How to choose your personal trainer

It can be difficult weighing up the pros and cons of employing a personal fitness trainer. Cost, achieving goals, enjoyment, trainer rapport, training to win and commitment - to name but a few.

Should you decide to employ a PT (Personal Trainer), your next tough decision is deciding which personal trainer to choose. The following information aims to help you make the right decision when choosing your personal trainer.

Member of REPs (Register of Exercise Professionals)

Ask your fitness trainer if they are a member of REPs – The Register of Exercise Professionals. They should provide you with their REPs certificate. Please download the following example certificate to see what a REPs certificate looks like.

REPS member logo

REPs certification will recognise their qualifications and expertise as a personal trainer in the UK. REPs themselves provide a system of regulation for PTs that ensures they meet the health and fitness industry standards.

REPs provide assurance and confidence to the public that all professionals on the Register are appropriately qualified and have the knowledge, competence and skills to perform their role effectively.

REPs was created to protect the public from ‘cowboy trainers’ who do not hold the appropriate qualifications.

PAR-Q – Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire

During your consultation, your personal trainer should ask you to fill in a PAR-Q (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire); similar to this REPs PAR-Q template. This provides your trainer with a brief overview of your medical history.

Lifestyle Questionnaire

The next piece of information your personal fitness trainer should provide you with is a lifestyle questionnaire; similar to this REPs Lifestyle Questionnaire template. This longer version of the PARQ aims to find out more about you, your health and fitness goals, diet, fitness likes and dislikes, training availability etc.

Informed consent form

The Informed Consent form is another vital piece of information your personal trainer should provide you with. Please download Fitness Challenge’s I Consent form for more details. This clarifies there are risks to exercising and that you are clear on what these are.

Insurance and First Aid

Other forms you may want to ask your personal fitness trainer about is evidence of insurance (private indemnity and public liability) and an up-to-date First Aid certificate.