How to choose a personal trainer

Personal trainer training a client
How to choose a personal trainer

A good personal trainer should be a well qualified expert in their field who delivers the results their clients want. Good personal trainers are also extremely busy and you need to take this into account when making your choice. If you are not sure how to choose a personal trainer, this article will help you.

Whatever your reason for wanting a personal trainer is, you need to select the right person for the job.

You need to know what to look for and what questions to ask before you make that important decision.

So, how to choose a personal trainer? I asked Steve Hoyles – a well respected personal trainer with a long list of clients he’s helped achieve their goals.

[Please note that Steve is based in the UK and some of the qualifications and pricing may be different in your country.]


At least an NVQ level 2, but ideally level 3 or above. A personal trainer should ideally have supplemental study to their name – I would be VERY suspicious of anyone who lists only one qualification on their CV.

If they are asking for a significant financial outlay from you, they should at least have studied beyond their initial qualification. As always, ask for proof of qualifications – anyone can list a qualification, but can they prove it?

A word of warning when it comes to qualifications though – there are lots of companies who offer one-day courses with titles such as ‘circuit training’. These mean very little and likely will teach you even less. Ask your personal trainer to detail the certificates they have. What did they learn? How will the knowledge help you as a client?

Remember, you are the customer and deserve to have your questions answered.


This is often down to location. A PT in London, for example, can charge anywhere from £40 to £200 per hour, whereas a PT in some less affluent areas would be maxing out at £20.

Generally, clients should expect to pay £30 per hour with discounts for block booking.


Ask to see their portfolio or if you can speak to current/previous clients? What was/is their opinion of the trainer, their methods and their results? Do they show any of their success on their social media profiles? If they are gym-based, maybe check out how they work and see if it appeals to you.

Are they able to work around any injury or health issues you may have? Do they have access to other health professionals if they need answers to questions beyond their scope of practice? What expertise do they have with regards to nutrition?

A good personal trainer will acknowledge what they don’t know and will be secure and professional enough to ask for the answers. Ask them do they have a network they can ask for additional help? Personally, I ask a physio and a GP when I come across a health or movement issue I am unsure of.


They should carry public liability to the tune of at least £1,000,000. Ideally they should carry a valid first aid certificate too.

Finally, ask yourself what are you looking for a personal trainer for? If you expect personal training to be a golden ticket to results with less work involved, you are in for a shock. A personal trainer plots the course, but you still have to do the driving so to speak.

You will be paying for expertise in workout planning and nutritional guidance, taking the confusion out of the equation for you and giving you the quickest route to results. Ultimately though, if you aren’t prepared to work hard and keep a level of discipline with your lifestyle you may be wasting your cash and causing your personal trainer a headache!

Finding the right personal trainer shouldn’t be a stressful experience and the above advice is designed to help you take away the guesswork, and protect you from selecting the wrong person for the job.

Head over to Steve’s blog and enter his fitness equipment giveaway. Steve is giving one lucky reader the chance to win a Maximuscle weight training set worth £199.

Steve’s blog:
Fitness equipment giveaway:
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