Selecting a Houston personal trainer to help you get in shape can be a daunting and confusing process. Hiring a trainer is considered by some to be rather expensive, but it can make a tremendous difference in your level of fitness and health. Most Houstonians who have good personal trainers are addicted to the positive results they get and consider it a bargain. This article will describe the four keys to selecting the right fitness professional.

Key #1 — In What Part of Houston Do You Need a Personal Trainer

While this may seem obvious it is important that you select someone who trains in a part of Houston that is convenient for you. You will likely be seeing the trainer two to three times per week, and maybe even using that same gym on other days as well, so you want a location to be reasonably easy to get to. For example, if you work or live in The Woodlands you would not want to hire a Galleria area trainer, causing you to spend an hour plus commuting one way each time you had a session. The Houston area is filled with quality personal trainers so it makes sense to hire one within a reasonable proximity to your home or office.

Key #2 — Personal Referrals Are the Best Way to Locate a Quality Trainer

While glossy marketing brochures and fancy websites are nice, you are a lot better off making your decision with input from friends or acquaintances who have actually been clients of the trainer you’re considering hiring. If your friend tells you how she loves him, has lost 20 pounds and half of her body fat, and really enjoys her workouts, that is a personal trainer who should be high on your list. On the other hand, if another friend tells you that she really likes her trainer but that she hasn’t really made any fitness progress even though she’s used him for over a year, you probably want to avoid this one. In other words, results count. Personal trainers charge by the session so there’s no real point in getting one unless you are going to make progress towards your goals. A recommendation from someone who has gotten great results is absolutely the best evidence of an effective trainer.

Key #3 — Your Personal Trainer Should Be Certified by One of the Major Associations

The personal trainer field has several major trade organizations they can belong to. Most of these organizations have relatively stringent certification requirements which include certain educational and knowledge-based criteria as well as ongoing continuing education course requirements. One of the largest organizations who certify personal trainers is ACE (American Council on Exercise). Any trainer you consider hiring should hold one of these certifications. The reality is that there is no licensing requirement by the government before someone can call themselves a “personal trainer.” Anyone can decide to get business cards printed and go into this business, but that doesn’t mean that they have the knowledge, skills, or experience to help you achieve your fitness goals. So at a minimum you should require that any trainer you consider be certified by ACE or some equivalent Association.

Key #4 — Interview the Trainer and Look for Good Listening Skills

The whole purpose of going to a personal trainer is to work on your health and work towards achieving your fitness goals. One of the most crucial aspects of this is having someone who understands your goals so that they can work with you towards those goals. Unfortunately, some personal trainers have their own idea of what your goals should be and will work on their goals, not your goals. Remember, you are the client which makes you the boss. The best way to avoid falling into this trap is to have an initial interview (over the telephone works, but in person is better) and just get a feel for whether this is a person that you connect with and someone who will listen to you. If any point you get a vibe that this trainer is somewhat domineering or overly authoritative, that is a sign to look for someone else.


Hiring a good personal trainer can be one of the best investments a person can make in themselves. A personal trainer can help you get in great shape (maybe even the best shape of your life), giving you a lot more energy and more optimistic attitude. As long as you follow the four keys to hiring a great trainer — hire someone geographically close, look for personal recommendations, get a certified personal trainer, and first interview the person to make sure you click with them — you should have a great experience.