Do You Need a Personal Trainer? A Simple Guide to Figure it Out

September 6, 2018

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I'm Mickie. Co-founder and CEO of One Strong Southern Girl. Our team is here for you. We want you to remember us because we helped changed your life. 


I’m a former certified personal trainer and am going to help you figure out all the ins and outs of why people hire personal trainers and what you can expect from one.

This topic was featured on an episode of the Crunches and Cosmos podcast. You can listen here:

What is a personal trainer?

A fitness professional who has earned the qualifications to create a fitness program tailored to your specific needs.  There are a bunch of different kinds of certification programs of varying types and lengths.

Before you hire a personal trainer I recommend you ask them about their training and type of certification.

Why do people hire personal trainers?

People hire personal trainers to create an individualized/personalized exercise program for them.

A good personal trainer should meet with you and discuss your fitness goals.  That should include a discussion about your baseline health and fitness and any physical limitations you might have.

What are some of the benefits of using a personal trainer?  And are they only for beginners?

Motivation…a good personal trainer loves what they do and their excitement about helping you will be contagious

They know what they’re talking about and are educating you so you’ll have the tools to use for a lifetime of exercise

Now you’re accountable…if you know your biggest obstacle is actually showing up for your exercise then this will help.  Now you have an appointment.

Personal trainers are a great idea for exercisers of any level.  They can teach a beginner about safe exercise mechanics and how to create a workout for yourself.  And I love personal trainers for intermediate or advanced exercisers because they can give you new ideas and techniques for your workouts.  We all need new ideas to keep exercise fun.

Do you have to go to a gym to use a personal trainer?


Personal trainers work out of all kinds of different places:

Private facilities


And some will come to you (like Truck Trainers)

How much does a personal trainer cost?

Unfortunately, there’s no one answer for this.

It ranges from free (if it’s included in your gym membership), up to hundreds of dollar an hour depending on what you’re getting.

The cost will vary depending on where you live, the experience and qualifications of the trainer and what you’re getting from each session.

How does the schedule work with a personal trainer?

This is going to be unique to each trainer and the facility hours and the schedule of your trainer.

You need to ask before you hire someone how long the sessions last and how often you can schedule them.

I’d expect sessions to be at least once-twice/week and last 45 minutes to an hour.

Can a fitness app replace a personal trainer?

They aren’t the same.

Fitness apps are great for spitting out workout ideas.

But If you’re not dealing with an actual person (just an algorithm that spits out the same workout to people based on their answers) then you’re not really getting a personalized experience based on your specific needs and goals.

Can an online personal trainer be effective?

Absolutely.  But it won’t be the same as having a person next to you in a gym.

These are great for intermediate or advanced exercisers who want new ideas or a kick in the pants for motivation.

How do you find a personal trainer? And what to watch out for…

There are 2 good ways to find a personal trainer.

The best way is by word of mouth.  Ask someone for a recommendation.  Facebook is good for this.

The other way is by doing a Google search for personal trainers in your area.  Do your research.  A professional online presence is a good start but make sure you meet in person before you hire them.  You need to have a good rapport with them.

The site, Find Your Trainer*, is a good resource online.

*This is an affiliate link.  If you use one of my links to purchase something it helps support my business.  Thank you! (No hard feelings if you don’t.)  You can get more information about that here.

Some things to watch out for when you’re working with a personal trainer:

Guarantees–be smart–you know some things aren’t possible to guarantee

Medical advice–a personal trainer cannot replace your medical provider

Constantly pushing you to purchase equipment or supplements

Personality–you need to feel a good connection with your trainer.  There should be mutual respect and patience.

Ask them about their cancellation policy!

Contracts–again, be smart

Don’t be afraid to change trainers but don’t use it as an excuse to be lazy.  Go to at least 4 sessions before you decide.

How to know if you need a personal trainer (and is it worth it)?

Only you can decide if you need a personal trainer.  But you might benefit from a personal trainer if you’re:

Struggling with exercise discipline

You’re bored in your current fitness routine

You’ve plateaued and don’t feel like you’re seeing results anymore

You’re not sure how to train (for something specific or in general)

Think about what your needs are to really solidify exercise as a permanent fixture in your life.

I believe that a healthy lifestyle is worth investing money in.  We all spend money on things that do nothing to extend our life and happiness.  This will do both.

Pro tip>>Ask for several sessions with a personal trainer as a gift for the next holiday or gift occasion.

Today’s Fun Tip of the Day

Be silly!  Have fun.  Don’t be so serious all the time.  Remember to laugh every day.

Misty Tripoli, from the Body Groove workouts, likes to say, “Not enough people take the time to roll around on the floor.”

I love that!

She’s right.  Don’t avoid fun and silliness all the time just because you’re an adult.  Life is too short.

Other articles just for you…

Beachbody on Demand–how it works and how to get the most out of your membership

10 facts women need to know to get the best medical care

How to NOT QUIT during a workout

Should you buy a Peloton? Here’s how to decide

Should you set up a home gym in your garage? Here’s what you need to know

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