What to look for in a Personal Trainer…

May 26, 2009

Interview by Mara Stine

There are many personal trainers out there, but the most important thing to keep in mind when looking for a personal trainer is to find one who understands your needs, says fitness trainers and health activist Victoria Johnson

“People do what they know,” she says. “If you want to get lean and light, don’t get a trainer who’s a body builder”.

“If a trainer is dealing with a woman who has 30 extra pounds on her after having a baby, and if he’s used to body builders, he won’t know how to motivate her.”

Facts such as hormones and the dietary needs of a nursing mother must be taken into consideration at a time like that, she says. Plus, a trainer must have some experience with your body type.”

For example, most women who are short and have a lot of muscle mass want to slim down, not get pumped up.

“If he has you doing squats and lunges, he’s just going to make your butt bigger,” Victoria says, clearly exasperated for you.
She says many people can benefit from a personal trainer, but they don’t realize it- they think a gym membership is all they need.

Wrong! If you belong to a gym and don’t use it, or don’t use it correctly (ie wandering aimlessly around the place), that’s money down the drain.

She suggests one or two session with a trainer to set up a personal program and get instruction on how to use equipment properly. Later on, get a follow-up session to measure how you’re doing and find out what improvements need to be made.

And how are we supposed to know if the training Is working?

“The minute you see your energy improve, keep with it,” she advises, even if the scale isn’t kind.


“There are many measurements of fitness, not just the scale,” she says. Clothes fit better, getting out of the car is easier, walking up stairs doesn’t make you feel faint.

Don’t sign any long-term contracts until you know the trainer is right for you, and be sure to talk about money before contracts even enter the picture.


If an hour-long session costs $35, don’t spend half the time just talking. The trainer should be in good enough shape to chitchat while both of you workout.

She also recommends making sure the trainer is certified by one of the National Certification Programs; ACE, ACSM, AFAA, Cooper Institute or any other certification program that the trainer mentions he/she is a part of.

Above all: Get strong, get energized and get confident.


“If you want to win, surround yourself with winners,” Victoria says. “When you feel confident, it doesn’t matter what size you are. Food doesn’t have to be sweet. Success is.”

About the Author:

Victoria Johnson is the nation’s premier Health & Fitness and Wealth & Spirit “activist.” Victoria is the owner and president of Victoria Johnson Intl., a personal training, consulting, marketing and management company. She is not only a fitness guru, she’s a born and bred entrepreneur. She believes everyone should be healthy and prosperous. She has produced and starred in over 24 award-winning exercise and dance fitness DVD’s and videos, produced and starred in her own television show entitled “Victoria’s Body Shoppe” and most recently authored her third book, Body Revival, Lose Weight, Feel Great and Pump Up Your Faith! 


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