The 13 questions that will tell you if a PT is perfect for you

October 1, 2022

Finding a Personal Trainer that’s the perfect fit for you is a bigger decision than you may think. All going well, you’ll build a relationship with this person over many years (we have many clients at Range of Motion in Osborne Park who have been with us for over ten years).

And aside from the close relationship, you’re putting your health in their hands – an important responsibility.

Here are our 13 questions to ask to find that perfect fit:

Do they know when to push and know when to pull?

It’s easy to make you work hard, but sometimes lying in a puddle of your own sweat at the end of a session just isn’t what you need. Make sure they know how to hit the brakes, as well as the accelerator. 

Do they offer you guidance outside your sessions?

Their value shouldn’t end after your session. They should help you manage your exercise outside your physical time together, and should be in contact with you between sessions.

Do their values align with yours?

If you don’t value the same things, it won’t last. Make sure they’re on the same page as you and you can expect a long, healthy relationship.

Are they able to match their coaching style to you, and your different moods and states?

Empathy is arguably the most important quality in a Personal Trainer. Your PT should be able to change their coaching style for different clients, but also to suit how you’re feeling on a certain day. Sometimes you need a firm hand, and sometimes you just need a hug!

Are they looking at all aspects of your health, not just exercise?

How often does a PT talk about nutrition, sleep, mental health, or any other (non exercise) aspect of your health? It should happen every week.

Are they assessing your movement quality and prescribing extra exercises to improve it?

Every session with a Personal Trainer is an opportunity for them to assess your movement quality. This shouldn’t be a 12 weekly movement assessment, but a regular ‘check up’, with specific remedial exercises programmed at the end of every session.

Do they give you exercise sessions that last different lengths of time?

To maximise your health, you should sometimes be doing intense efforts that last only a few seconds, and sometimes doing longer, less intense continuous exercise. Different session lengths use different energy systems which deliver different health benefits.

Is there a lot of variety in your training?

Variety is important for not only your physical health (it keeps your body adapting to a variety of stimuli), but also for your mental health. A degree of ‘novelty’ makes sure training stays interesting.

Are they drawing from multiple exercise disciplines to help you meet your goals?

Different types of exercise give different benefits. Powerlifters are really strong. Track athletes have great cardiorespiratory capacities. Gymnasts have amazing stamina relative to their bodyweight. Your PT should borrow from multiple fields of exercise to help you reach your goals.

Do they start slow, or jump right in?

While it’s great to feel results right away, it’s often better to take a long term approach. starting slow means you build a strong and safe foundation for long term health.

Do they hold you to a very high standard?

A Personal Trainer who is a stickler for quality has your best interests at heart. While it might sometimes make things easier when your Personal Trainer lets you get away with a lower standard, it’s not the best approach for your long term health.

Will they focus on your weaknesses?

The things we struggle with most are the things that are most important to stay healthy. Sure, sometimes we don’t like doing the things we’re worst at, but the improvements will be rapid and considerable.

Do they individualise your exercise for your unique needs?

Everyone is different, and a Personal Trainer, by nature, should be individualising what you do. There’s a place for group fitness, where a more ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is used, but if you’re looking for something a little more customised, make sure your Personal Trainer is providing a program that’s 100% unique to you and your unique needs.

If you can answer ‘yes’ to all these questions, congratulations, you may have just found a Personal Trainer who can make a profound long-term difference to your life.

Range of Motion in Osborne Park offers and individualised and health-first approach to exercise. You can learn more here.

Dan Williams

Dan Williams


Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion and leads a team of Exercise Physiologists, Sports Scientists, Physiotherapists and Coaches. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology.

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