5 top tips to choosing a personal trainer

I’ve worked in the personal training industry in Adelaide for most of the past 2 decades and for much of this time I’ve been responsible for helping new clients choose an appropriate personal trainer. Here’s my view on what you should consider –

Personal preference. Some people like apples, some prefer bananas….neither are right or wrong! You need to understand your own personality and the sort of people you enjoy being around or perhaps those who will get the most out of you! Some of us don’t actually want to talk, we just want instructions and targets while other aspiring PT clients want a trainer who they can have a decent conversation with. In the end, if you get this ‘pairing’ right, you will exercise more consistently and your health will benefit.

Qualifications, experience and professional registration. At the very least your PT should have a Certificate IV in Fitness and be registered with our industry body, Fitness Australia. Personal trainers are required to do ongoing education each year to maintain their registration so in a sometimes ‘transient’ industry this provides some assurance of long term career intent. Experience can obviously be valuable but I’ve seen many situations where a new client simply needed someone who could turn up consistently 3 times per week, week in week out, with a smile on their face and a positive attitude. In other situations, a new client may have some complex injury background and will be better served my an experienced trainer with skills in rehabilitation.

Walking the talk. I strongly believe that a good PT should be someone who practices what they preach AKA integrity! This doesn’t mean that your personal trainer needs to fit all of the stereotypical images that come into your head when when you think of a PT but it does mean that they should be exercising regularly and be committed to making healthy lifestyle choices. As a personal trainer myself, I find that I can use the lessons that I learn from my own exercise successes and failure to share with my clients and encourage them on their own fitness journey.

Times that fit your schedule. Bit of a boring one but the reality is that we’re all busy these days and as life goes on and responsibility goes up, it can be challenging to lock away time for yourself each week to exercise. In the fitness industry, we’re busiest early mornings, evenings and Saturdays – these are the slots that ‘sell first’. If you know that you’re likely to need times in these peak slots, bring that into the conversation first because it may be the case that your prospective personal trainer is already full during these times! You then have a choice to make but remember that if you’re intending to make it a long term arrangement, having regular times that work well with your other commitments is an important aspect to making exercise ‘stick’ in your week.

Consider the environment you want to train in. Personal trainers work in a variety of contexts. They may work as contractors within a large gym/health club, may operate from a ‘personal training only’ studio, may operate outdoors or even come to your home/office. There are pros/cons to each model and my personal bias is towards a PT studio for its more private/focused environment, ‘all weather’ flexibility and broad range of equipment. At Life Personal Trainers, we also take a team approach so if your regular trainer is away on leave/sickness, we’ll provide another member of our team to take your session in line with your training goals and expectations so that you maintain your exercise routine.

-Kristin Lewis, Managing Director, Life Personal Trainers – Personal Training Studios in Adelaide Kent Town Unley




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