How to Find a Personal Trainer

Author: Rod Ferris CPT (YMCA, ACE), CPAFLA
Finding the right personal trainer can be difficult to do because not all Personal Trainers have the same certification or education levels, charge varying amounts, have different equipment available to them (some train from home or at gyms that have allowed them to do so).

How Do I choose the Best Trainer?

Picking the right trainer depends on many factors such as:
  • Are you new to working out?
    Answer: You may not require a high cost Personal Trainer as most PT certifications give you enough knowledge to teach the basics of working out.
  • How much are you looking to spend per hour?
    Answer: The more education they have the more you might have to spend per hour.
  • Do you require the trainer to drive to your house?
    Answer: Trainers require special insurance from their Personal Trainer certification companies to train people at home.

Questions to Ask your Trainer

What is your education?
Education is the primary concern as most trainers in Canada have their CanFit Pro which is two or three weekends and the exam could be passed by a lot of people without reading too much. We have the certifications ranked here 

The most reptuable certification is the C.S.C.S. This certification requires that you have a degree in Human Kinetics or Kinesiology, so their is a vast difference in trainers just on education levels. 

Ask about your situation 
A lot of trainers charge 60-80 dollars an hour before they even get some experience under their belt of how to train different types of clients.  Asking the trainer if they have worked with your particular situation is key. ie. Have you worked with someone who has bad knees and a sore shoulder?   Education also plays into that to make sure they don't get hurt. 

Can you give me some phone numbers of past clients?
This goes without saying but you're going to want to hear how the last guy did with the trainer before you invest in a 6 month plan.

Ask if they have all the equipment required
Most personal trainers should have a set of adjustable dumbbells, exercise ball, bosu ball, bench and other plyometric equipment to complete a workout at the clients home.

All trainers should...
Ask you to fill out a PAR-Q and lifestyle questionnaire.  If they do not do that they have no business touching you. 

Do they have the 'rights' to train in the location you want
A lot of gyms allow outside trainers to come in as long as they PAY their fee.  Also the government introduced a boot camp license fee here in Vancouver so they need to have the proper lines crossed before they are allowed to train. 

Do you have a pay as you go plan?
Most trainers will get you to sign-up for 12 weeks or even longer to ensure you pay but what if the trainer isn't reliable or you dont have time?  You need to protect yourself and may want to setup a weekly time and payment structure (not monthly).

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Add your trainer services to our directory

The following personal trainers are found from our directory. These personal trainers can be hired / asked questions about their rates, services etc through our form below. Personal training is an excellent way to motivate, excel and reach your fitness goals towards a new you. 

Would you like to become a personal trainer? I suggest you check out all the different types of training certifications you can get. 

Note: Most personal trainers require that you get cleared by a medical doctor before beginning a session.