How to choose a GOOD personal trainer? 5 criteria to follow

Estimated read time 6 min read

The fitness sector has experienced considerable development for several years. Today, more than 5 million French people are registered in the gym.

Every day new members, every day individuals to advise and inform… And for that, the offer is not lacking! The training courses to become a sports coach are more and more numerous and largely fill their workforce.

Unfortunately training is not enough, a qualified coach is not synonymous with a competent coach. More and more practitioners find themselves paying huge sums for advice that is often outdated and ephemeral. So how do you choose your coach?

Face-to-face or remotely?

Most practitioners do not know that it is possible to be coached remotely. Yet it is the most accessible and consistent solution over the long term…

If you are a total beginner, it is best to start with a coach who will be next to you to give you advice on the execution of the exercises and to check your movement. Once you’ve mastered the moves and know what you’re doing, distance coaching seems like a good option.

For what ? If you want to transform yourself physically, you will have to train at least 3 to 4 times a week, have a personalized, scalable and adaptive program.

Knowing that an indoor coach takes on average 50 € per hour (or even rather 80 € in large cities), he will charge you at least 1000 € each month. While a COMPETENT remote coach will charge you a hundred euros / month for a service of equivalent quality. Few people can afford to spend 1000€ per month for coaching.

The selection criteria below make it possible to find a good remote coach (but it’s roughly the same thing for indoor coaches).

Choosing your coach: the 5 determining criteria


You know it better than anyone: you are unique. When you choose a coach, he MUST take this into account.

To determine the exercises, the sessions, the progression and the adaptation: the coach must analyze your morpho-anatomy. Which involves seeing your body (swimwear) to determine the length of your segments, the length of your muscles, your tendon insertions, your postural problems…

If a coach sets up a program without having looked at this: run away!

Without this step, it is impossible to create a personalized and adapted training plan.

A very simple way to check the skills of your coach is to ask him if he is going to do a morpho-anatomical analysis before creating your program.

If he says no or frowns upon hearing this term (which will happen in at least 90% of cases): he is incompetent and has no idea what he is doing. 

The follow-up

Once your knowledgeable coach has created your personalized training plan, they should provide you with follow-up that goes along with that program. Creating a program and letting your student figure it out is a serious lack of professionalism.

A personalized training plan forms the basis of the training. After that this program must evolve, adapt and be modified according to many factors. With a good trainer you will never have to do the same session twice. A progression strategy has been put in place in order to be stronger each week.

With this in mind, a coach who gives you a PDF with your 4 sessions, not to mention the progression strategy and without providing a weekly follow-up, is an impostor with whom you are wasting your time and your money. 


When you buy a car or a toaster, you receive proof of purchase and warranties. Either an invoice (or receipt) as well as more or less long guarantees. For a coaching it’s the same thing. An invoice is mandatory!

We are thinking in particular of those of you who are tempted by pseudo social network coaches who send their programs via Messenger and collect payments on a personal PayPal. It’s illegal, and you’re not protected.

As with every purchase, for a coaching you must accept general conditions of sale, receive an invoice and potentially a guarantee. The coach must declare his turnover and be able to provide you with the registration of his company.

No business = not legal = no coaching.

The degree of expertise

The person who accompanies you during a coaching must be competent. You do not entrust the repair of your hot water tank to a sock salesman who knows nothing about plumbing? So why entrust your body, your health, to a sports coach who has never been trained other than by his diploma (often obsolete).

A good coach is constantly learning. By reading books, studying, experimenting, exchanging with colleagues, questioning one’s methods… Sleeping on one’s (weak) achievements is a serious mistake. Someone who has a low level of bodybuilding/fitness knowledge, can easily get smoked out by fake experts.

To avoid falling on amateurs, there is a somewhat elitist solution which guarantees almost 100% the quality of a service. This is the actual level of authority of the coach.

Does he already have a lot of students, does he have a very popular website, does he offer free qualitative information, does he answer your questions with professionalism…

And despite that, it is always possible to be fooled. But by respecting these first 4 criteria you already have good insurance.


There is a category of person that people (rightly) hate. It’s “do as I say, not as I do”. Someone who claims to be a sports coach capable of helping you achieve a physical goal must be an example.

Maintaining good physical condition, being healthy, eating healthy, training intensely… In other words, don’t take a coach who has a physique that is the opposite of an athlete. It makes sense, a coach who claims to have advanced skills in sport must show that he applies his own advice on a daily basis.

Attention, no need for a bodybuilder either!! We would even tend to advise against bodybuilders, who are often doped, and who could have methods that are not suitable for natural bodybuilders.

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