Have you been thinking about getting a personal trainer? Daniel Bernal joined me to talk about what to look for when seeking a trainer. Daniel, a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer and entrepreneur, referred me to my personal trainer. Let me tell you, it has been life changing! 

Listen to the podcast episode:


Daniel shared a bit about his story. Playing sports was a big part of his childhood. Then, Daniel continued to be an athlete and played college football. He decided to go into personal training after having a “desk job”. Daniel has been a trainer for over a decade and now is co-owner of a private gym, Fitness 100. Here are some highlights from our conversation:

What should someone who is a novice at the gym be looking for when considering getting a trainer?

Daniel mentioned that although you do want a trainer that takes care of themselves, the trainer doesn’t have to look like your goals. For example, you can have a sports coach who isn’t in the best shape at the moment but has a wealth of knowledge. What is more important is if they care about your goals and will it be a mutually beneficial relationship. Additionally, Daniel suggested that you:

Avoid a trainer who just wants to make money.

Have a consultation with three trainers to find the right match. Go through the process.

Consider the atmosphere of the gym as the trainers take on the culture of the gym.

What qualities does an exceptional trainer need to have? 

Daniel shared that being a good listener and patient are important as a trainer. He commented that “patience is key as not everyone is going to learn at the same pace or take to the workout at the same pace”. This is especially important during the one on one sessions since there is a lot conversations during those trainings. Daniel mentioned that the trainer needs to be sure to listen and be real present. Likewise, listen to the clients to see if they are tired or are they enjoying the workout. Just picking up on those cues and remembering that this is the clients time.


Every body is different, but if people follow a plan you develop, how soon could they see some results?

Daniel explained that with pretty well designed plan you should begin to feel different in about 3 weeks. Then, at about month to a month and half you will begin to see a small difference. Likewise, others may begin to notice some changes. He commented that “once you get the first little change, that sparks the next step of motivation”. Daniel emphasized focusing on getting through that first month.


You’ve trained a wide range of people – young, old, and with varying fitness levels. What is something that has surprised you as a trainer?

Daniel shared a few things that have surprised him over the years. For example, watching how older clients who haven’t worked out all their lives can improve their mobility. The fact that they are using fitness as way to get better at doing life. Additionally, he noticed that the source of each clients motivation can vary from wanting to get healthier to getting fit for a vacation. However, the magnitude of these sources of motivation can be just as high in each client. People can really work hard!

If there’s one thing that you would tell somebody who is really hesitant about getting a trainer, what would that be?

Getting help can be hard. Daniel commented that his clients are often nervous when they come in for that first consultation. He mentioned that “it could be a nerve wracking” as you “are asking for help which is already kind of hard to admit you need some assistance  it’s not a bad thing”. Daniel added that seeking assistance “is empowering“. He suggested to just try it out. Daniel explained that “getting a trainer is going to help you get to where you want to be in terms of your fitness and health so much smoother“. 

“Let’s get through this first day. Then, let’s think about let’s get through this first week. Then let’s think about let’s get through this first month.  Once you get through the first month it’s going to feel so much better.” 

Don’t go into thinking that you are going into it thinking you are going for the rest of your life. Daniel emphasized focusing on one step at a time. Just get through the first month. He broke it down like this: “Let’s get through this first day. Then, let’s think about let’s get through this first week. Then let’s think about let’s get through this first month.  Once you get through the first month it’s going to feel so much better.” 

Change your mindset to potentially change your life. Daniel closed out our chat with this statement:

More on Daniel Bernal

Check out Daniel’s site for his personal training in person and online packages for fitness guidance. 

Instagram Daniel J. Bernal

Site: Dbernaltraining.com

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