How to Find the Best Personal Trainer in NYC

Halevy Life created this guide to help you find the best personal trainer for your specific goals. - Here's to good health!

It seems like there is a new “get skinny quick”, or “grow muscle fast” scheme popping up every single day. We probably experience more of this in NYC than anywhere else.

Gyms are on every corner, personal trainers are in every park… So which gym or personal trainer is actually right for you?

Don’t worry - If you have this question, you are not alone.

But here’s the difference....

You are actually willing to find out while others just use too many choices as an excuse to do nothing at all.

Now that we’ve determined you are different than most, let’s find out which personal trainer in New York is right for you. To start with, it’s important to realize that everyone comes from different backgrounds and has different fitness needs. This is why it is so important to choose a place or a personal trainer that is in line with your fitness and health journey. If this is your first time considering a personal trainer, or you are unhappy with your current trainer, start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • What is my current confidence level with my body?
  • Am I seeing results from my current workout plan (If I have one)?
  • What physical changes do I want to see? (more muscle, toning, fat loss, etc.)
  • What areas of my body do I feel pain? Is a certain pain resulting from a particular kind of movement?
  • Do I have past or present injuries that prevent me from being as active as I would like?
  • What kind of personality do I mesh well with? A funny and friendly person to motivate me or is a tough and grueling personality better to push me? What do I respond best to?
  • How is my current nutrition? What do my meals look like?

Your answers to these questions will help you understand what you are ACTUALLY looking for as you narrow down your trainer or gym choices.

These answers will also help your trainer put the best plan together for you. In regards to finding the best personal trainer for you, here are some things to look for:

  1. Qualifications - Let’s start with a simple question.... would you trust your finances in the hands of a high schooler? If you are going to be paying someone money to get your financials in line, you probably want the best and most qualified - as you should.

    It is no different with a personal trainer. You’re paying them a lot of money so they should have all the qualifications to get you where you want to be (and more). You’ll want to be sure any trainer you consider attended an organization that is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The top name in fitness is the NSCA.

  2. Certifications - There are a number of fly-by-night personal trainer certifications out there. The ones to look for are CSCS or CPT. But to be completely honest with you, getting a certification in personal training doesn’t show commitment or passion. We recommend finding a trainer that also has a graduate degree in health/science fields from accredited universities. These trainers are more likely to be career trainers, rather than doing this while they study to do something else.

  3. Your Goals - The number one concern for any personal trainer should be your goals. When you meet a trainer for the first time, they should ask what your goals are and what’s kept you from reaching them in the past. The right personal trainer will listen to all of this to come up with a unique solution to help you reach your specific goals while avoiding any reasons you were not able to get there before.

  4. Current fitness level - It’s also important for a prospective trainer to dig into your current health and fitness regimen and any injuries that might require special attention as they develop a fitness and/or nutrition plan for you.

  5. The Gym -  Does the trainer work with a reputable gym? What is the gym’s hiring process and what sort of qualifications do they have to have? It is also important to know how many years the gym has offered training. If they offer trainers just to add “value” to their membership - walk away. You’ll realize this when you meet a trainer in person and find out what their qualifications are and track record is.

  6. Guidance. A good personal trainer should be able to give you great advice and guidance in other areas of health as well. If they are not experts in nutrition, meditation, massage and physical therapy, they should be able to send you in the right direction for finding some of the best in your area.

    One of the most important qualities that a great personal trainer in the city will possess is the ability to keep you on track. Whether you are traveling, just have a busy day, or tied up with family, your trainer should help you reach and maintain your fitness goals no matter what.

We’ve done extensive research on gyms in Manhattan that we feel possess some of the best trainers and environments for living healthier. Each have their own processes and specialties described here to help you determine which is the best place for you.

Apex Human Performance |
940 Third Avenue, New York, NY

Apex Human Performance, founded by Jeff Halevy, is NYC’s full service concierge health club for people who want the best.

Apex Human Performance is the only club in NYC to require a minimum of a Master's Degree in Exercise Science to be a Personal Trainer there. 

Personal trainers aim to improve performance, reduce stress, increase energy, relieve pain, and enhance body composition.

Apex Human Performance is the only gym to ensure your fitness investment with a money-back 90 day guarantee. At the end of 90 days if you have not improved in at least three out of the five quantifiable fitness measures (Lean Mass, Fat Mass, Strength, Cardiopulmonary Fitness and Movement Capacity) you'll get a full refund.

Physical therapy is seamlessly integrated into every member's training program.

State of the art fitness tests will shed light on your VO2 Max, Body Composition, and Resting Metabolic Rate.

Definitions |
19 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003
133 East 58th Street, New York, NY 10022

Definitions is a private training gym whose philosophy is Evaluate, Customize, Communicate. This gym is used for personal training only.
They have a series of tests which assess their clients’ current fitness level, review injuries or restrictions and set short and long term training goals
Trainers “rouse, rally and educate.”

Their personal trainers receive 160 hours of proprietary in house training and are certified by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and Functional Movement Systems (FMS). They also hold a Bachelor's or Master’s degree in Exercise Science.

Core Fitness |
12 East 86th Street, New York, NY 10028

Michael and Denise Margulies are a husband and wife fitness team who started this gym. They promise cutting edge exercise knowledge and sports-based motivation - all designed to help you achieve your fitness and training goals.

Personal training services include one-on-one training that focuses on strength and conditioning, exercise programs, nutrition plans, and life coaching.

Their approach is to place the right trainer with the right client. Once matched, a program is developed that both understands and respects.

Denise also has a women’s running group that meets in Central Park.

La Palestra |
11 West 67th Street, New York, NY 10023

La Palestra is located on the lower level of The Plaza Hotel and considers itself the “hybrid between the medical and fitness industry”

Two principles are focus on health and function rather than aesthetics. They believe exercise is a process not a means to an end.

There are also trained medical professionals who provide preventative treatment and medical analysis on-site.

Every client gets a personal advisor and a medical and physical evaluation.

Great for people training to run a marathon.
Swimming classes for children and adults.

Focus Integrated Fitness |
115 West 27th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10001

FOCUS Integrated Fitness is a New York and California based private personal training company.

Personal trainers create customized fitness regimens combining a number of protocols to boost your strength, increase your stamina and improve your overall health - regardless of your current fitness level.

Sessions can be held in your own home, your building's fitness center or at a FOCUS gym.

They have a goal of bridging the gap between the work of doctors, physical therapists and nutritionists with the skills and knowledge of a qualified exercise specialist.

Before prospective trainers become members of the Focus team, they must first complete an extensive interview process. They also research and verify credentials on all resumes as well as perform a thorough background check on each prospective candidate.

Clients who have been ill, injured or diagnosed with a medical condition are provided with medically oriented exercise programs to enhance health, function, performance and quality of life.

In conclusion:

Finding the best personal trainer for you in NYC depends on a number of factors. Don't just go out and find the nearest gym or private trainer and decide they are the best fit because of location.

Do your homework and you'll find the trainer that matches your unique set of goals and personality. It is this winning combination that will lead you down the road of finding a healthier, happier you!

-Good Luck!

New York, NY

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