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How to Be a Good Personal Trainer (Tips + Secrets)

How to Be a Good Personal Trainer (Tips + Secrets)

When learning how to be a good personal trainer, it’s important to note that you’ll be expected to program, sell, and market your personal training services. To become a successful personal trainer, you’ll need to actively recruit new clients while optimizing retention. The best gym management software combined with the best personal training software can help personal trainers become successful by incorporating marketing tools, workout software, and ecommerce features that meet the needs of different clients.

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  • To become a successful personal trainer, you’ll need to be able to relate to potential clients; not just instruct them.
  • Tips for personal trainers include understanding your daily role, meeting the needs of your clients, and offering realistic options for your target clientele.
  • You can become a good personal trainer by combining reputable credentials with passion and functional resources.

Learning how to be a good personal trainer includes fitness programming, closing sales, and more. Learn how to become a successful personal trainer inside. Learning how to be a good personal trainer isn’t hard. To become a successful trainer, you’ll need to be open-minded and dedicated to your growth as a fitness professional. Using versatile fitness business software, you can enhance and market your personal training skills to reach more clients and improve client satisfaction.

With just a few tips, you can learn how to be a successful personal trainer. Throughout this article, we’ll help you identify the signs of a good personal trainer, tips for becoming a personal trainer, and how you can grow your personal training clientele.

Dean Somerset - Bird Dog
“Developing an easy intake system with my apps and ways to scale the delivery of workouts has been huge. Working with 20-30 individuals who each have specific goals and restrictions can be challenging, but your platform makes it easy to organize everyone’s programs and put a plan together that will get them the best results possible. The simple, effective tools help expand and simplify my coaching process.”
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Owner, Somerset Fitness

Personal training is a fun and rewarding career that has become increasingly competitive in recent years. Learn how you can overcome the competition by booking a demo with Exercise.com today.

Tips for New Personal Trainers

As mentioned above, personal training is a unique occupation that requires more roles than many aspiring trainers seem to realize. Led by passion, strong personal trainers are willing to expand their own knowledge to help meet the needs of their clients. It also helps to know and understand the expectations for day-to-day life as a personal trainer.

Again, becoming a personal trainer isn’t as easy as writing workouts and conducting assessments. While those are certainly important components of the job, there are many other factors leading into those workouts and assessments that might be considered more important for your long-term success as a trainer.

Not everyone is meant to be a personal trainer; not even, necessarily, those who might seem to know everything about health and fitness. Depending on the setting, personal training can often seem like a mixture of fitness training, sales, management, public relations, and even psychology. Writing workouts is just a small portion of personal training.

What are the qualities of a good personal trainer? Successful personal trainers come in many shapes and forms, but for the most part, they all share some common characteristics. Those who succeed as personal trainers tend to be passionate, organized, knowledgeable, adaptable, and understanding.

Although there is plenty of science supporting specific training methods, it’s important for trainers to understand that not every person is the same physically or mentally. So, despite you boasting a recipe for guaranteed success, you may have to improvise based on client abilities, preferences, and so much more.

Understanding Your Role as a Personal Trainer

As a personal trainer, there’s a good chance that you’ll be responsible for finding and building your own clientele. If you’re working for a gym, you’ll be given some leads and a plethora of members to actively recruit for your services.

Even so, you will most likely be responsible for closing sales with prospective personal training clients. It sounds easy, but there are many reasons why a prospective client won’t want to train with you initially.

I don’t have enough money for your personal training services.

This isn’t anything personal, but personal training isn’t cheap. For many people, affording the $40/month gym payment is already a stretch. In other cases, prospective clients just aren’t ready to allocate funds for a service they know nothing about.

I already know what I need to be doing in the gym.

In other cases, clients might believe that they know everything they need to know to be successful in the gym. What they might fail to realize, is that without any accountability, they may not be adhering to the guidelines they think they know

As you approach prospective clients, you’ll hear a lot of reasons why clients don’t want to train with you. This is why it’s important to be flexible and prepared.

