11/10/2011 05:47 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

All Trainers Are Not Created Equal

Where can I find a great trainer?

Over the past several years, I have been on the search for what makes a great trainer. For many, it's about being able to count to 20 while talking on a cell phone. For the other 25 percent, it's an intricate art form that integrates the complexities of biomechanics with the simplicity of human form. As you can tell from the tone of my words, I'm rather taken aback by the stigmas that are plaguing our industry and how many gyms reinforce those stigmas.

Over the next few entries, I will be expressing my views, sharing trainer and client interviews and answering the question: Where can I find a great trainer?

I am honored to be a personal trainer. It is a career choice that has allowed me to travel the world and make a difference in so many lives. That is why I take what I do so seriously and have called out many a personal trainer in the industry, asking "Are you for real?"

During my recent trip to a New York City fitness center as part of my unending research, I ran into a very interesting personal trainer, who we will call "Ron." Ron was a from a small southern town and came to New York City with the hopes of making it big in the theatre industry. So, when I asked the young man why he decided to become a trainer, he stated, "Well, it was either that or bartending. And, I get a free gym membership." He then went on to state, "Plus it's an easy gig. I come to the gym after rehearsal and train some fat people. I, like, have them go on the treadmill and do jumping jacks. I mean it's an easy job and the pay is good. But, most of all I get free gym membership. Just look around, none of the trainers here really care. We're just here for the gym membership, and the money is decent." I did look around, and he was right, the trainers looked uninvolved and seemed apathetic and distracted.

After this quick and painful interaction, I began to think about the mood around the gym, as in, "What do their clients think?"

While waiting for a post workout drink, I engaged in conversation with a woman who I noticed had been working with a personal trainer. I asked a simple question and the answer was not what I expected.

"I noticed you working with a personal trainer, how was the workout?

Her reply: "Amazing. He kicked my butt all over the floor. He's really cute too, that helps. I think he's an actor. Man, but he kicked my butt. My back is killing me. That's how I know it's good. I can hardly move the next day... Why, are you going to train with him?"

Well... I did train with him, and I will share that "experience" with you in my next blog so that you can see what to look for, and what to avoid. For now, I will say, the fluid in my knee has not allowed me to get full range of motion since.