Okay. This forum is also in-need of an off-beat yet informative thread and I recently read a really good article concerning this very subject. I wasn't aware of this myself but apparently there are a couple of websites floating around here where if you have 45 spare minutes and some common sense YOU TOO can be a certified personal trainer. Huh? Yup. It's JUST THAT EASY. Nowadays every single gym you go into there's some dink with a clipboard, a polo shirt, and a beach ball whose ready to whoop you into shape! He's gonna ask about your goals, he's gonna punch your stats into a computer and print you out a ready-made diet, he's gonna work you THROUGH your injuries, and next thing you know you're gonna be ready to pose in underwear, too! I sincerely hope most of you are smarter than this but I do realize that a lot of these guys are also savvy of the competition factor so some of them can appear to have some knowledge and still be mostly full of shit. Over my years of working in this industry I've heard a TON of bad advice from trainers. I've heard of trainers recommending shit I'm not even sure trainers are SUPPOSED to know about. I've heard of trainers actually discouraging medical assistance for their clients. I've seen many a starry-eyed person desperately looking to get back to the shape they were in at some point going along with the nonsense. First things first, ANY, and I mean ANY reputable trainer's FIRST move should be to ask you for your Medical Records. There is valuable information in there that pertains directly to what you are and are not going to be able to do. If they don't even seem at-all concerned with your Medical history then you can rest-assured they're not very much concerned with wether or not they injure you. Another thing to look for is where exactly they got their certification. Education is hugely important, and there are actually not that many credible organizations that certify personal trainers. The ISSA is one and then there's also the Strength and Conditioning Association. Go with trainers who have undergone similar education as trainers who train Professional Athletes. There's a reason they're that highly regarded. Now one of the other very big bad spots is the first workout, the free session if you will. Trainers who may end up fucking you up in the long-run are ones who immediately want to see what you can do and over-work you in the first session, or ones who jump straight into a routine. The first session is best-spent doing a VERY BASIC fitness assessment. Finding out things like weight, body composition, blood pressure, heart-rate, recovery heart-rate, and basic strength tests that DON'T kill you. If you go home from your FIRST session and you can hardly walk or move something the next day that's HARDLY good. Be sure and ask for referrals and know how to question. It's very easy for someone to refer you to friends of theirs that will lie for them. Ask about what strength goals their referrals had set, how long it took to achieve them, and how they went about it. If it sounds like bullshit, chances are it is. As far as that computerized dieting crap. Let me just say this. Your trainer should be willing to be part of a team to get you into your best shape. That included working closely with qualified medical professionals AND Licensed Dieticians or credible Nutritionists. Not a piece of machinery that could be on the fritz our outdated for all you know. I have a computer, and I wouldn't trust it to give me a solid eating plan. lol If anyone else has anything to offer feel free.