How to Get More Personal Training Clients

How can I become a good personal trainer? It’s difficult to become a successful trainer without clients. You’ll want to learn ways to get more personal training clients so you can practice programming, communicating, and operating a personal training business.

For starters, it helps to know who your ideal client is and what personal training services they’re searching for. For example, you might specifically want to target youth athletes. If that’s the case, you’ll have major time restraints and will most likely need to train in groups rather than 1-on-1.

This is where versatile workout software can help you create a wide variety of workouts for any client, whether it’s a group or just one person. Exercise.com’s workout software allows personal trainers to create and log workouts from anywhere while including additional features like automation, online workouts, and a customizable exercise library.

Since not every client will be able to afford the same personal training products, you’ll want to offer personal training options that are financially sensible to your desired clientele. Utilizing ecommerce software for personal trainers can help you sell workouts, training packages, nutrition plans, fitness assessments, and other products that can accommodate your clients.

If you’re looking to target a specific clientele, you’ll want to make sure your education and credentials can support that. It’s typically advised that you pursue certifications that are NCCA accredited to reinforce your legitimacy as a trainer. Even so, education represents just a small portion of what makes a successful personal trainer.

Lastly, you will need to market to your target audience. Your gym or fitness studio might help do some marketing, but there’s a good chance you’ll want a bigger outreach so you can make more money. With Exercise.com, you’ll be provided with marketing tools integrated into your personal website, which is connected to your custom-branded personal training app.

In short, you’ll be given resources that reach a larger clientele base while connecting your website, social media outlets, and your mobile app, where clients can contact you or purchase your products.

Retaining Personal Training Clients

Can I make good money as a personal trainer? Absolutely. To do so, you’ll need to do a good job recruiting and retaining your clients. When learning how to become a successful personal trainer, it’s important to know that it’s much easier to retain clients than it is to find new ones.

Retaining your personal training clients comes down to your relationship with your client alongside your client’s success. If your client isn’t reaching their goals, they won’t continue paying for your services. Don’t forget, not every client has the same goals as you, so be sure you understand how to program accordingly.

Relating to your clients is another battle. To be blunt, you won’t get along with every client you meet. Just as you don’t make friends with everyone in high school, some clients just won’t mesh well with you. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t relate to every single client.

You will want to be sure you’re making an effort to truly assist your clients. This means that you need to show them that you actually care about their goals and even their life outside the gym. This could be as simple as asking about their kids or their weekend. Every client is different.

What makes a good personal trainer?

A good personal trainer possesses a combination of knowledge, skills, and qualities that contribute to their effectiveness in helping clients achieve their fitness goals. They should have a solid understanding of exercise science, program design, and nutrition principles. Good communication and interpersonal skills are crucial for building rapport and motivating clients. Adaptability and the ability to tailor workouts to individual needs and limitations are important. A good personal trainer is also committed to ongoing education and professional development to stay current with industry trends and evidence-based practices.

What are the weaknesses of a personal trainer?

Personal trainers, like any professionals, may have weaknesses that can affect their effectiveness. Common weaknesses can include a lack of experience or knowledge in specialized areas, limited business and marketing skills, difficulties in time management or organization, or challenges in adapting to diverse client needs and personalities. Additionally, personal trainers may struggle with effectively communicating and connecting with clients or face burnout due to the demands of the profession. Recognizing weaknesses is important to address them through continued learning, seeking mentorship, and professional development.

What makes a personal trainer stand out?

A personal trainer can stand out by demonstrating exceptional qualities and skills that set them apart from others. This can include having a deep understanding of their clients’ goals and needs, providing personalized and effective training programs, and delivering excellent customer service. A standout personal trainer also possesses strong communication skills, empathy, and the ability to establish trust and rapport with clients. They continually strive for professional growth, stay updated with industry trends, and exhibit a passion for helping clients achieve their fitness goals.

