What To Think About When Hiring A Personal Trainer

Kyle Cavnar is a successful Personal Trainers operating out of our Better Bodies Home Gym, Destination Dallas Texas. We asked Kyle to elaborate on the topic of Personal Trainers and how to hire the one that is right for YOU. Do you want to avoid hiring the wrong personal trainer and potentially save thousands of dollars and months of frustration? Read this article... I promise it’s worth the 5 minutes. You’ve decided to invest in yourself and hire a personal trainer that is going to help you achieve these ambitious fitness goals… AWESOME! But, you’re not sure what questions to ask and how to know if someone is indeed a good, great, phenomenal, or HORRIFIC personal trainer and, unfortunately in this industry, you will find all the above. I'm here to help you filter all this down and find the RIGHT trainer for you all while avoiding weeks or even months of wasted time and money. After 19 years of personal training in many different atmospheres and around many different trainers, I’m here to clear the air once and for all and definitively lay out EXACTLY what you need to watch for when hiring a personal trainer regardless if it’s your first, third, or tenth. After reading this article, you will be able to detect the telltale signs right away that will help deter you from someone who doesn’t care about providing a proper service and will likely be a poor investment and instead land the RIGHT trainer who will help you reach those ambitious goals.



EDUCATION NOT ALL CERTIFICATIONS ARE THE SAME. Unlike some industries that have strict governing oversight and regulation, personal trainer certifications are handed out way too easily from way too many organizations. There are literally hundreds of ‘PT cert’ companies so you MUST find out which one they have. Need help figuring out if their cert is ranked among the top in the field or if it is nonsense? Email me and I will help. If you can find a trainer that invested into a Bachelor’s Degree or even Master Degree in a related field, they will likely have a great understanding of human anatomy, bio-mechanics, exercise physiology, and program development. Some may argue this, but all the best trainers I’ve known have years if not decades of education and have invested $10’s if not $100’s of thousands into furthering their knowledge. A trainer who spent three days getting certified cannot compete with that, it’s apples and oranges.


You should be able to get a hold of your trainer on a regular basis. A personal trainer is a large financial investment and this single person is supposed to help you potentially change your entire life physically, mentally, psychologically, and even your daily habits that may be exactly what’s holding you back. IF YOU CANNOT GET A HOLD OF YOUR TRAINER, FIRE THEM. Even the busiest, most successful trainer will schedule time into their calendar to get back to clients in a timely manner. This goes for in person and online training; at times, there may legitimately be something that comes up and there could be a delay, but unless that trainer is in the ER and unable to reply, you should be hearing from them. There’s no such thing as a trainer who’s so busy they put their own clients on the back burner. Remember; YOU HIRED THEM. They WORK for you! I’ve seen many clients of trainers play the victim card in this situation; “He’s just so busy, I’ll just try again next week.” I promise you, 99.99% of the time, a trainer can get back to you on time. It’s their job. There’s no job in the world where a good boss would allow a 24 – 48 hour delayed reply and not address it. You are the trainer’s boss…you need to address it. PASSION I would say this is equally as important as education; Our jobs as trainers is a unique one; we’re a Jack / Jill of all trades. Those of us who truly love our job will ooze passion and positive energy with zero effort. We simply love what we do and who we do it with, and hopefully where we do it at. If you have an appointment with your trainer or an online check in chat, you should be excited to chat with them and feed off their energy. Some trainers are of course more stern in their approach and vocabulary, but it’s because the good ones’ care and they WANT YOU TO SUCCEED. It’s literally why we go into this business; We want to make a decent living helping people achieve their health and fitness goals and gain your referrals to continue expanding our business and helping more people. No one gets their trainer certification so they can mope around the gym and look like they don’t give a shit. ***If you see this or if this is YOUR trainer, they’ve lost their passion, their drive to do well, and likely have also lost interest in your own goals. This is so toxic and such an uncomfortable situation for many clients, but YOU MUST WALK AWAY if you find yourself in this scenario. I don’t care if the trainer is a close friend, your nephew, or your own significant other; if the trainer isn’t delivering the service they promised, fix it and / or get your money back and find a new trainer.


