T Nation

Trying to Find a Personal Trainer


I have been looking online for a personal trainer for about 2 weeks now. i tried one guy and now want my money back because well...he was a rip off!!! but that's a long story! i would like to find a female trainer who could help me reach my goals and not let up on me when i feel like giving up.

i have tried to lose this weight on my own and its just not working! if anyone knows anyone in the Houston TX area that could be the one i would sooo greatly appreciate it! thanks to everyone!


Are you looking for someone to train you online or in person?


I'm open to both. preferably in person because i know myself enough to know that online ill be more likely to fall off. i want this so bad but doing it on my own just isn't working!


If that's you in the picture, I'll fly out for a weekend and train you...


Good personal trainers should be able to give you :

A free trial/assessment
Goal Setting and re goal setting
Continued regular assessment to measure progress (bf, girth, weight,LBM etc)
Nutrtional Strategies
Previous success stories from people with similar goals (referral from a friend is best or a testimonial page)
Structured training to do when your not with them (you may not be able to train 4 days a week)
Client / Trainer agreements
Your money back if your not happy with the service


They better be fit themselves!

Good personal trainers do exist. They are just outweighed by the poor / un educated ones.


Good advice from Stockzy IMO.

I think one of the best questions to ask a potential trainer is...

"What do you do on a regular basis to update your knowledge?"

If they choke on this question and haven't done anything to update their knowledge since they got certified (at which time they probably did the absolute bare minimum they could get away with), then walk away.

From the trainers I've worked with, the people who make the effort and take the time to continue educating themselves are usually the same trainers who are good at what they do.


I love the attitude! Show this to any trainer and I'm sure they'll be more than happy to take you as a client, just go to gyms in your local area and ask around.


What exactly isn't working and what is it "this" that you want? You haven't said anything about your goals or how you have been training or how long you have been training. The first step is to identify why you are a quitter. Is it because you do not know what you are doing or because you can't handle the pain involved with a workout program that will actually give you results?

I am not going to go through all the possibilities here, but spend a good amount of time thinking of your answer because when you really figure out the answer you may find out you don't really need to waste money on a personal trainer. Motivation to train and change your lifestyle will always come from within.

No one will be able to motivate you better than yourself. The problem is, in our society we are taught that everyone is perfect just the way you are so most people will never put in the effort to change themselves (changing yourself is hard so why bother if you are perfect). The problem is you are not perfect, nobody is.

In order to find the motivation to train you need to get angry. Anger is a great emotion, but unfortunately people don't know how to use it. Tonight, go into your bathroom and take off all your clothes and take pictures of yourself unflexed and with your belly pushed out. Take a good look at those pictures and decide if you are happy with the way you look. If you are not, get ANGRY.

Then go to the gym and project that anger onto the bar and make it your bitch. There is all the motivation you ever need. A personal trainer cannot motivate you to move heavy objects. Only you can. If you want a personal trainer because you do not know what to do in the gym, don't waste your money. Spend an hour or two a day reading through the nutrition/training articles on this site and you will know more than 99.9% of all personal trainers in the world.

I reccommend starting with John Berardi and Alwyn Cosgrove. If you really need someone there with you, find a training partner. They are much cheaper than trainers.


Yes, because reading how to properly execute a squat is the best way to learn how to do a squat. Give me a break. Yes there is some great information on this site, but that doesn't compare to someone at the gym with you watching and analyzing what you're doing WHILE you are doing it.

I am a trainer, I read T-Nation. This doesn't mean I reference T-Nation on everything I do with my clients. It is important for people to educate themselves and make their own opinions but don't discount the help that a qualified trainer can provide. Obviously you don't mind reading articles by trainers but yet bash most of them as incompetent losers. Grow up.


A good way to start is to look at certifications. There are many organizations out there, but the general attitude is that the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) are the only worthwhile ones, since they focus on a much broader spectrum of topics.

