Ryan McMahon Fitness | personal trainer Pimlico

How to find the right personal trainer

Finding a great personal trainer is tough. Here are 5 things you should check before taking the plunge.

Ben cuts my hair every 6 weeks.

I’ve probably been his client for nearly 10 years. Why am I so loyal to Ben? What makes any personal service provider more ‘sticky’ than their peers?

Here are 5 red flags to look out for when choosing your personal trainer:

1. Me, me, me, me….

Training sessions are all about the client. That’s what you’re paying for. Obviously conversation is natural, but if you feel like you’re providing a therapy session every time you visit your trainer then it might be time to look elsewhere.

2. Social media requests

I’m of an age where it’s oh-so-edgy to mock gen-Z’s for being hyper-online.

But few businesses in 2023 would survive without marketing on the major platforms.

Clients like to help promote their trainer, but I’d tread carefully if you’re regularly being asked to be the star of their social media feed. You’re essentially giving your trainer permission to use images/videos of you however they wish. If you don’t like what they post, would you feel comfortable to ask them to take it down? Do you trust them to put your concerns ahead of getting more attention for their business?

3. Instagram fit-pros

We once had a quite well-known ‘grammer ask to use our gym with her photographer. 5 hours later she still didn’t have enough pics of her booty. If there was a world record for the most bent over rows in one day, she’d have smashed it.

How much focus do you really think is on helping her clients/audience? 

Online training is still a relatively young industry. Sadly, helpful fitness advice is too-often sacrificed for the growing pressure to get eyeballs on accounts. There are some accounts providing useful advice out there but be wise with your time and money.

4. Referrals and proof of results

Ok, this might contradict the second point a little. But bear with me.

Before and after comparison photos remain one of the most visually striking marketing tools for PT’s. And clients love to see how their hard work has paid off.

But photo editing tools are so easy to use. They’re in every trainer’s pocket now on a smartphone app. And you can buy hundreds of fake business reviews on Fiverr for a matter of dollars.

You should be offered the opportunity to speak to a selection of clients before signing up with any trainer. Don’t rely on them telling you they’re amazing. Ask around.

5. Pricing

Let’s go back to Ben. He’s not the cheapest barber in my area but equally I don’t feel like he’s taking the piss. A fair rate for a professional job.

Now, if I had long flowing locks and was going to a fancy salon, I would expect to pay a premium for an experienced, skilled stylist who could offer advice on what suits my face shape, colouring, treatments etc.

Likewise, all personal trainers are not created equally. There’s good, bad, some with advanced credentials, others with weekend certifications, experienced, newbies, and everything in between.

If you find a trainer low-balling their peers you’ve got to ask why.

If you want a skilled, experienced professional who can get you reliable results faster than other trainers who charge half the price, then you should expect to invest to secure their services.