DEMAND Here in Dallas, we have what’s called D Magazine and once a year they feature all the top businesses, restaurants, doctors / surgeons, and pretty much any other type of establishment or service you could think of. It’s an impressive list of professionals featured in an impressive magazine and those who make it on this list boast about it online and at their place of work. It all comes down to this; A great place of business is going to be BUSY. That’s why they’re ranked the best! They have clients, booked schedules, maybe even a waiting list. It might even be hard to get an appointment scheduled if you wait until it’s too late. A PERSONAL TRAINER IS NO DIFFERENT; If they’re busy, that’s a great sign! That means people like them and keep coming back. It means they’re providing a service that clients enjoy and are bringing new friends along. It’s literally one of the easiest ways to tell whether someone is a good trainer or not. Now, there are many great trainers who don’t have booked schedules simply because they don’t want to or have other obligations. That’s totally okay. But for millions of people across the world in a typical gym setting, you probably notice that only 1-4 trainers are ‘killing it’ with their business and always seem to be working. It’s not by mistake and it’s not by chance. Those trainers WORKED HARD to get to that level of demand. You might want to talk to them about training. ATTITUDE AND ENERGY This one is personal to me; As a trainer, I take my job VERY seriously and treat my service as if my place of work was the White House, a surgery center, or freaking NASA. I must be ON MY GAME when I am in the gym and so does your trainer. As I mentioned in a previous statement, your trainer should be oozing positive energy and excitement for you and your goals. They are the driving force behind what will finally get you past those barriers you can’t seem to break down on your own or simply need that last push to cross the finish line. Let me be very clear about this; If your trainer gossips, loves spreading rumors, flirts with other gym members during your session, has no game plan, and, my BIGGEST pet peeve, never gets off their PHONE, THEY ARE NOT INTERESTED IN YOUR GOALS. FIRE THEM IMMEDIATELY! Let’s be honest, being a personal trainer is an awesome job; we go to work in fitness clothing, we do what we love, we’re compensated fairly, and our client’s lives alter for the better…it’s literally a win-win-win situation. If any trainer does not realize the opportunity they have right in front of them, it’s best they just throw in the towel and find a job that maybe doesn’t require them to motivate others.


FRIENDSHIP & COMRADERY Let’s say your trainer checks off all these boxes; they have the education, the energy, the focus, the drive, and they’re in demand. That’s awesome! But I’ll tell you this; y'all must be able to ‘click'. Maybe that means as friends, maybe it means something in a more professional sense. But y'all should be able to get along. At least for the hour you’re training. I don’t mean you and your trainer need to go grab lunch every Friday and watch the football game each weekend. But just like we pick our friends because we get along with certain people, I’ve always found it much easier to do business with people that share the same sense of humor and attitude. Naturally, I love enjoying a few good laughs or discussing my client’s newest real estate investment. A trainer should enjoy my time with my clients and a client should be able to click with their trainer as well; many times, a great personal trainer becomes a close friend. I’ve had many clients over the years become long lasting friends and that in return has yielded many referrals which I converted to clients. It’s the cycle of a great business!



To finalize, here’s a few quick RED FLAGS to avoid when hiring a personal trainer. Not good at replying to calls, texts, emails. Always on their phone when they’re supposed to be training. Loves talking about themselves excessively when they should be focused ON YOU. Focuses on the ‘cute’ person in the gym or their friends instead of you the client. Can’t seem to keep their private life private and want to tell you everything. Watch out for this one; If your trainer gets too comfortable as y'all become friends, don’t let them loose their professionalism. They’re still there to kick your butt. If you ask how are things outside of work, it’s understandable to chat about it. But if they continue to bring up unrelated topics and personal matters, ask them to stop. Doesn’t keep track of payments, progress, or have any rhyme or reason behind their methods. When you ask why you’re performing certain exercises, they have no explanation or understanding of basic bio-mechanics and anatomy. Doesn’t seem to care about your goals or can’t remember them. The trainer is disrespectful and / or uncomfortable to be around. The trainer is clearly not putting your goals first and is just trying to meet a sales quota. DON’T FALL FOR THIS; NEVER make personal training a financial burden upon yourself because some trainer or their manager pressured you to buy 5 sessions a week for 6 months with them. NEVER ALLOW THIS. ALWAYS STAY WITHIN A BUDGET AND KNOW WHAT THAT BUDGET IS BEFORE DISCUSSING NUMBERS. Unfortunately, many big box gyms and many selfish trainers focus firstly on money, then on clients; they really don’t care if you achieve your goals as long as you keep paying. A GOOD TRAINER WILL HELP YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU’RE ABLE TO COMFORTABLY INVEST. This is so important, if you take anything away from this article, please remember this one. Share your thoughts and experiences with us! What do you look for when hiring a trainer? Find me on IG @kyle_cavnar and let me know!


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