How a Personal Trainer-Client Relationship Actually Works, According to an Equinox Trainer

It's a new year, which means new goals. So why not make your fitness a priority?

Equinox YorkvillePhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Best Health’s editor-in-chief, Beth Thompson, caught up with Kris Salzmann, personal training manager at Equinox Yorkville in Toronto, for a glimpse inside the world of personal trainers.

Beth Thompson: How do you match people with trainers?

Kris Salzmann: First and foremost, we look at the goals of the client and what they want to achieve. Then we factor in timeline, availability, workout experience, injuries and medical history, as well as try to determine what personality type would be best suited for them.

BT: Equinox has a tiered system for trainers. Can you break that down for Best Health readers?

KS: Essentially, the more accelerated your timeline for achieving your goal, the higher the tier you want to work with. But first, find out if a personal trainer is right for you.


  • New to Equinox, though not new to the industry. Someone who has successfully completed 30+ hours of Equinox Fitness Training Institute (EFTI) in-house training and education.


  • Proven Equinox trainers who can accelerate one’s timeline to achieve goals (130+ hours of EFTI in-house education).


  • Strength and conditioning and injury and special population specialists (189+ hours of EFTI in-house education).


  • All of the above, with the added benefit of being a precision nutrition certified coach, someone with advanced certification in nutrition and health management (220+ hours of EFTI in-house education).

BT: What are the common reasons why people request trainer services? (But before you sign your life away, make sure to ask your trainer these five questions.)

KS: With so much noise on social media in regards to “optimal living,” most people are looking for a pro that can cut through all of it and put a structured plan in place to ultimately achieve results.

Common goals of our clients are:

  1. Body composition change.
  2. Strength and flexibility/increased movement ability.
  3. To excel in a certain sport or activity.

BT: If a client doesn’t hit it off with their trainer, can they change?

KS: Yes, of course. Our priority is to ensure that the client is 100 percent satisfied with their experience. One of the ways we do this is by offering complimentary sessions to ensure a perfect member/trainer fit.

BT: How do you position Equinox’s services over other gyms?

KS: We offer goal-specific, science-based, structured programming that is completely customized to the individual. Through one of the assessments (The Functional Movement Screen), we are able to determine where the imbalances or asymmetries are in one’s movement and uncover where one’s greatest movement opportunities lie. Cookie-cutter programs online also make the assumption that everyone moves functionally, and this is rarely the case in my experience. As a result, fitness programs are built on dysfunction, and this is a sure path to injury. 

Here at Equinox we build fitness on top of function, and find the perfect mixture of not only what the client’s fitness goals are but also what their body specifically needs. Already working with a personal trainer? Check out these tips to get the most out of your next session.

Equinox personal training sessions start at $97. For more information visit

Originally Published in Best Health Canada