What is the hardest part of being a personal trainer?

The hardest part of being a personal trainer can vary depending on individual circumstances, but common challenges include managing a fluctuating schedule, balancing the needs of multiple clients, and maintaining motivation and energy while continuously supporting and guiding clients. Personal trainers also face the challenge of adapting to diverse client personalities, needs, and limitations. Additionally, building a client base and managing the business aspects of being a personal trainer, such as marketing and administrative tasks, can be demanding. However, despite these challenges, many personal trainers find fulfillment in helping clients transform their lives through fitness.

Can a shy person be a personal trainer?

Yes, a shy person can be a personal trainer. While being outgoing and extroverted can be advantageous in this field, shyness should not prevent someone from becoming a successful personal trainer. Personal trainers can use their unique strengths, such as deep knowledge, attentive listening skills, and a focused and calm demeanor, to create a supportive and comfortable training environment for their clients. Building rapport and trust with clients may take time, but a shy person can develop effective communication and interpersonal skills through practice and continued professional development.

How do you structure a 30-minute personal training session?

Structuring a 30-minute personal training session involves careful planning and maximizing the time available. It’s important to start with a warm-up to prepare the client’s body for exercise. The main portion of the session should focus on targeted exercises based on the client’s goals and needs. This can include resistance training, cardiovascular exercises, or a combination of both. The exercises should be challenging yet appropriate for the client’s fitness level. The session should end with a cool-down and stretching to promote recovery. Efficient time management, clear communication, and utilizing effective exercise techniques are key to maximizing the benefits of a 30-minute personal training session.

What strengths does a personal trainer need?

Personal trainers need a variety of strengths to excel in their profession. These include:

  1. Knowledge and Expertise: A solid understanding of exercise science, nutrition, and training principles to develop effective programs.
  2. Communication Skills: The ability to listen actively, explain concepts clearly, and provide constructive feedback to clients.
  3. Empathy and Interpersonal Skills: The capacity to connect with clients, understand their unique needs, and build rapport to foster a supportive relationship.
  4. Motivational Skills: The ability to inspire and encourage clients to stay committed to their fitness goals, even during challenging times.
  5. Adaptability and Problem-Solving: The capacity to modify workouts, adjust strategies, and find creative solutions to address individual client needs and challenges.
  6. Professionalism: A commitment to maintaining high ethical standards, professionalism, and ongoing professional development.
  7. Physical Fitness: Personal trainers should exemplify a healthy lifestyle by demonstrating physical fitness, proper form, and safe exercise techniques.

Do personal trainers have to be strong?

Personal trainers don’t necessarily have to be exceptionally strong in terms of physical strength. While personal trainers should have a good level of fitness and be able to demonstrate proper exercise form, their role primarily focuses on guiding and instructing clients rather than showcasing their own strength. However, personal trainers should possess a solid understanding of strength training principles and be knowledgeable about various exercises and techniques to effectively design and teach strength training programs to clients.

What is a typical day for a personal trainer?

The specific activities of a personal trainer can vary depending on their schedule, client base, and workplace. A typical day for a personal trainer may include conducting one-on-one or group training sessions with clients, designing personalized workout programs, assessing clients’ fitness levels and progress, providing nutritional guidance, and monitoring clients’ adherence to their fitness plans. Personal trainers may also spend time marketing their services, managing administrative tasks, continuing their education, and staying updated with industry trends. The ability to manage time effectively and prioritize tasks is crucial for a successful and productive day as a personal trainer.

What is the most important skill of a personal trainer?

While personal trainers require a combination of skills and qualities, one of the most important skills is effective communication. Being able to listen actively, ask the right questions, and communicate clearly and empathetically helps trainers understand clients’ goals, needs, and limitations. Excellent communication skills allow personal trainers to provide clear instructions, motivate and inspire clients, educate them about proper exercise techniques and healthy lifestyle habits, and build trust and rapport. Effective communication fosters a strong client-trainer relationship, leading to better results and client satisfaction.

