A personal trainer is an accessory many people seem to be acquiring lately. But how many of you actually know what to ask an instructor who costs you an arm and a leg, and who you hope will whip you into shape without any injuries? “The ultimate goal of getting a personal trainer should be that after a stipulated time period, he or she has managed to convert you into a mini-trainer for your own body," says Sumaya Dalmia, who runs Crème: Beauty & Bodyworks, a six-month-old personal training studio in South Extension, New Delhi. Her suggestions on how to test your trainer:

Is the trainer certified? If so, by whom?

Do your research : Sumaya Dalmia says you should ask your trainer tough questions.

Is your trainer interested in your goals?

Sure, every trainer must assess your fitness levels and diet, and know about any pre-existing medical conditions. But is he or she also interested in knowing what your short-term and long-term goals for your body are? Do you want to tone up, just lose weight, build stamina— what is your priority? A good instructor tailors the plan to your immediate requirements. The trainer must seek to educate you and enable you to handle at least 95% of your own fitness issues.

Is your trainer giving you a time-bound schedule?

A good trainer should give you a timeline within which you will be able to see a difference in fitness levels and your body. Any timeline that promises great results within a month is suspect. Also, a training plan set by the trainer should have enough rest days, and the workout plan must vary for maximum benefits with minimum injury.

Is your trainer suggesting supplements and diet changes?

It is not enough for a trainer to suggest changes in diet. He or she must insist you check the plan with a nutritionist or dietitian. Also, as far as supplementation goes, the trainer must recommend these only in consultation with a doctor.

Sumaya Dalmia charges 15,000 per month for consultation. For details, visit Cremewellness.com