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5 Top Qualities of a Skilled Personal Trainer

5 Top Qualities of a Skilled Personal Trainer

A new year is upon us and many of us make new year resolutions to reach for new goals and aspirations. Common resolutions are centered around fitness and health. Some individuals are looking to join a gym and include more physical activity into their lifestyle, while others have more specific goals focusing around fat loss or strengthening. If you or someone you know is considering investing in health and wellness by hiring a personal trainer then this is a must read! There are five qualities you should look for when finding a skilled fitness professional to help you get into shape.

5. Professionalism

When you hire a professional that provides you with a service, it is vital that they are reliable and prompt; and the quality of their service should be consistent. Personal trainers need to be dependable with appointment scheduling and have an organized scheduling system. Prompt communication is also key with timely responses via phone or email. Showing up on time, being prepared for each session, staying positive, and providing motivation are also examples of professionalism. They need to be able to lead, delegate, and maintain a safe environment for both parties.

4. Versatility

Every individual has unique goals and fitness backgrounds. Look for a personal trainer whom works with a variety of clients that vary in age, fitness levels, and overall goals. Asking questions upon initial meeting with a personal trainer is important to finding the right fit. Avoid picking a trainer with a cookie cutter approach where everyone gets the same workout. A high school athlete’s training program will look very different than an elderly client’s program that has had their hip replaced. Not only should a personal trainer be versatile with their clientele but also with their training methods to accommodate all fitness levels and medical contraindications.

3. Programming

This is one of the most important parts of any training. Programming is the construction of the workout routine/plan for an individual client. This aspect has the most variability and personalization. Your personal trainer will most likely have their overall training methods established; however, can they adapt to your needs and goals? Again remember to discuss this topic during your consultation or initial visit. Programming can be based around a movement bias, specific exercises, percentages, reps, time, intensity, and frequency. In addition, your personal trainer should consider your daily routine outside of the gym and how it may affect your training. Another critical part of creating an effective program is establishing a timeline that will help with progress and accountability. Without proper programming, you might as well just show up on your own and hit random exercise machines at the gym.

2. Education

There is a wide range educational background for personal trainers. The standards to becoming a trainer will vary depending on geographical location and specific gym/studio. A personal trainer may need a 4-year degree in exercise science, kinesiology (science of movement),or exercise physiology, as well others field specific degrees. In addition, there are numerous personal training certifications available; some with fewer requirements than others. Know what credentials your trainer has, and if continuing education is completed regularly.

1. Experience

Evaluate the type of experience your personal trainer has. Have they worked in different settings or have they been in the same location for multiple years? Has the personal trainer kept up with the industry over the years? A trainer with experience and the other four qualities mentioned can come with a price. With more experience, a personal trainer typically charges more per hour. When you look for quality and personal care, the price should reflect with the services that you receive.

Find the right professional with the qualities that suits your needs. For more on this or any other health and wellness topics, reach out at

Live to achieve,

Dr. Ilya Gluskin PT, DPT

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