8 Steps to Finding the Right Personal Trainer For You

January 7, 2019 - 8 minutes read

Elements to consider to make sure you’re choosing the right fitness coach.

hiring a personal trainer in Vancouver

Working with a personal trainer is a great opportunity to progress your workouts and improve your motivation, but there’s a lot more to it than simply booking sessions and counting reps.

If you’re looking to start exercising with a personal trainer, begin the journey by getting clear about a few key elements that will affect the experience then move on to finding the right fit for you.

How to find the right personal trainer for you

1. Decide what you’re looking for

How you view exercise, where you’re starting from and what you’re looking to achieve with a personal trainer is going to be very unique to you. Perhaps you’re looking to slowly get into activity or maybe you’re prepping for your next marathon; in either case, it’s important to consider what your expectations are going into an exercise program and what outcomes you’re hoping to work towards with your training.

Getting clear on this upfront will help you narrow down the type of trainer and facility that will be the best fit for you to thrive in.

2. Determine your budget

Maintaining a healthy level of fitness isn’t a one-and-done activity so it’s important to make a long-term exercise plan and create a realistic budget to support it.

When developing your plan, be sure to take into account costs associated both with getting started and maintaining a training program. If funds are tight, consider trying out a lower session frequency or coupling your training program with other activities.

Not sure what to consider for pricing? Find out more about the cost of personal training in Vancouver.

3. Think about frequency

Understanding your motivation to exercise outside of your sessions will help you determine how frequently you should be seeing your fitness coach. If you know that getting motivated to workout has been a challenge in the past, it may be a good idea to start with a frequency of once or twice a week with your trainer to get into the groove of things.

Conversely, if you’re already quite consistent with your workouts, a lower frequency may be beneficial to start out with where you can supplement your sessions with additional workouts or other activities on a regular basis.

Once you’ve become comfortable with your workouts and accountability, you can reassess this rate and increase or decrease the frequency based on your needs.

4. Consider availability and timing

Some of us are morning people, others thrive after work, and others hit their peak midday.

Determine where you fall on that spectrum and at which timeframe you’re most likely to feel energized and ready to workout then look at your schedule to determine your ideal time and day(s) of the week to see a trainer.

5. Narrow your focus toward a general location

Think about where you’re likely to be at the ideal time you determined above. This may be at home, at work or on a daily commute. Wherever it is, use this insight to source out all the personal training gyms that are in the vicinity.

The easier you make it to attend your sessions and be active, the more likely you are to maintain consistent with the program.

6. Do your research

Now that you know why, how often and where you’d like to workout, you can start to dive into the type of personal trainer you think you’d mesh well with. Narrow down your options by doing a bit of research into what makes a good personal trainer, what the studio or trainer specializes in and whether or not you match with the ideal type of clients they cater to.

A good place to start is online as many studios will offer bios and testimonials on their website or through third-party review sites. It’s also a good idea to phone or visit the space so they can answer your questions.

7. Attend a consultation

Once you have all the prerequisites, the best next step is to attend a consultation. This will give you the option to review cost, availability of trainers, and get more details as to how their programs work.

A good consultation will give you all the insight you need to make a clear choice as to whether or not the potential for a good fit is there. Ask lots of questions but also pay attention to the questions they ask of you. A consultation should be just as much the trainer or studio getting to know you as it is you getting to know them.

8. Test it out

The final step is as simple as diving in and trying out a couple sessions. After your first few meetings, you should get a clear idea as to whether the fit is right or whether you need to reassess. If you like the studio but don’t match well with the trainer you’ve been paired with, this adjustment may be as simple as requesting a switch in your trainer. In other cases where you don’t feel comfortable in the atmosphere, it may require you to try out a new space.

In either case, don’t be afraid to speak up and state your needs. The more the trainer knows what you’re thinking, the more opportunity they have to fix it.


While setting out to find the right trainer may seem a bit overwhelming, it’s worth the extra time and effort to make sure your investment in your health is started off in the right direction. The more support you surround yourself with and the more you enjoy the experience, the more likely you are to continue on with exercise in the long-term.

Taking the time to get a clear idea of the above points will help you find the personal trainer and gym that are the best fit for you and present the best chance of succeeding toward your goals and expectations.