Your workouts have been steady, but not stimulating. The gym has become part of your routine, but your gym routine lacks focus.

You need encouragement. You need supervision. You need a tour guide on your journey to health and wellness.

You need a personal trainer.

As ubiquitous as a treadmill in a fitness club, the personal trainer is a key element to successful workout programs, giving clients one-on-one attention and encouragement.

“Working with a qualified personal trainer is an incredibly valuable investment for a person that is starting out on a fitness routine,” said Sam Berry, who directs personal training for Fitcorp. “Or for a person that wants to learn some new exercises because they’ve reached a plateau with their current regimen.”

But finding the next Bob Harper or Jillian Michaels — or more realistically, a trainer that best fits your goals and needs — requires some legwork.

Berry listed three criteria as essential for finding the right personal trainer.

» Does the trainer have a degree in exercise science or a related field and have at least one nationally accredited personal-training certification?

» Does the trainer have clients that have been with them for a long time, with positive reviews?

»Does the trainer provide a complimentary session to meet with clients, discuss goals, injuries and exercise experience?

“If you can observe how the trainer interacts with their clientele or ask a client ... what benefits they’ve gained, that’s ideal.”