By Bonni Zipp

When you need a little extra push at the gym, whether it be to kick off your workout routine or to get you out of a rut, hiring a personal trainer is a great option. Personal trainers can be quite an investment though, so it is important to know you’re getting what you paid for. Here is a helpful list of questions to ask before you hire a trainer or are assigned one by your gym.

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Remember, it is often about a personal connection as well. Take these questions into consideration and make sure to trust your gut when signing up.

1.  Are you certified and with whom?  (The best certifications are through American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), ACE, or AFAA. A degree in exercise science is also a wonderful credential.)

2.  Can I pay by the session?  Do you offer discounts if I purchase a series or package of sessions?

3.  What is your cancellation policy?  (Some trainers will charge you if you cancel a session.)

4.  Is your CPR current?

5.  How many years have you been a personal trainer? (This is not being nosy…it is important to know the person telling you what to do with your body has experience.)

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6.  Do you have experience with my specific needs? (This is extremely important if you are prenatal, postpartum, menopausal, or have a health condition that may impact your training…it’s also important to know that the trainer has experience with your gender.)

7.  Can we try one or two sessions before I commit to a contract or a series? (For the record, I NEVER have a client sign a contract, nor do I sell packages, but that is just my personal preference.) I think it’s really important client/trainer personalities are compatible.

8.  Is your schedule somewhat flexible?  (This is important because the reality of life is that often life/family/work gets in the way of a session–it’s good to know your trainer can fit you in at another time.)

9.  How quickly do you think I might see results?

10.  Assuming all the above looks good, my final question would be, “how quickly can I get started?”

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