Have you hit a fitness plateau and aren’t sure how to mix up your workouts? Tired of training alone, or coming up with your own workout plans? Or maybe you’re recovering from an injury, or going after a specific goal (weight loss, building muscle, training for a marathon). Whatever the case, you may benefit from hiring a personal trainer. You may not even notice them while you’re at the gym, but these fitness influencers are an amazing—and often untapped—fitness resource.

24Life asked trainer Angela Stovall, who has been a trainer at 24 Hour Fitness for almost 30 years and has trained more than 26,000 sessions, for advice on how to find the right trainer, and how to be a successful client.

24Life: How do I know if a personal trainer is the right fit for me?

Angela Stovall: Interview trainers and ask them questions. Ask if you can observe one of their sessions to see how they train. Ask what credentials the trainer has.

24Life: What is the one question every potential client should ask before hiring or choosing a personal trainer?

AS: “What is expected of me as a client during our session time?”

24Life: How many times per week should I work out with a personal trainer?

AS: It depends on the client. Are you willing to come in on your own time and follow a plan given to you by the trainer? Are you physically ready and can you comprehend instruction and terminology of the training plan? Do you understand how the body works and bio-mechanics? It all depends on each individual and it is personal for each individual.

24Life: How can I get more out of my personal training sessions?

AS: Commit to your workout plan, be there early to warm up, be prepared (dressed appropriately, rested, nourished), bring your water and towel and bring questions, including any that you may have had from a previous workout.

24Life: How do you know if a client will be successful?

AS: I don’t always know because you cannot judge a book by its cover. Most people seem to want to be successful, but only time and commitment tells all.

24Life: What do you wish your clients knew?

AS: Training is a lifestyle change, period. 

Angela Stovall has been a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness for almost 30 years. She is a Master Trainer, and has earned her personal training, fitness nutrition specialist, corrective exercise specialist and special exercise specialist certifications through NASM, and her personal trainer and aerobic group exercise instructor certifications through AFAA. She’s also a Group X Instructor, certified in BODYPUMP and SPRINT by Les Mills International, and teaches Silver Sneakers, yoga, Aqua, cycle, Bootybarre and Step. Angela has trained more than 26,000 personal training sessions in her time with 24 Hour Fitness, and works at the Chino Central Avenue Super Sport club in Chino, California.

Photo credit: Halfpoint, Adobe Stock; Courtesy of Angela Stovall