If you have more questions, feel free to PM me.

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
Fitness Minutes: (36,342)
Posts: 2,545
6/22/14 6:48 P

I wish we had a YMCA! Unfortunately that's not an option.

Archimedes, do you have to belong to the gym to hire a trainer from a gym?
Thank you for all of the wonderful information. I do have specific goals in mind, mainly increasing strength, building muscle and increasing endurance.

It/s good to know about the nutrition information restriction. I know what I need to eat and how much to eat and I really don't want someone pushing their ideas on me. I do want someone to help me build a program that will improve strength and balance.

I think I'll give the local gyms a call (we have two lol) and see what they have to offer.

ZZYYGGY3 Posts: 2,398
6/22/14 4:21 P

Lots of great suggestions here. Also check out your local YMCA they have some great trainers there.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (197,194)
Fitness Minutes: (294,448)
Posts: 27,079
6/22/14 4:02 P

I work part time as a personal trainer and I have worked with trainers.

What should you look for ?

First off, you should make sure the trainer you select has a nationally recognized PT certification if they don't have a degree in exercise science. And there are plenty of PTs (myself included) who became trainers later in life. So, while we may not have degrees in exercise science, we are fully qualified to help you.

Some nationally recognized certification include ACE, AFAA, NASM, ACSM and ISSA. there are a few others, but most chain gyms will accept any of those. Many require either NASM or ACSM. I have my cert for NASM.

Also, be SPECIFIC with what you want to do. When a trainer asks you what are your goals, don't say I want to get fit and lose weight. What do YOU want to change ? What do YOU want to improve ? Because if you tell a trainer you want to get fit, you'll get whatever standard workout they have. You need to be specific with your fitness goals so that your trainer can create a workout to suits your needs.

If the PT tells you they can help you lose weight, run in the other direction. NASM and ACSM specifically train their PTs that they are not certified to give nutritional advice beyond the food pyramid. So, if a trainer says you should be eating X amount each day or eating low carb, you need a different trainer.

a reputable trainer knows that we aren't supposed to be giving dietary advice unless we are also certified nutritionists or dietitians. And yes, there are PTs who are also dietitians.

How much will you pay ? It depends on the package you purchase. You could start with 1-5 sessions to see if you like working with a trainer. In general, depending on your goals, you could need as many as 10+ sessions. Do you need to workout more than once a week ? Nah... once a week is fine. If you have extra money and want to do more, you can. But most times, once a week with a trainer for 45-60 minutes is plenty.

Don't let a trainer try to push you to buy more than you can afford. Unfortunately, some gyms do have quotas for their staff to meet. If you feel the trainer is pushy, then ask to talk with another trainer.

Also, don't feel obligated to like the first trainer you meet. You need to find the right fit for your needs. And you have to like this person too since you're going to be a team for the next X amount of weeks. If you don't like your trainer, it's going to make working together difficult. So, do "interview" different trainers to find out which person best suits your needs.

And yes, you can fire your trainer later if you find things aren't working out.

If you have a gym membership, I would start by asking other members which trainers they've used and why. That will give you an idea of who the most popular trainers will be. And once again, trainers are like everyone else. We're all different. there will be trainers who work with cyclists, body builders, dancers, runners, etc... that's why you need to do your homework to find out who is best for you.

PS - there are reputable trainers that do post on places like Craigslist. There are reputable trainers who will work with you at your home. BUT... the first thing to ask these people is whether or not they have INSURANCE. All PTs who work privately have to have some type of liability insurance in case of an accident. Gyms provide this insurance to their staff/trainers. some one who works on their own needs to have this. it's to protect you and the trainer.

Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 6/22/2014 (16:09)
LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
Fitness Minutes: (36,342)
Posts: 2,545
6/22/14 3:23 P

Thanks everyone.
I don't belong to a gym which seems like the easiest way to find a trainer.
I've asked around at work and the one lady I know who has used a personal trainer felt like he was getting too familiar ...ugh.
Most of my exercise is of a solitary nature. Even my bike rides. It's my time to be alone, recharge, not have to talk to anyone etc ....
I'll keep asking around and I'll watch the ads.
Checking out certifications is important to me as I do not want to hurt my knees again. They are finally about 80% better so I plan to be very protective of them

SUSAN29NJ Posts: 2,425
6/22/14 1:15 P

At this point in time, I do not have a personal trainer, however, I had in the past. I found mine through my gym. Although, my trainer was a man, gender didn't matter to me. He was younger than me. I felt that having a trainer made me work much harder than I would have on my own. Once I reach my goal weight, I will hire a personal trainer, but for now, I know what to do to lose the weight.

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (565,740)
Fitness Minutes: (345,887)
Posts: 15,948
6/22/14 12:14 A

I've never used a personal trainer. I devise my own workouts.

JEFFGIRL Posts: 11,239
6/21/14 10:08 P

I have a personal trainer who is one of two females in my gym. I found her at the gym and she is really excellent besides being very personable. I would say start there.

SUBMOM2 SparkPoints: (46,301)
Fitness Minutes: (68,498)
Posts: 2,767
6/21/14 7:52 P

I found my trainer through my gym. I had just joined, and I was unfamiliar with most of the equipment. I took the free orientation, and that's how I met the trainer. He was knowledgeable and drove the program around my goals and was mindful of my concerns. I bought a package of training sessions and it was worth every penny. When I run out of ideas, or reach a fitness plateau, I would consider a trainer again.

If you belong to gym, start there. See if you can do a trial session before committing to any big payout. Or if you bike, for example, ask other riders for recommendations, or ask a fitness instructor. Good luck!

ANDILH Posts: 1,543
6/21/14 7:34 P

I've looked into personal trainers, but unfortunately I couldn't find anyone I was comfortable with due to their lack of experience in dealing with my extreme various injuries. I preferred same sex, age didn't matter as much although I did lean towards those with more experience (not based on age, just actual number of years experience) since generally those folks have had more variance among their clients. I looked both privately and through the country recreation center where I use the pool in the winter. I had pretty much the same type of people in each place. I did try sessions with someone I found via the recreation center and found her to be a great trainer person and she probably would've been a great trainer, but she didn't have enough anatomy knowledge to make enough modifications for me. I attempted a session in a personal training studio since they claimed to have the experience I was looking for, and it was an unmitigated disaster from the start. I left half way through as the person refused to listen to what I said, said I was lying about the extent of my injuries, and I just found her to be completely insufferable.
Depending on where you live, there are different qualifications people can acquire, as well as many different professional organizations they can belong to. It's now possible for people to get a certificate via correspondence course and become a personal trainer. I absolutely avoided those people, especially as a few were in even worse shape than I am. For me, body positioning and modifications are really important and training through the mail just doesn't cut it for me.
If you're looking for help in specific areas I would probably look into people who specialize in those areas. They would be better suited for what you are looking for, assuming all other things are neutral. I ended up finding a great Pilates instructor that I've had much better luck with who has the experience I need as well as an innate ability to push me just a little further when I'm ready, even if I don't think I'm ready. She's worth every penny. For cardio stuff, I'm working on my own on accordance with her suggestions.

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
Fitness Minutes: (36,342)
Posts: 2,545
6/21/14 7:20 P

Have you used a personal trainer? What qualifications did you look for? Same or opposite sex? Does it make a difference? Same with age? Your age, younger, older?
Hire privately from an add or go through a gym?

Any thoughts at all?

I've reached the point where I am no longer a novice at exercise. I can do most exercise routines without becoming a sweaty, drippy, panting mess. I can ride 6 miles up and down steep hills where I do become a sweaty, panting mess. I am slowly increasing the intensity on my equipment but I'm not sure how to increase the aerobic effect of my video workouts although I'm doing more advanced videos. I'm also not sure about weight routines.

I'm thinking that a few sessions with a trainer would be helpful but I'm venturing into charted waters. I've read a bit on the internet and on here about trainers but would like some personal experience type opinions.
Thanks everyone

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