If you have a fitness goal, and most of us do, then you have probably thought about working with a trainer. Let's face it, we all could use a little push and some fresh ideas not to mention being accountable. There are some days where you just do not feel like working out and having someone to get you through can be just the thing you need. So that is where working with a personal trainer can come in handy.

So how do you find the right trainer for what YOU want? Finding a trainer that specializes in your needs and can guide you to your goals is not as hard as you might think. If you are looking for a step by step method to finding the right trainer for you and your goals, then keep reading.

Step 1: What do you want to do? What is your goal?

First, assess your goals. Know what you want before you start looking. Your first step would be to list your main fitness goal. For most its either to lose some weight, tone up, gain muscle or get better at a sport. After you list your main goal start to list a number of other things you want to achieve. This is useful to tell a personal trainer because they can cater your workouts to not only take you to your main goal but also work on those secondary ones too.

Step 2: Where to find your Trainer

Second, you want to start shopping for a trainer. You have a number of options. If you are a member of a gym (24 Hour, Bally's) already, you can inquire about personal training there. The drawback with working out in a large gym, especially with a personal trainer is that its often promoted and can really limit your workouts.

You can also look for an independent personal trainer online. You can use any search engine such as Google to find a trainer close to you. Search terms such as "Long Beach Personal Trainer" or "personal training in Orange County" using your location will give you a big list of trainers to begin screening. A lot of personal trainers These days are doing most of their advertising on the internet so you should be able to see the major of the good trainers out there. Searching the internet is also a great option because you can usually get a better deal as many personal trainers are independent and set their own prices.

An added benefit is that you get a lot more attention than you may get in a larger corporate gym setting. Independent personal trainers work in smaller gyms with less members and more freedom that will directly benefit your workout by giving you more time with your trainer, less interruptions and better workouts.

You may find that a group setting is more your style. Many personal trainers offer small group training where you can work out with a friend. Bringing a friend can help you stay motivated and accountable to your goals and working out. Long Beach has many outdoor classes and "bootcamps" as well in case you would like to train in park settings or on the beach. Again, you can search for these online or call your local Parks and Recreation to check the schedule of a class in the park.

Step 3: The interview process

Once you have decided what type of training you would like to try, its time to start interviewing personal trainers. Be sure to read over each personal trainer's website so you know what they specialize in, what services they offer and what their rates are. Its important to know what they charge beforehand so you do not get surprised later, avoid the "high pressure sales," and do not feel put on the spot. Set a few appointments with different trainers and write down some questions that you want to ask that is pertinent to YOUR fitness goals.

Be sure each trainer has the following: At least a nationally recognized Fitness Certification (NASM, NSCA, ACE, etc) and / or a degree in an exercise science field or kinesiology. This is to ensure that trainer is qualified to safely teach you and guide you. They also need to have current CPR / AED training. Finally they need to have Insurance! This is for your safety and protection. If you interview a personal trainer that does not have these qualifications and says its "not necessary" … walk away!

Step 4: Making the decision

Now you've come to discussing session rates. Hopefully you know what each trainer charges before you show up to interview. Ask if there are "special rates" or package deals which can help you get a price break if you buy more sessions. Be sure to make sure you are clear on that trainer's rates, specials and packages.

Step 5: Do you Click?

One thing to consider: Personality. Be sure you "click" with your trainer. There are a lot of different personal trainers in Long Beach with many different styles, fitness backgrounds and personalities. Getting along with your trainer and working as a team is just as important as the great workout they will give you. Interviewing your trainer for the right style of training, education, experience and personality will help you feel confident in hiring the right trainer for the job.

Step 6: Hiring Your Trainer

Once you have found the right trainer, you want to set up the days that you can work out and make sure your trainer has the availability to train you at those days and times. Next you purchase your sessions or monthly package and be ready to embark on the fast track to fitness by working with a professional that you have chosen personally, through rigorous interviewing to be the BEST trainer for you.

Following these six steps will ensure that you have the tools to find your trainer, interview them thoroughly for your goals and also get the very best deals on session rates. If you follow these steps you will not only have a great experience but reach your goals faster working as a team with your new personal trainer.