Fitness Nutrition Forums

How to Find the Best Personal Trainer for You


Finding a good trainer is easy, but finding the BEST trainer will take a bit of work. It's all about finding a trainer that knows your body and will tailor the exercise program to you. A good trainer will:

Step 1: Evaluate Your Performance

The evaluation of your fitness will be done via a number of tests:

Body composition test -- This test involves taking your total weight, using skin fold calipers to test your body's total fat percentage, and determining your lean body weight. (Lean body weight is the most important thing to figure out, as it will help the trainer know how much fat weight you have to lose.)

Strength test -- You will be given very heavy weights to lift, and you will have to lift until failure to determine where your muscles are at in terms of strength and power.

Endurance test -- You will be given lighter weights to lift, but will lift them 20 to 25 times.

Cardio test -- A step test will often be applied to test your aerobic capacity, and it will help the trainer to see where you're at in your cardio training.

Flexibility test -- A simple sit and reach test will help the trainer to determine how flexible you are. This is necessary because flexibility will help reduce the risk of injury as you work out.

Step 2: Determine Your Basal Metabolic Rate

Once your physical performance has been tested, the fitness trainer should determine your basal metabolic rate. This is the number of calories that your body burns every day, regardless of your activity level.

Your lean body weight will have already been measured, and the number will be used to determine your basal metabolic rate. Fitness trainers certified by the National Federation of Professional Trainers use this formula to determine BMR:

LBW x 11 = BMR

Example: Your lean body weight is 150 pounds. Multiply that by 11, and your basal metabolic rate is 1650. This means that your body burns 1,650 calories on its own every day.

Once the trainer has this number he will be able to figure out how many calories you need to add (for weight gain) or subtract (for weight loss) from your daily diet--or how many you'll need to burn for safe weight loss.

Step 3: Test Your Blood Pressure and Heart Beat

Regular exercise reduces blood pressure, but the trainer will need to take a blood pressure test initially in order to be safe.

Your heart beat will also need to be calculated in order to determine the intensity of your workouts:

Maximum Heart Rate = 220 - (your age) (Example: You are 45, so {220 - 45 = 175})

Resting Heart Rate = Number of heart beats in 10 seconds (when at rest) x 6

Remember, your target heart rate will be between 60 and 90 percent of your maximum heart rate--depending on the workout. The trainer will need to know these things in order to ensure that the program is optimized for your body.

Step 4: Create a Program for You

Once the trainer has all of these things, he will be able to create a program for you. The program will include details like:

Number of reps per set -- 4 to 6 for strength, 12 to 15 for general fitness, 20 to 25 for weight loss.

Specificity training -- Training for a specific sport or activity.

Balanced workout -- Training both the upper and lower halves of the body, as well as the core.

Desired intensity -- Targeting the optimal heart rate for the workouts.

Once you have the program, you're ready to get started working out--with the help of your professional trainer!



Andy Peloquin had battled with weight loss issues his whole life. To overcome this, he began studying fitness and is now in the process of becoming a certified professional fitness trainer. He exercise seven days a week and is excited to share his down-to-earth knowledge of exercise and fitness.

{{ oArticle.title }}

{{ oArticle.subtitle }}