You have been trying your best to lose that weight but it has never ever worked. You’ve tried plenty of diet methods on Google(admit it… intermittent fasting, ketogenic, paleo), bought some fancy equipment that promised you to lose 10kg in a month (they must be collecting dust in one of your cupboards).

Then you recalled one of your friends who had this great success and still living a healthy lifestyle until today. How in the world is Christine doing that? You heard there are actually individuals who offer help to people struggling like yourself..and they do it for a living! You found out they are called personal trainers. So where do you start?

Hiring your first personal trainer could be an exciting and scary process for most first-timers. Plenty of questions to ask before swiping your credit card.

What if it doesn’t work out? How do I know if this trainer is really qualified? Why is this person forcing me to take sessions?

The list goes on, so let us help you out.

Here are seven things that we believe will help you with your quest.


They talk about YOU

This one is very important because it can determine your future client-trainer relationship. If the entire initial conversation is centred on you and your problems, you will probably have a trainer who’s very dedicated to help you achieve your goals. It shows that they are truly concerned about their clients’ problems and take the time to address what you are going through. Here are some golden questions a great trainer might ask you:

  • Why are your goals important to you?
  • What are the challenges you have faced in the past?
  • How can I add value to your current situation?
  • What can I do for you to make you feel better?

Another bonus tip is that they actually sit through the entire conversation listening to you at least 80% of the time. If they spend their time talking about their past achievements and go on and on an on about themselves, run. (Well, of course, unless you asked them about it)


These are a great way to see if your future trainer has actual clients and on top of that, has actually helped individuals who have been where you are right now. Of course, when offering their services, they will say everything you want to hear. But if those words are from other individuals who have received similar services from the trainer, you know that there’s a certain level of experience you can expect from this trainer. Oh and also be on the lookout for real, genuine clients. Not their family or friends who are forced to shoot a video in exchange for a cup of coffee.

Proven track record

After looking at those testimonials, it would be good to dig further to see if they actually have a proven track record of helping people in the past who have suffered what you are facing right now. Which means they might have a high probability of having the right skills and tools to get you out of your health problems. It’s also a great way to filter out trainers who sometimes specializes in a certain group of clients. For example, if you are looking for a trainer to help you train while being pregnant, you are not going to get much from a trainer who specializes in training marathon athletes. After all, you are hiring one to help you achieve your goals. So if they can’t get you there, what’s the point?

Practice what they preach

Well, this is one which can be subjective but if you are going to hire a trainer, make sure you hire someone who is practising what they preach. Out of shape trainers are like car salesmen who don’t know how to drive, they sometimes don’t really know what they are talking about. So looking for a trainer who has personal experience in what you are looking to achieve is definitely a plus as he or she will have high levels of empathy for you when you are going through the process of your own transformation. A doer will always beat a talker.

Willing to commit the time you want

One thing you should have in your mind before finding a trainer is your own personal schedule. It’s best if you already have your training slots in mind and the days or times that you are willing to block out for your training time. Here is what you should prepare before meeting that trainer:

  • The time you want to train
  • What are the days you can train
  • How long you want to train for every session
  • How many weeks or months or years you are looking to engage a PT

That way, when you meet the trainer, question if they can commit to your schedule because if he or she cannot, there’s really no point in continuing the conversation anymore. Pretty straightforward but often overlooked until the end of a 2-hour consultation. (Welcome, for saving your time)

Any hidden agendas

Hidden agendas here mean that they might have something else up their sleeves when they offer their personal training services. Some trainers might use personal training as a façade to actually sell you a certain product later on when they have won your trust. Not all bad but these trainers might not have your fitness goals at best interest because the main goal of this trainer is now to offer you entry or sell you their intended product/service. Be on a lookout for trainers who make your training and fitness goals their main concern, they usually have nothing else to sell or offer later on. Your goal is their end product.


This one is really a complicated one as there are many organizations that offer personal trainer certifications and not much regulation you can count on from authorities. The best bet you can have is the NCCA accredited certifications from the USA which is a body who really takes into account the standard of certification with quality control systems. So, some organizations that are accredited by them are like :

  • ACE
  • NSCA
  • NASM
  • ACSM

But if you are looking for a personal trainer in Penang or even in Malaysia, not much intervention from the government has been implemented thus far to regulate the local personal trainer certifications. However, a certification is not the be-all and end-all for a great personal trainer. There are some trainers without a certificate who are more qualified than certified ones. But the saving grace of this situation is you know that a certified trainer has invested time and personal finance into his or her career as a trainer, so that shows a commitment to professionalism.

Suggesting shortcuts

Well if you are looking for a personal trainer, you know that achieving the results you are looking for is no easy feat or else you won’t be looking for one. And no matter how many shortcut ways are offered and marketed out there, they all don’t work. If they did, we would not have so many health problems out there and most certainly personal trainers would not exist. So be on a lookout if your future trainer offers you unbelievable promises that sound too good to be true, oftentimes, they are not. Achieving great health and fitness goals are always long-term and there’s no real shortcut in getting them. Just hard work, discipline and consistency. Find a trainer that is willing to go through all of those difficulties with you.



Well, we hope these tips will really help you hire your first personal trainer. Having a trainer is really a wonderful relationship that can be life-changing. The important thing is you go ahead and start, don’t overcomplicate your decision-making process until it doesn’t happen. The worst that could happen is picking a personal trainer that you don’t like, that’s it! So don’t worry even if you found one that doesn’t match, there are plenty of them out there that will help you achieve your goals!