Life Health

Hire pros — not average Joes — to train you

By Dai Manuel

Fitness instructor Libby Rubin (L) puts Molly Fahey (C) and Ken Harris through a warm-up session. 
Getty Images

Fitness instructor Libby Rubin (L) puts Molly Fahey (C) and Ken Harris through a warm-up session. Getty Images

The days are growing cooler and the fall will lead into winter soon enough. With the changing of the seasons, you may find yourself less motivated to get to the gym, local community centre or the local park for a quick fitness fix. But there’s a solution that can give you a kickstart (and a kick in the butt) through educating, motivating and holding you accountable to your healthy lifestyle goals — enter personal trainer stage right.


With an ever-increasing demand for personal trainers and fitness instructors, there has been a massive influx of aspiring fitness professionals entering the industry offering various types of services — and catering to different budgets.

Regardless of your age and fitness level there is going to be someone out there who can create a tailor-made wellness plan that will help you achieve your fitness goals. However, it is important that you choose a true professional and not an “average joe.”

When seeking a real fitness professional, take your time. Just because someone is young, charismatic, and has a great body it doesn’t mean they are an expert in all things health and fitness. It is important you work with someone who walks the walk as well as talks the talk.

One of the most important things to look for when searching for a personal trainer is a person certified by a reputable governing body such as canfitpro, American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NACA), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), just to name a few.

On top of that, there’s more and more kinesiologists leaving university and taking up the profession of training clients. But don’t limit yourself with just these certifications. Based on your personal lifestyle goals and interests, look for trainers that carry additional specialized certifications such as CrossFit, Russian Kettlebells, Group Fitness, Yoga, TRX, Zumba — the list goes on.

A certified personal trainer will give give you peace of mind as they have had the appropriate training and education to be able to expertly instruct you. Remember, this is your health we are talking about. It’s irresponsible to put your health in the hands of someone who lacks experience or understanding of your current requirements, history and potential limitations.

Peace of mind is key. Not every personal trainer you speak to is going to be a complete expert on training, nutrition, and supplementation. But they should at least have some basic understanding of all three areas while specializing in at least one of them.

An easy way to determine whether or not you are happy with a potential trainer’s level of expertise is to arrange a trial session. During this meeting, ask plenty of questions and see what kind of answers they give you. Be sure to look at all of their credentials and verify them if possible. Doing so you will make you confident that you are working with a legitimate professional.

If you really are unsure about finding a credible independent personal trainer consider visiting your local gym, community centre or private studio as they are more likely to hold their staff to strict standards.

Whatever you opt to do, the most important thing is to JUST DO IT. The changing of the seasons doesn’t signal hibernation — leave that to the bears — and hire a personal trainer to help you crush your healthy lifestyle goals.

Dai Manuel talks about health, fitness and lifestyle online at and on Twitter @DaiManuel He is the author of the book, Whole Life Fitness Manifesto.