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How to Choose a Trainer

When deciding to hire a trainer, you really need to educate yourself. 

Here are some questions, facts, and certifications to look for when hiring a trainer.  


  1. What makes this person qualified to be a trainer?

  2. Does this person have a degree in a health related field?

  3. Does this trainer have a reputable certification?

  4. Does the trainer care about me?

  5. Does the trainer pay attention to form?

Things to Know:

1.  There is not a governing body in trainer certifications.  It is left up to the gym or facility to decide on what certifications to hire.  There is an organization trying to do something about this problem, NCCA.  Go on their website and check it out.


2  You are not required to have a license or certification to be a personal trainer in the state of Tennessee.  This is again left up to the club or fitness facility.


3.  Anyone can become a trainer in less than 45 minutes.  There are certifications you can actually take online and print out a certificate, you just pay the fee.  This is a disgrace to the professionals in my industry. There are some really good trainers out there who care about their clients and this industry, you just have to look for them.


4.  Many trainers take illegal performance enhancing substances to make them look the way they do, so be careful. Just because someone looks good does not mean they know what they are doing.  However, in reverse they could be a walking pharmaceutical dictionary, and they may know more than a pharmacist.





This certification is 1 of the top 2 certification agencies in the business.  The "Health and Fitness" certification requires you to have a degree to take the exam.  The "Personal Trainer" certification does not, but the curriculum is difficult enough that a person must have a good understanding of what he/she is doing to pass the exam.



This certifying agency has two certifications: the CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) and CPT (Certified Personal Trainer).  The CSCS requires you to have a degree to sit for the test and has a 60% failure rate.  The CPT does not require you to have a degree but the curriculum is hard enough that you have to be educated in the field to pass the exam.



This certification is one of the most recognized in the industry.  I think this may be the most purchased certification out there.


Note:  These are certifications I look for in trainers.  There are others certifications that are reputable.  If you find a trainer that has any of these certifications, there still needs to be an interview process.  If you were going to hire someone to work for you, you would always interview them first.  This is an investment in your health.  No one wants to spend money and precious time only to have it wasted on someone who has no idea what he/she is doing.  I have met some really smart trainers who have no idea how to train people.  I have also met trainers who have not had any formal education, yet can teach people many things about the fitness world.  Sometimes personalities collide.  Sometimes the trainer is just burnt out and doesn't care.  The point is no 2 trainers are the same, there are many factors in hiring a trainer, training is an art.  Do your homework to make sure you have the right fit!


Beware of Contracts:

Some trainers make a living by preying on people who are not informed.  I urge people not to take my word on anything.  Check OnTraks information out for yourself.  Many trainers use high pressure selling techniques to get people to sign up with them.  It is not a good idea to sign a long-term contract with a trainer.  You may get a discount with most trainers by signing up for 10, 20, or 30 session packages, but if they try to sell you on a yearly contract run, run, run far away!


Learn more About Us and see Ontrak Personal Training's qualifications. An


Content provided by:

OnTrak Personal Training

Personal Trainer Franklin TN


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