How to Be a Good Personal Trainer | Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

How to Be a Good Personal Trainer

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. Gym management software can help personal trainers become successful by incorporating marketing tools, workout software, and ecommerce features that meet the needs of different clients.

Thomas Barnett is a writer for 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 Certifi...

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UPDATED: Jun 17, 2021

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Get the Basics...
  • 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 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.

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 today.

What makes a good personal 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.

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.

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.’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.

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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, 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.

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.

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

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