What are the seven characteristics of successful personal trainers?

Seven characteristics of successful personal trainers include:

  1. Passion and Enthusiasm: A genuine love for fitness and a passion for helping clients achieve their goals.
  2. Knowledge and Expertise: A solid understanding of exercise science, training principles, and nutrition to design effective programs.
  3. Strong Interpersonal Skills: The ability to connect with clients, build trust, and effectively communicate and motivate.
  4. Adaptability: The capacity to tailor programs to meet individual client needs and adjust strategies as necessary.
  5. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: The ability to understand and empathize with clients’ challenges, providing support and guidance.
  6. Professionalism: Upholding high ethical standards, being reliable, punctual, and maintaining confidentiality.
  7. Continuous Learning: A commitment to staying updated with industry trends, seeking ongoing education, and refining skills.

What are the core values of a personal trainer?

Core values of a personal trainer may include:

  1. Client-Centered Approach: Putting the needs and goals of clients at the forefront of training programs and interactions.
  2. Integrity: Acting honestly, ethically, and responsibly, and maintaining client confidentiality.
  3. Professionalism: Demonstrating punctuality, reliability, and a commitment to ongoing professional development.
  4. Empathy and Support: Understanding and empathizing with clients’ challenges, providing a supportive and non-judgmental environment.
  5. Collaboration: Working with clients to set realistic goals, and collaborating with healthcare professionals or other fitness specialists when necessary.
  6. Accountability: Holding clients accountable for their commitments and progress, and maintaining accountability as a trainer by continuously improving skills and knowledge.

What are the 4 different personal trainer styles?

The four different personal trainer styles are:

  1. Motivational: Personal trainers who excel at motivating and inspiring clients to achieve their fitness goals by providing encouragement, support, and positive reinforcement.
  2. Educator: Personal trainers who focus on educating clients about exercise techniques, proper form, and the science behind their training programs, empowering them to make informed decisions about their health.
  3. Coach: Personal trainers who take on a coaching role, guiding clients through their fitness journey by setting goals, monitoring progress, and offering guidance and feedback along the way.
  4. Lifestyle Advocate: Personal trainers who promote a holistic approach to health and wellness, emphasizing the importance of overall lifestyle choices, including nutrition, sleep, stress management, and self-care, in addition to exercise.

How do personal trainers stay organized?

Personal trainers can stay organized by implementing various strategies and utilizing the best personal training tools. This may include using scheduling and calendar systems to manage appointments and training sessions, utilizing client management software or apps to track client progress and communication, maintaining detailed client records, and creating templates or checklists for workout programs and assessments. Additionally, personal trainers can benefit from setting clear boundaries, managing their time effectively, and implementing systems for tracking their own professional development and continuing education. The Exercise.com software provides features like scheduling, client management, workout creation, progress tracking, and more, helping personal trainers stay organized and streamline their business operations.

Becoming a Successful Personal Trainer: The Bottom Line

As you can see, learning how to be a good personal trainer requires more than just learning about health and fitness. You’ll be working with a wide variety of personalities that each have different desires and financial means to allocate to personal training. Learning how to accommodate each client will help you build a successful personal training career.

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Co-Founder, AMPD Golf Performance

Learning how to be a good personal trainer requires time and dedication. See how Exercise.com can help you leverage your time and skills while increasing revenue by booking a demo today.

Thomas Barnett is a writer for Exercise.com and a Professor of Exercise Science at Keiser University. He has over eight years of experience working in rehabilitation, personal training, and strength and conditioning. Additionally, Thomas holds a Master's Degree in Human Performance, a Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Science, is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), a Certified USA Weightlifting Coach, and holds the ACSM Exercise is Medicine Credential. When he isn't working or training, he enjoys a good game of rugby or can be found fishing and/or exploring the Florida coast.
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