How to Find a Qualified Personal Trainer

By , SparkPeople Blogger
45 percent: That's the number of personal trainers who claim to be certified but really aren't, according to the IDEA Health & Fitness Association. If you've ever worked with a trainer, or think you might in the future, a statistic like that should worry you at least a little bit.

A few months ago, I shared tidbit, along with some other scary and startling facts about personal trainers. From what certifications to look for to what makes a trainer really qualified, I laid down the cold, hard truth about navigating your way through this confusing profession so that you don't get scammed into working with a trainer who just isn't any good.

Now there is an even easier way to find a credible and certified personal trainer—and verify that what he or she says about their education and experience is actually true. This quick and simply tool is a must-use for anyone who works with a trainer or thinks they will someday in the future.

The IDEA Health and Fitness Association is one of the biggest and most trusted names in the world of professional fitness training. To help consumers separate the posers from the pros, they created Fitness Connect, a simple search tool to find a fitness professional (or gym or class) in your area. The coolest thing about it is that by working with the biggest names in fitness certification, IDEA's Fitness Connect tool actually verifies whether or not a certification that a trainer claims to have is up to date. It can also show you things like whether the trainer carries liability insurance, whether they're certified in important life-saving methods like CPR, and reviews from clients that have worked with the trainer. Pretty cool, huh?

SparkPeople has recently partnered with IDEA to share their Fitness Connect tool on our website! You'll find it in the Fitness Resource Center (center column, scroll to the bottom) or by going to So when you're ready to look into hiring a trainer, this is a great place to start.

Do you really need a personal trainer? Take this quiz to find out. Here are even more tips for choosing a personal trainer.

If cost weren't an issue, would you like to hire a personal trainer? Have you ever worked one? If so, how did you find him or her?

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TFANAWOPO 6/6/2018
Great article, Incidentally, I also wrote about this. if you would like to find out more about what to look for in a good personal trainer, have a read of my blog at: https://
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LUNA_IS_MY_HERO 11/26/2017
Thanks. Report
I-AM-TITANIUM 7/27/2017
Yes..this is an older article..yet the data still applies
I looked up my Personal Trainer..This is what I found!

Ithaca College -B.S. in Clinical Exercise Science: Focus Area in Disease Rehabilitation
Certifications: ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist; Personal Training Level 3; ARC: First Aid/CPR/AED
Disease Management
Cardiovascular Risk Reduction
Circuit training to improve body composition and strength development
Specific strength training for injury rehabilitation and prevention (joint replacements, arthroscopic surgery, fall prevention, athletic injury prevention, bone density improvement)

Yes..She knows her stuff..and she lives it as well.. She has helped me greatly since heart surgery and we are moving beyond that to the level of body building! Report
I know that this is an old thread but I still want to mention that you can get an in home personal trainer or one that is mobile. Even if you need to meet in a park or church parking lot. Report
I signed up with a personal trainer in January. I went through who are a UK register of pre-vetted trainers and so far I am very happy with the trainer I am working with. I would never have taken the chance of hiring someone I found directly off the web, as you don't know who you're getting and whether they're properly qualified or even insured. Report
Hi Nicole,
Personal trainer helps you in reaching or maintaining healthy body weight. Personal trainers helps you in body fat reduction, weight reduction or management, body shaping and toning. Personal trainers focus on your unique health concerns and find the right way to workout. / Report
I would probably try a trainer if money was not an issue. I need more help in the nutrition area, but could use an extra push to see what my body can actually do. However, when I watch the trainers at my gym I don't find them to be very good. I watch members not properly using the machines and the trainer just standing and waiting for them to finish the set. I've seen trainers on cell phones while working with people, etc. Report
I have a brother that is a personal trainer. They really do help to keep you on track! Plus most gym memberships now offer the service free so don't be afraid to ask if your not sure. Report
Excellent resource to have at our disposal. I'm not sure I'd use a trainer, but I like that the tool is available for my husband and myself if we decide we want a personal trainer. Thanks for providing the links.... Report
If money were no object, I would most definitely hire a personal trainer. I've taken a weight training class and our local junior college. It was great to have someone help me set up a workout program based on my needs and abilities. It was also nice to be shown how to properly use the equipment so that I won't add to my problems by hurting myself. I'm now working with a physical therapist to set up an ongoing program through my gym. My insurance will cover 8 visits and I plan to take full advantage of them. Report
Interesting article. I would love to have a personal trainer for a while. I would like to have someone set up a plan for me . I seem to need more accountability. Report
I would love to work with a trainer. I have back issues and my flexor tendons are tight in the front of my thighs. I try to stretch them but can only go so far. Until they are strteched out I will not stand up straight. Help. LOL Thanks for the link. Report
It's amazing how a great site like SparkPeople can just keep getting better and better. And now, ANOTHER useful feature is added to the site. Thank you! Report
wonderful article --- very helpful information! Report
I go to the military gym where the PT is provided free if you want his service. I've found I know about as much from all that I have read and learned on Sparks. Report
I, Linda Martins - Mann am a certified Personal Trainer here in Simi Valley, CA. I am certified through International Sports Science Association (ISSA). I am also a professional dancer, who has competed in Ballroom Dancing, Westcoast Swing, Two-Step, Cha~Cha~Cha and other dances. Very soon, I will also be certified in Zumba and other aerobic classes. I do not understand why my name is not listed on this site.

Linda Report
Thank you so much for the link to the search tool. I was fortunate to find a really good PT in the area I used to live in. Now that I am relocating I was hoping I could find another qualified woman. Someone came up on the search who sounds perfect. I'll be calling her when I get settled. I found that working with a PT really kept me motivated. When I had an appointment I always went- no excuses allowed! I was in the best shape of my life. Report
Yes if money were no an object I would love to hire a personal trainer? When I belong to a fitness club had one and he was great? He work with me help with knowiing what equipment I needed show me how to work with tthe equipment keeps you on the right track with eating healthier foods there to push you when other wise you would come up with excuses ot to work out? Motivation is what you need and he sure gives you that? Makes you push when you don't want to push. Report
I miss having a personal trainer ! Before the gym I work for started having financial difficulties, employees got a discount on personal training services. Needless to say, I took advantage of the offer while I could. When they took away our discount, I stopped working with a PT. I've been considering sucking up the cost and working with a PT for a few sessions. Just a little something to shake up my routine.

After watching The Biggest Loser (UK) I would jump at the chance to have a personal trainer. I work hard to keep the promises to myself to train every day etc etc with a personal trainer the excuses would not work. Report
For those outside the USA....

Register of Exercise Professionals (UK).....REPs
Members are bound by a Code of Ethical Practice and hold appropriate public liability insurance. /

Also International....ICREPs

The International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPs) is an international partnership between registration bodies around the world that register exercise professionals. ICREPs members operate in over 30 countries. /

I am starting to train to become a Personal trainer myself, so will be registering with REPs and ICREPs once I qualify!
thanks for this site! I am signing up to be listed. Report
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