Just like a spouse or a job, there's a different personal trainer for everyone, and it's up to you to choose one that works for you, not take the first one that comes along. Let's look at the things to consider when picking one.
Picture: Living Fitness/Flickr
The first thing to understand is that anyone can call themselves a "personal trainer", so qualifications are important. The Personal Training Development Center (PTDC) makes a point to distinguish between "certification" and "qualification" because the former doesn't mean much, unless it's a top certification. A personal trainer can just as easily be great and uncertified as they can be horrible and certified.
The next thing that you'll want to do is ask specific questions to make sure that your trainer wasn't educated on YouTube. The PTDC explains:
You're hiring a personal trainer because she presumably knows more than you. You need somebody who educates herself with books, textbooks, and research studies, and that thinks for herself.
Ask her to tell you about things like muscle confusion and whether you need to be sore each workout? If she isn't able to explain something similar to the following, it's a pretty good sign that she's a YouTube trainer.
"No you don't need to feel sore after each workout. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is the result of unaccustomed exercise and is modulated due to type, intensity, and duration or training. What this means is that anything different will make you sore. Muscle confusion is a buzzword that doesn't really mean much. Muscles don't get confused. They don't think. They respond to stimulus and the mechanisms to adaptation are pretty well understood…"
If you're in the market for a trainer, then there's a good chance that he or she will directly influence how much you enjoy fitness in the near term. Make sure to shop around and don't make the decision lightly.
10 Things to Consider When Choosing to Hire the Personal Trainer for You [The Personal Training Development Center]