Showing up is the first step to reaching your fitness goals. Research indicates working with a personal trainer positively impacts your attitude toward exercise and keeps you accountable. Since personal training is, well, personal, selecting the right professional directly impacts your progress. Here's a breakdown of 5 things to look for to ensure you and your trainer are the perfect match:


Credentials. Rule No. 1: your trainer should be certified through an accredited company. The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and American Council on Exercise (ACE) are two of the most recognized organizations. A good way to determine if a certification is legitimate is by looking at how often it needs to be renewed. (Both NASM and ACE require recertification every two years.) You want to be confident your trainer is up to date on the latest in the field. Be wary of online certifications—many can be acquired by anyone in five minutes.


Specialties. Make sure you are paired with the right expert. Think about your goals. Someone who just had a baby will be looking for a different training plan than someone who has sights on running a marathon. You want a trainer who has experience and potentially advanced certifications that match your abilities and interests. 


Motivation style. Trainers use a variety of tactics to motivate clients. You know yourself best. Do you thrive off of the approach of a drill sergeant, energetic cheerleader, or prefer a calm demeanor? During the initial assessment, feel out the trainer's body language and tone of voice. What style of coaching will motivate you to do that extra squat, pushup, or an additional 10 seconds of jumping jacks?          


Availability. You spend one hour with your personal trainer, but your fitness journey doesn't end in the gym. Set clear expectations about what you are getting with your personal training sessions. A good trainer will be your support system. Is your trainer available to answer questions throughout the day through email or text? Will the program include ways to incorporate more physical activity into your everyday life? The workout is just one piece of the puzzle.    


Milestones. After your first session, you and your trainer should set goals and discuss the game plan to reach them. This should include regular check-ins to track your progress. After all, there's no better feeling than seeing your hard work pay off.


Interested in working with a personal trainer? Asphalt Green matches you with an expert based on your goals. Get started today: