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Finding a Personal Trainer

How to get the best match between your personal trainer and your fitness goals

Guy or gal?

A big question for some guys is whether or not they’ll be comfortable with a female certified personal trainer. While only a minority of male clients specifically ask for male trainers, trainers say that there are some reasons — primarily psychological — why a male trainer might be a better fit for a man.

Sometimes it’s a mindset issue. “I think men want to be challenged,” says Brian Schiff, who owns The Fitness Edge, a private fitness studio in Columbus, Ohio. “Some of the battles you fight with men are that they feel they don’t need any exercise help. So you need innovative ways to reach them.”

Some guys feel having another man training them removes any potential distractions, and a few have admitted to trainers that their wives would “freak out” if they had a woman working them into shape. But for the most part, personal trainers say that sex shouldn’t matter when it comes to finding the best trainer.

“Don’t pigeonhole yourself,” Florez says. “Female trainers are as good motivators as male trainers, so don’t discriminate by sex.” He notes that over the years of running his business, his most popular and best trainers have tended to be women.

Nor should you necessarily seek out a male trainer if you have men’s health issues. “There’s no reason a female trainer can’t understand things related to male health. It’s more important to find someone you can connect with,” says Jonathan Ross, the personal training director at the Sport Fit — Total Fitness Club in Bowie, Maryland.

Where and how to look for a personal trainer

If you have a good gym, that’s likely the best place to find a personal trainer. Trainers who work out of commercial health clubs tend also to have lower rates than those who have private studios. So get a list of your gym’s trainers and break the list down into specialties. For instance, one could be more of a weight trainer, and another might be more of a physical therapist for injured clients. Then read their biographies to get a sense of their history.

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