Important Questions to Ask a Personal Trainer

What do a Nike Buyer, Jeff Bezos, and Thor have in common? They all use a personal trainer and have gotten great results from it. Whether you’re the god of thunder himself, or a parent of 3 from Chigwell, getting in shape takes a big investment of time and sometimes money. Therefore it stands to reason that before hiring a personal trainer and spending your hard earned money there might be some important questions you’d like to ask to make sure you’re making a sound investment. Right?

That being said, what are the most important questions you should ask a personal trainer before hiring them? Well, you’re in luck here they are:

1. Are you Qualified?

Having a six pack and an army of followers on instagram and TikTok doesn’t automatically mean you can give out sound, safe training, nutrition and overall fitness or wellness advice. As easy as it might be for you, this isn’t the best road to travel to get the results and advice you’re looking for. This is one of the most critical questions to ask any prospective personal trainer.

Sam @ SF Sport: I am a certified personal trainer with NASM and have nutritional qualifications from Precision Nutrition.

NB: To find out more about me, you can read here –> Meet Your Coach

2. What Questions Will You Ask Me About My Health?

Most professional personal trainers will do some initial health screening.It’s important to get a sense of your general health and whether there are any issues that need to be taken account of. A personal trainer who does no checks is probably not following the standards laid down in their training. You have to wonder where else they are cutting corners.

Sam @ SF Sport: I will ask you to send over a ‘before’ style picture, as well as fill out a fitness survey. This will allow me to gauge your starting point; how muscly you are, your current body fat and of course body type (Mesomorph, Endomorph, Ectomorph). You will also need to do a brief fitness test. This allows me to make sure that your workouts are pitched at the right intensity level for you. Your nutritional framework will then match up with your training plan. Each days intake and macro splits will reflects the training you are going to do that day.

3. How Often Should I Train With You?

Depending on the results you’re looking to achieve and how quickly, you should be exercising between 3 to 4 times a week but all of these sessions don’t necessarily need to be with your personal trainer. Your budget, available time and lifestyle all have an effect on how often you can meet your personal trainer. Depending on your circumstances, an online training/coaching solution might be better for you. Regardless of this, when you ask these questions to the right personal trainer, they will understand and offer solutions that best fit your needs.

Sam @ SF Sport: I currently have a wide range of options to suit all circumstances spanning training camps of 3x weekly in person 1 – 1 sessions, to remote training programmes with weekly check ins. Whatever you need, I have you covered.

4.What Type of Exercises Will I Be Doing?

Using a personal trainer is about having a personal service. Your program must be personal to you. You may find that personal trainers have a preference for certain types of equipment, exercises or approaches or a particular philosophy when it comes to training. That’s fine but this needs to be customised to meet your specific individual goals and circumstances.

When your personal trainer answers these questions, are they thinking about your needs or their own preferences? This is meant to be about you, not them.

Sam @ SF Sport: All SHIFT programmes are created from scratch based on your individual goals and circumstances. Depending on what your starting point is, and what you have access to, I’ll create a personalised training and nutrition plan to help you meet your goals.

6. Can I train in a group?

If you want to physically group train in person, then a personal trainer may not be the best option. Sometimes it’s good to have a training buddy for accountability and competition and some personal trainers will be happy to work with two clients at the same time.

Sam @ SF Sport: I currently have couples training camps available, where you and your partner will train side by side. In addition to this theres a group option for online coaching. I’ll create a personalised individual training and nutrition plan to help you meet your goals, but the weekly check in sessions will be done as part of a group. With this option you can have friendly competition, help each other along and depending on where you all are in the world, maybe even train with each other.

7. Can I Talk to Some of Your Other Clients?

A credible personal trainer will have testimonials and recommendations from other clients. Ask to speak to them.

Sam @ SF Sport: Here are some testimonials from some of my clients. If you’d like to speak to them individually, I’d happily ask the question and see if they would be happy to speak to you.

Jessica Nolan, Enterprise Ireland
Thanks a mill Sam! Worth dying for the first half an hour cos now I feel 100! Thanks again for the shirt, and I'll keep you updated about this Thurs.
Ana Morales, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek
Today's training was painful, but I also feel that I am getting stronger. Thanks for always making it fun and helping me with my goals.
Hadass, self employed caterer
Hey Sam, just wanted to say I really had fun today. So nice to work with someone that makes sure you keep proper form and pushes you when you need it. Thanks!
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8. How Can You Help Me With My Nutrition?

A qualified personal trainer will recognise the importance of food on physical and mental health and fitness. If your goals are to do with weight loss this is especially important. Generally, a personal trainer will not be a medical dietician but some advice/direction to complement your exercise regime is helpful.

Sam @ SF Sport: I am not a medical dietician, or a nutritional psychologist however I am qualified to give nutritional advice and write nutritional plans to complement your training programmes. Each custom training plan comes complete with a corresponding nutritional plan.

9. How quickly will I see some progress and will I know when I see it?

One of the best questions to ask your prospective personal trainer to determine if they have your best interest at heart. Once you have explained your goals, you should be wary of any trainer that gives you a definitive timeline for achieving those goals. They should however be able to level set with you and lay out typical time frames and realistic expectations.

Sam @ SF Sport: How quickly you see progress depends solely on YOU. How dedicated and consistent you are, how well trained you are to begin with, what your definition of progress is etc etc. This is a major reason why each programme is custom made along with the measurements of success.

10. What Should I Do Between Sessions with You?

If you are expecting to train between meetings with your personal trainer, you need a plan for what to do. This should complement the work you do with the personal trainer. Once a week exercise with a personal trainer might be better than nothing but you will get great results if you do 2 to 3 further sessions.

Sam @ SF Sport: STRESS + REST = GROWTH. All programmes are designed with the intention of you training 3 – 4 times a week. Whether you’re in a training camp with me in person or you have a custom training programme with no coaching element. However the most important thing for you to be doing between those 3 – 4 sessions, is RECOVERY. ALL custom programmes come with tips and routines to follow in order to help maximise your recovery and lead an overall healthier lifestyle.


How much do you charge?

Don’t be shy about asking questions about cost to any personal trainer looking for your business. You will generally have some kind of client agreement that sets out charges. You should discuss any discounts for pre-payment. Be clear from the start about how cancellations and late arrival (you or the personal trainer) will be handled.

Sam @ SF Sport: I have a training solution to fit pretty much every pocket. Take 30 seconds to go through the following questions and find out exactly what the ideal programme for you will cost with SF Sport.

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