Where To Find a Good Trainer?


I’m happy to hear you may be looking for a trainer. I’m also happy to hear that you're concerned about finding a good one. Hiring a trainer can be one of the best investments for your health and well-being.

I might be biased but that’s only because I’ve had the privilege of helping people make that transformation first hand.

Unfortunately, the industry has a very low bar of entry. Almost anyone can become a trainer. If you have a pulse, a few hundred bucks, and can tell the difference between a dumbbell and a barbell then you have what it takes to become a certified personal trainer.

Bad trainers give a bad reputation to the profession. While a good trainer can be life changing a bad trainer can cost you results, time, money, and potential injury.

This is why It’s so Important that you choose wisely.

Good trainers and bad trainers can be found at any gym, but like any industry the best trainers often move up to find better work opportunities.

The result is that certain types of gyms will often have more quality trainers to choose from.

This article is a guide on where to look to find the best trainers in your area.

For ease I separate the types of gyms into 4 tiers. These are the 4 tiers many trainers will climb as they progress in their careers but again I’ll mention that a good trainer can be found on any tier.

Tier 1 - Large Chain Gym

A chain gym is typically where most new trainers begin their careers. Most large chain gyms operate on a feast or famine model. This is to say they continuously bring in new trainers throw them out into the gym floor and see if they sell packages.

Trainers operate almost as independent contractors and get paid per session so if a trainer fails it comes at little to no cost for the company.

The combination of surplus labor and little penalty for a poor hire that many large chains will employ a large number of new trainers who may lack the experience and judgement to train someone safely and effectively.

Chances are high that many of the trainers you meeting a large gym will be new to the industry.

That is not to say a good trainer can’t be found there. If your only option is a large chain then I suggest you take some time to observe each of the trainers in action. See which ones are training frequently, how they interact with their clients, and the type of workouts that are given.

You can read my article How to Pick The Right Trainer for more advice on what to look for. Once you feel you’ve found a trainer that looks promising ask to do a complimentary session with him or her.

Tier 2 - Small Gym Chains / Health Clubs

Small gym chains that are privately owned and health clubs that may have a hospital affiliation often don’t have the financial pressure of shareholders to deal with.

In the case of a health clubs, they often put more of a focus on a person's overall well being and safety.

In either case, the smaller number of locations allows for management to better manage the quality of service provided. These gyms while still large will probably have a higher proportion of better trainers.

Tier 3 - Boutique Gyms / Studios

Studios and Boutique gyms are popping up like spring dandelions. Their smaller more intimate settings and their focus on providing value to the customer have made them very popular.

Studios and Boutique gyms often pay more to trainer and have more elaborate continuing education. They put a stronger focus on hiring trainers who can provide value. For this reason, they often have a much higher proportion of well-trained trainers.

The downside to these gyms are their higher cost but if you can afford it, then I recommend it. 

Tier 4 - Independent Trainers / Independent Training Studio

Working for yourself is a trainer's dream, the downside is it can be difficult to build a clientele base on your own. To be successful as an independent trainer often requires the ability to train, build client relationships, get results, and to market. Often marketing comes down to referrals - and you only get referrals when you do a great job.

It’s for these reasons that Independent Training often offers opportunities to find many high quality trainers.

Since anyone can be an independent trainer, there nothing stopping less experienced trainers from entering the market.

Often the free market will tell you who the better trainers are. The best trainers know their value and will charge more and haggle less.

The best way to find an independent trainer is to check out an independent training studio in your area or ask others for a referral.

How to find a trainer

When starting your search look online and gather a list of gyms in your area. Closer the better as convience will play a big role as to whether you show up consistently and stick to a program.

Convience plays such a role that you will likely be better off finding a good trainer at a lower tier facility that one thats a higher teir but to far away.

Once you make a list, determine your budget and what your looking for.


I hope this helps you differentiate between the many places one could find a trainer. As I mentioned at the start - there are good and bad trainers everywhere. I’ve met bad trainers that worked independently who were just great salesman just as some of the best trainers I know work in large gyms and I’d recommend them to anyone in a heartbeat.

The point I make in this article is that of the cream rising to the top - the more selective the facility and the higher the compensation the more likely you will be able to find quality trainers there.

I recommend you read my article How to Pick The Right Trainer as a follow up to this. It will help give you a better idea of what to look for in a trainer and how to differentiate the trainers who are worth your time and money from those who are not.

If your still not convinced a trainer is worth it read Why You Should Hire A Trainer And How to Get Your Money's Worth.

Of course if you’d like to save yourself the time and train with some of the best coaches teachers in the industry then shoot us a message down below.

Here at Fitness Made Clear our goal is to not just train you but educate you on how to live a healthy lifestyle. This way you get results that last.


Not convinced? Check out our what some of our clients have to say.


Stephen GriffithComment