Choosing the right personal trainer - GulfToday

Choosing the right personal trainer

Elaine Superio

Elaine Superio

Fitness 180° Manager Sharjah Ladies Club

Fitness 180° Manager Sharjah Ladies Club

Personal Trainer

Illustrative image.

Nowadays, it is very easy to find a personal trainer; be it in the gym or at home. But what important details you must keep in mind is to be sure that you are in safe hands. Is the instructor you chose certified, experienced or someone you can get along very well?

Here are some important tips I would like to share:

The first thing to ask is if your trainer is REPs Certified (The Register of Exercise Professionals).

Launched in 2013, REPs is an independent, public register which recognises the qualifications and expertise of fitness professionals in the UAE. REPs provides a system of regulation for instructors and trainers to ensure that they meet the health and fitness industry’s agreed UAE Fitness Occupational Standards.

REPs serves to protect people who take part in exercise and physical activity and provides assurance and confidence to the public and employers that all professionals on the Register are appropriately qualified and have the knowledge, competence and skills to perform their role effectively.

REPs covers all the main disciplines in fitness including group fitness, personal training, Pilates and Yoga and works with a wide range of employers, training providers and public bodies who support its mission.

Certification and education

A college degree in the fields of exercise science or nutrition improves the knowledge and credibility that a trainer has in developing your program, though not having a degree certainly does not preclude a fitness professional from being effective.

Working Experience and Field of Specialisation

How many years the trainer has been offering their services? Do they have experience in handling clients with different fitness goals or with injuries? Do they have expertise working with individuals according to client needs and limitations? In case you have medical concerns, the trainer should be able to design a program to specifically suit your needs. If you are under a doctor’s care, a personal trainer should gain your consent to discuss exercise concerns with your doctor and should ask the doctor for a medical clearance.

Check for previous clients

Ask the trainer for names, phone numbers and even testimonials of other clients they have worked with that share traits and goals that are similar to yours. It makes sense to select a trainer who has worked with clients similar to you or perhaps match your physical traits (e.g., age and body type). This allows the trainer to empathise and understand your unique challenges and needs.

Call previous clients to see if they were satisfied with the workouts, results and experiences they had with the trainer. Inquire whether the trainer was professional, punctual and prepared.

Liability Insurance and Business Policies

Many personal trainers operate as independent contractors and are not employees of a fitness facility. You should find out if the trainer you want to hire carries professional liability insurance. A reputable personal trainer should also make sure that you understand the cancellation policy and billing procedure. The best way to avoid confusion and protect your rights is to have those policies in writing.


Some people like to exercise in the morning, some in the evening. Will the personal trainer you’re talking to accommodate your schedule? What about the trainer’s gender? Some people do better working with a trainer of the same sex; others prefer the opposite sex. You should consider these and any other personal compatibility concerns you may have before beginning a working relationship with a trainer.

Talk to the trainer

Developing a personal, yet professional, relationship with your trainer is very important. Trust your instincts about the impressions the trainer makes upon you. The personal trainer you select should motivate you by positive, not negative, reinforcement. Even more important, that trainer should be someone you like. Ask yourself if you think you could get along well with the trainer and whether you think the trainer is genuinely interested in helping you. The personal trainer who best measures up is the one to hire, because that is the professional who will help you achieve the best results.

Find Out What the Trainer Charges

Rates vary depending on the session length, the trainer’s credentials, experience and expertise, and the geographic location of where they work and you live. For example, a personal trainer who works in a fitness club will probably charge less per hour than one who works independently and needs to come to your home or office.


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