Personal Training is a very unregulated industry. Getting hired and starting out as a personal trainer is incredibly easy. Some trainers have great success working in a typical gym setting, while others turn to pay for service websites. If working out in a standard gym is not 100% necessary to you, but you know you still need a trainer, here is a guide for how to hire a trainer online.

I have been in this industry for a while now, as a Personal Trainer, Gym manager, and Fitness studio owner. I have used Thumbtack and similar websites as a trainer, and as a client, so I wanted to give people the inside scoop at how to go about finding the best personal trainer online!

1. Looking at the quotes

The first step when hiring a Personal Trainer online is submitting a request. Most websites like thumbtack work by having you submit a request for services. You give basic information to the website, and they promise to send you quotes from fitness professionals who want to help you.

You can expect to receive three to five quotes from fitness professionals once you have submitted your request. This is your first communication with the trainer you will eventually hire, and your first opportunity to weed out the duds.

For example, lets say I said my goals were muscle gain and weight loss. Here is a good quote:


I like this quote because he tells a little about himself and why he is qualified as a trainer, then focuses on what I said I wanted to work on. Its a red flag if the trainer only talks about themselves. The focus should be on how can the trainer help you! The only thing I do not like, is that he did not send me a link to his success stories. If he had, it would have lent himself more credibility and shown me he actually knows what he is talking about.

2. Safety first!

The next step once you’ve received your quotes is starting to narrow down your options. Looking at the quotes you should be able to weed out a couple trainers just from their quotes. Once you have chosen three trainers that you think you might like to work with, you should check out their profiles. Reading each trainers profile will give you insight into their principles and thoughts as a trainer. Pay close attention to if they have spent the extra money on getting a background check, and what the reviews say about them.

You are inviting a stranger into your house, or going to theirs to train, so it would be wise to listen to what the reviews say about who they are as a person, not just the results their clients have gotten. Be careful never to meet a trainer for the first time alone if you are going to their house or studio, and don’t invite one to your house if you are going to be the only one there. You can even suggest meeting at a coffee shop or other public location for the initial fitness consultation.

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3. Don’t focus only on price

While price is important, it should not be the only thing you focus on when hiring a trainer. I would rather spend twice the money on a really great trainer, then save money by hiring someone who wont actually know how to help me reach my fitness goals. I wont actually save money by doing that. If the trainer can’t actually help you reach your goals, then the training is worthless. Two thousand dollars spent on a great trainer who helped you lose fifty pounds will be money better invested then one thousand dollars spent on a trainer who doesn’t actually help you reach your goals. Personal Training is an investment, treat it as one.


Personal training can range in price between $25 an hour and $300 an hour. Obviously how much a trainer charges depends on location, experience, number of sessions purchased, and a range of other factors. In the Happy Valley area, expect to spend between $50 and $100 an hour for a good Personal Trainer. The old adage “You get what you pay for.” holds true when purchasing personal training.

4. Location, location, location.

Where the trainer will be training you might be more important than how they will be training you. If you don’t want to leave your house, having a trainer who will come to you, and can bring their own equipment will be high on your priority list. A great trainer who only trains at their own studio will be of no use to you!


I respect a well set up gym, regardless of location!

That being said, don’t be scared of working with someone out of their garage, some of the best trainers I know do this. Trainers who get tired of how corporate gyms are run work out of their garage. They have built a practice of loyal clients who will follow them anywhere, and many of these trainers go on to open their own gyms or training studios where they can choose to focus on actually helping people. This is how I got my start, and how a number of other great gyms have gotten started. A local example is The Warrior Room in Milwaukie. Ashley trained out of a garage that belonged to a friend of hers before she started her gym, and she is a fantastic trainer. Years later, she still has clients who work out at her gym, who have been with her since she trained out of a garage! If you are hiring someone off thumbtack, consider working with trainers at their studio, try to not just look at the ones who come to you!


Now you know what to look at and think about when hiring a trainer off of a pay for service website like thumbtack. There are many things to think about in general when hiring a trainer, so be sure to take your time selecting the person who will help you reach your fitness goals. Remember, you are hiring this person, so you are in charge! If it doesn’t seem like a good fit, feel free to find a different trainer. You give the trainer control, and let them tell you what to do, but you are the one who writes the paychecks, so you have final say.

Want to skip the hard work and meet with someone who is guaranteed to be a great trainer? Click here to schedule a free session with Cody or one of his great trainers!