The important thing here, though, is that understanding that certifications do not equal actual knowledge. Think of it like a driver's license. A 16 year old kid that just got his license is just as qualified as a Nascar driver. Does that mean they're just as smart? Hell no. Same thing. By only looking at a NSCA-CPT or a CSCS to train you, you'll be able to weed out a lot of losers.

Like others have said, they should be able to explain what they are always doing to expand my knowledge. Continual gain of knowledge will really show a person's dedication to their profession.

Also, ask them who they refer for psychiatric needs or physical therapy. If they don't have anyone, they don't have a very good understanding of their profession. Personal trainers are not trained to handle psychiatric issues (eating disorders, which are common among females in club sports) or to rehab injuries.

Here's my personal thing: Ask them who their trainer is. No matter how good of a trainer you are, there's just some stuff you can't see when you're lifting, and having another opinion from another expert is invaluable. Doctors have doctors, and lawyers have lawyers. Why shouldn't trainers have trainers?

Lastly, I wouldn't discredit anyone that doesn't look like a fitness god. Some people just don't have the time, energy, dedication, or desire to be super ultra built. Obviously your trainer shouldn't have a beer gut and perpetual Cheetoes-stained fingers, but it's not like you have to be 260 pounds at 5%bf to know how to train people.


okay first id like to say a personal trainer is good, even top bodybuilders or sports atheltes use trainers (however MOST dont use them year round - only month by month).

However the most important thing is you will need to try and MOTIVATE YOUSELF. this will really help you!

*ask youself this: do i want to gain muscle or lose weight.. build a firm body etc..


1) research Bodybuilding, Figure Athletes, Weight Loss, Protein Supplements, Bodybuilding / Figure Athletes Diets, Abdominal workouts etc.

-you can GOOGLE all of this and im sure you will find alot of information about it all over the internet.

-also you can search for this on YOUTUBE. with youtube: serach for body transformatons to start or just research what you feel you need to learn about - for example if you want to learn about bodybuilding diets: type in the youtube search: bodybuilding diets

anyways YES a personal trainer is good, however mostly for the basics(just to get you started) on how to use machines, stretching, proper form whilst lifting etc...

a personal trainer is also good for the advanced bodybuilder: most probably can assist in drying you out for competition, posing, just mainly the small touch up things (or some could say the big things?).

- there are however lots of bullshit personal trainers out there (MALE and FEMALES). so be careful not to waste ur money on a LOSER if you believe you need a personal trainer to assist you.

All the best with your goals.

takecare :slight_smile:


Did I ever say to learn how to squat by reading about it? I don't think so. Great argument though, considering that in order to become CPT qualified you do not need to demonstrate proficiency with any significant amount of exercises (you just watch a video and point out errors). This ignores the fact that no two people have the exact same physiology and so "proper" is a relative term.

Also, I can think of dozens of diferent ways to execute a squat so there is really no "proper" way to perform it. What one needs to do is read up on physiology and figure out the right way to perform the exercise for their body type. Then, just watch a video of it being performed with a training partner and have them make sure you are doing this properly. 99.9% of CPTs simply do not have the knowledge of physiology to do this and are unwilling to invest the time to learn the information.

For example, a trainer would spend countless hours learning just the physiology of a squat let alone how differences in that physiology would affect the mechanics of the exercise and actually learn how to manipulate the exercise based on the limitations of each different individual.In fact I know several CPTs who insist everyone should be doing squats. Whereas an individual person can skim through the information that does not apply to their physiology and figure out how they should do it and watch a video with their training partner in less than 2 hours. I would rather spend two hours learning about an exercise than pay a CPT who has never even read a physiology book show me what his proper way to perform an exercise.


I was simply stating the fact that it is beneficial to have someone watching you perform an exercise that knows what the hell they are doing rather than just watching or reading about it on the internet. Certification or no certification does not matter to me because I agree that the requirements are a joke proved to me by the fact that most trainers that I see are horrible. This does not mean all of them are bad however and even the most advanced people can benefit from some hands on help every now and then. Even the pros do it.