Picking a personal trainer that is right for you

Back in my days before kids I owned a personal training business and ran a morning boot camp program.  I trained about 35 ladies at 5:30 in the morning 3x per week.

To say I was a little unsympathetic to what at the time I considered a lack of commitment is putting it nicely.  I made them do extra lunges if they were late to class and if they yawned during class, EVERYONE had to drop and do 10 push ups.  If they didn’t show up, I called or emailed to remind them of their goals and how they need to get up and come to class, no excuses!

Most of these women were moms and many times they told me their babies or kids were up all night and they were just too tired.  I listened but inside I was screaming  “NO EXCUSES!  How hard can it be to get up and exercise just 3 times per week?! ”  I actually told one mom that she could just nap during the day!

Funny how karma comes back to get you.
I am now “blessed” with FOUR children who do not sleep through the night.
On any given night I am woken up at least 4 times and rarely do I get more than 3 hours of consecutive sleep.   The idea of getting up at 5am to exercise is laughable at this point in my life.

If I could go back in time, I would punch my personal training self in the face.

So now that I’m that busy mom, I want a personal trainer who GETS me.   Who understands that I am stressed out, sleep deprived, and usually unshowered.   I want another mom who can tell me they understand why I dive into a bag of chocolate late at night.  (hey, it’s either that or a bottle of vodka!)
I’ve had some great male trainers who offer great workouts but let’s be honest…..they don’t get IT.
Until you live in the trenches, you cannot possibly understand.

Right now I don’t have a personal trainer but if I go looking for one in the future, it’s going to have to be a fellow mom.

What do you think?  Have you had a trainer who didn’t get IT?
Do you prefer a man or a woman trainer/instructor?


  1. says

    I am a personal trainer and it is funny, but I am much “softer” than I thought I would be! For me, it came with running. I have had many injuries an so I am acutely aware that injuries can happen. So, I am tough and push my clients, but I am also more likely, than I thought I would be, to back off on them too.

    I would much prefer a woman and a mom trainer who gets it. Personally, I like to talk when I workout too and I want someone who I can relate to, in that manner.
    Katie´s last blog post ..Created for Care Fundraiser

  2. says

    I have never used a personal trainer although I think it would be fun. I’ve only used a gym for about an year when I was like 16. My sister and I went and we wondered around trying to look pretty more than anything because we were both skinny at the time. When I really started truly working out it wasn’t until about 2 1/2 years ago and because I was a stay at home mom and we are one income going to a gym wasn’t an option nor could I push myself hard enough in a gym so I’ve been doing home work out programs from beach body since then. But we are moving to a bigger city in the summer and I would LOVE to join a Bootcamp program!

  3. says

    I am a personal trainer and group fitness instructor too. I didn’t start my career until after I had three kids, so I can’t say whether I’m more sympathetic now than then (but probably!).
    I find that the clients and participants that gravitate to me (and stick with me as a trainer and teacher for the long haul) are women who are at the same point in their lives as I am. They say it motivates them to see me kicking it, despite the challenges of a busy family and home life.
    Thanks for the great post!
    Tamara´s last blog post ..Snow day! Fitness, food and fiber at home!

  4. says

    I don’t have kids so right now I have no preference male or female. My biggest preference is someone who understands injuries. My old trainer had back “problems” but didn’t listen when I told her about my prior surgery and limitations. She tried to push me…and not to challenge me but it hurt. I stopped seeing her. Now I’m scared to try another trainer.
    Cynthia (It All Changes)´s last blog post ..Plans to Cook

  5. says

    I appreciate a male trainer. I’ve had no mercy trainers and a trainer who gently kicks my butt without all the yelling! If I could afford it, yes I’d get a male trainer, and they would have to deal with all of my mommy drama whether they like it or not!
    Nellie´s last blog post ..A Brave New Venture: Home Decoration

  6. says

    My opinion is that in some cases personal trainer is essential to motivate client to train better. Personal trainer will also guide clients to make workouts properly.

  7. Todd says

    That’s a really good point. Finding a trainer that has a clue as to what you’re going through would be SO helpful. And if MzFit said, don’t be afraid to move on to another PT if the current one isn’t working out.
    Todd´s last blog post ..How to Maximize Your Beach Look

  8. says

    I don’t have a personal trainer….but do go to the gym and workout regularly both there or at home or at the park where my kids play or wherever I can sneak a chunk of time in. I prefer the classes at the gym taught by women and classes with mostly women in them. And the women who aren’t 25. No offense at all to the younger girls….they just haven’t had to deal with a slowing metabolism, the mommy-tummy and juggling kids/exercise/husband/work time yet. I am most impressed the the women my age and older who look amazing….they inspire me to keep going.
    Jennifer Allwood´s last blog post ..The Golden Globes are totally copying my table color!!!!

  9. says

    I am with you, I need someone who not only understands me, but one who has lived it! My trainer I’ve used when preparing for a big event is a mommy of 2. She gets me. She knows just how hard it is to get out the door…let alone just putting on the running gear to begin with.

    As I begin a slow transition to cardio on my lower half (after knee reconstruction), it helps knowing my trainer will push me, but will be compassionate too.

    Life is too short to have a crappy trainer! Find one you love and that will push you w/o driving you insane. Happy training!
    Jackie´s last blog post ..Prayer request

  10. Jeannie says

    Agree! I believe in no excuses too but one still should take into account extreme circumstances. I always find someway to get my workout in but it may not always be when I wanted to because of family. Going to boot camps and classes at set workout times just aren’t as predictable for me.

  11. says

    When I was younger, way before children, I had a male trainer and he was amazing. He taught me so much and I appreciate it. I don’t currently have a trainer as I’m studying to become a trainer. I imagine my clients will be fellow moms who need a push to get their results.
    Rita @ Healthy Mom, Sexy Wife´s last blog post ..Recipe: Granola Bars

  12. says

    Great point! I think it’s so important that people get along with their trainers and feel like their trainer understands them. I’m really looking forward to training pre-natal clients as well as moms because I can relate a lot more now to what they are going through physically and mentally as a mom myself! :)
    Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength´s last blog post ..Thirty One