If you're already in pretty good shape and want to hire a personal trainer to help you kick you fitness up a notch, hold out for someone who can produce results. Personal trainers are everywhere, but trainers who are actually good at what they do not so easy to find. When you hire someone without the proper qualifications, you are not only wasting your money, you're sabotaging your results.

Qualifications and Skills Matter

There are no laws regulating what type of credentials personal trainers must have. Anyone can walk up to you, fling out a business card and claim to be a trainer. If you hire one of these unskilled “trainers,” you are putting your life at risk. During session sessions, the trainer may not know enough about the body to recognize when you are in distress. This can lead to your heart rate and blood pressure spiraling out of control. In addition, the strain an unacertified trainer can put on your joints and ligaments can damage them beyond repair.

Before you hire a trainer, meet with him to ask about his educational background, certificates and experience. If you are dealing with life-altering health issues such as cancer or heart disease, find someone who specializes in training people with your particular condition.

Attitude and Personality are Paramount

Your trainer is there to motivate, inspire and energize you. If its attitude is negative, it can make for miserable workout sessions and affect the outcome of your results. Dealing with a trainer who makes you feel bad every time you fall short during your workouts is demotivating and will make you doubt your ability to accomplish your fitness goals. A trainer with a positive attitude promotes energy and makes your workouts more productive. When workouts are productive, they yield heartier results.

As far as personality, opt for someone with hits that are compatible with yours. No matter how kick-butt a fitness trainer is, he will not be effective if his personality clashes with yours. Consider what type of personality traits you need to stay motivated and then seek out a trainer who fits this criteria. Admittedly, it can be hard to gauge whether a trainer's personality will work for you until you've actually trained with him.

There are plenty of personal trainers around, so do not feel like you have to settle on the first one that smiles at you. Hiring someone to help you improve your fitness is an investment in your health. You'll get better results if you select a person who is qualified, supportive and works well with your personality.