Andy Rivadeniera Swiftfit ATX Personal Training

Finding the Perfect Fit!

3 Unconventional Tips on Finding the Right Personal Trainer

It’s no secret that the fitness and wellness industry is booming with options to assist you in enhancing your health.

You have choices from the latest anecdotal fat-melting drink on Pinterest to the newest bootcamp in your community. As a personal trainer and an avid fitness consumer I can relate to making the most of your money.

I have been the apprehensive consumer and I have also been the product.

It is not always easy to make the financial decision to commit to a personal trainer, but at the end of the day your health is an investment, not an expense. You may already have your ideal personal trainer in mind, but seeking that special person out takes some effort. To avoid turning your personal trainer hunt into a speed dating service, I’d like share a few tips to help you find the perfect fit.

Compatibility is Key!

A common misperception of personal trainers is that we either bring the in-your-face, no-nonsense approach of Jillian Micheals or we share the same traits as the joyful Richard Simmons.

Some prefer their trainers and coaches to deliver the tough love approach while others want more positive reinforcement.

Nevertheless, compatibility with your trainer is such a critical component in making your fitness journey a success or catastrophic gym fail. Some valuable advice I would give you when meeting a trainer for the first time is to listen to your internal “BS meter”.

Most trainers offer a free initial meeting with them. This should not only be a test drive of their services but also a glance at their gymside manner. From your initial assessment make sure their personality and approach can work for you.

The last thing you want is to be caught in a situation where you dread your workouts due to a lame chemistry.

Don’t Settle for the One Size Fits all Approach

Another thing to look for in a trainer is a great set of…ears. The most successful trainers are not the ones that have the highest Instagram following or best six pack.

From my experience in this field, the trainers that have the biggest impact are the ones that listen closely to their clients and their particular needs.

If you find that your trainer is doing more talking and less listening, look out.

Chances are you may be running into a cookie cutter program. If you hire a trainer make sure you get an individualized program.

The trainer that you do decide to work with should dig a little and gather pertinent information before orchestrating your game plan to reach XY & Z fitness goals.

At bare minimum, he should inquire about previous injuries, daily movement patterns, and of course the cornerstone nutrition habits.

Those are a few questions I like answered when personalizing a program, but every trainer is different. Just make sure your program is geared toward your individual and specific goals. You don’t want to be lead down the wrong path, leaving you even more discouraged then you were before.

The Fitness Credential Smokescreen

In today’s fitness ecosystem you will find an overflow of personal training certification opportunities. It can be a crapshoot trying to decide which cert is superior to the next one.

These days, getting the title of Certified Personal Trainer is quite easy if you know how to cram study.

Currently, there are no regulations requiring any base of knowledge in kinesiology, anatomy, or basic health before becoming a certified trainer. That means any Jane or Joe can fork over a little cash, take a test and be labeled a trainer. That should make you a bit uneasy if you care about your money and structural health.

My advice is to be wary of those shiny certs your trainer boasts about. If he/she does not have an education background in a health-related field be cautious.

If there is no educational background at all be VERY cautious. You don’t want to spend your hard earned money on someone who decided to pursue a training career on a whim.

Some feel that they are ready for a fitness career after they take a buddy through an arm blast workout they picked up off Men’s Health magazine. It truly takes an understanding of not only the human anatomy, but how the body works in space to be an effective trainer that will keep you injury free.

Also, look for trainers that specialize in specific training approaches. Figure out what fitness style interests you the most and base your search on that.

You have a variety of flavors to choose from these days from cross training to more conventional body sculpting approaches. I consider myself a specialist in 30-45 minute high energy cross training workouts.

After evolving my approach throughout the years I have found that cross training elicits the best results for my clients. Keep in mind I was able to refine my approach through a strong background in education and 12 years of experience.


Remember to keep in mind compatibility, experience and training style.Trainers that have skin in the game tend to be a lot more confident in their approach.

There are tons of options when it comes to hiring a personal trainer. So for the amount of time and money you are about to drop it wouldn’t hurt to do some homework.

After all you want to make sure this is low risk high reward investment.


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I have been working in the fitness industry for well over 10 years. I received my masters degree in exercise science from Texas State University and have accumulated various specialization certifications along the way. I specialize in Weight Loss Transformation and a scaled HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) approach. To learn more about me, click here.

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