Top 6 Things To Look For In A Personal Trainer

Since I have had a personal trainer for all of almost 5 weeks, I like to consider myself an expert. This only makes sense. In that lengthy period of time, I have come to realize the top 10 things you MUST have in a personal trainer to make that a successful partnership. It may be too early to consider me a success, I realize, but I am on my way. If I had Sean standing in a corner at all weekend functions, I would definitely be farther along on that track.

(Weekends are the worst when it comes to me stuffing my face. I do very well all through the week, but, BAM, the weekend gets here and I have several glasses of wine, a glass or two of ice cream punch at a baby shower, a cupcake, a lemon bar, this, that. Really, it was that baby shower that did me in. When that baby gets here, I'm going to be sure to let her know about it, too.)

Maybe I need to get a cardboard cut out of Sean to put in my kitchen!!

And a mini one to put on my key chain!!

I'm not even kidding.

Being reminded of what he would say...well, what he would think...would probably seriously help. Not too long ago, I was at a party where Sean and his family were and he didn't slap my hand away when I went for the queso. Just knowing he was standing there, though, made me think twice.

Yeah, the thought alone of this key chain is helping already.

(I think a better name for it would be a "key shame".)

Besides having a personal trainer who has a picture that would shrink down nicely for a key chain ornament, here are the 10 things that you MUST look for when shopping around for one:

#1 A sense of humor. If I had a personal trainer who didn't smile when I asked, "Hey, have you ever heard anyone fart in here?", then I might need to keep shopping around. You know Sean has heard his share of rips when people do their toe bends and squats and such.

#2 In shape. A personal trainer has got to follow his or her own advice, right? I know I'm always checking out hairdressers' hairstyles. If they look like Napoleon Dynamite, I'm not sure I want them cutting my hair, you know? Same with personal trainers. Pretty sure Sean does a work out before and after his work out.

A big dude dishing out orders wouldn't work too well. Recognize him? This is Jared Fogle, the Subway man, prior to eating all of those 6-inch subs. And only those 6-inch subs.

#3 No body odor. I have shared it before, but I once had an expensive massage at this prestigious spa in Santa Fe, New Mexico and my masseuse smelled like a hippo. If he had been a Garbage Pail Kid, his name would have been Bod E. O'dor. I'm not paying Bod E. O'dor to tell me how many reps I need to make on anything. Bod E. O'dor can let himself out the front door.

#4 Good taste in music. You want a personal trainer who can motivate you. You want someone who will play "Baby Got Back" when you're trying to kick off the pounds like Sean does. It would not be very motivating to be going up and down the stair stepper to Meatloaf's "I Will Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" or Celine's "My Heart Will Go On" or the "Macarena". I might turn over some ellipticals if that last one came on.

#5 Drill sergeant-like. No mean drill sergeants allowed. No, what I mean is that you need someone who will encourage you to keep going when you feel like stopping but in a nice way. Someone who expects the best from you and believes you can make it to your goal, but holds you accountable until you get there. (This is why a key chain would help me. He'd always be there helping me stay on track.)

#6 They mean business. Sean measured and pinched and weighed. That alone was a motivator to me to put my fork down. I don't put it down as often as I should when cake is in front of me, but I am getting better at turning down very delicious desserts that call my name. Thanks to Sean and access to the "Drop A Dress Size in 21 Days" book.

There are lots of other things that make a personal trainer a good one. For example, experience and good time management and punctuality and friendliness and all of those things, which Sean, if had a checklist, could check off one by one. I'm sure you could think of some others.

If you are in the Northwest Houston area, you must get yourself over to Sean Millhouse's gym, Northwest Personal Training Center, and let him begin to work his magic on you.  You can find out more about him by visiting his webpage, Fitness 101. Even if you're not in that area, load up that car and get to driving. I think he's worth the drive in from Lubbock on a Tuesday afternoon. It's only like 7 or 8 hours, right? Please. People will come up with any excuse.

About Sean, the Personal Trainer Man:

Sean Millhouse is the program director and owner of Fitness 101. He is also a partner in Northwest Personal Training Center (Northwest Houston’s largest Personal Training Facility). Sean and his businesses have helped more than 3500 clients meet their goals through the development of healthy fitness and eating habits.

Sean has been an ACE certified Personal Trainer for 14 years and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Houston- Downtown. Through ACE, he is also an Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist.

Through his multiple Personal Fitness Programs…Sean has worked with several local celebrities and successful business owners in the Northwest Houston area. His focus is on helping people who have lost control of their lives. Sean teaches that if we start practicing moderation, we can achieve balance and live a healthy lifestyle.

To help change lives through fitness…Sean offers his knowledge for lunch and learn opportunities, health and fitness seminars, and various charity functions.

Sean also publishes a Blog at and weekly e-newsletter “Fit For Life” that help readers stay current with health and fitness topics. Archived articles are available on the blog.