What should a personal trainer know?
Whether you want to hire one or go into business for yourself, you must be aware of the specific things that a personal trainer should know to train clients safely and effectively. While this article is written for the person wants to be a personal trainer, it will also help anyone seeking to hire one.
In order to be a personal trainer, a person must have specific knowledge of the body and muscles, recent fitness trends and discoveries, and enough knowledge to run a business (and the tools necessary to run a business. Request a demo of our business management software to learn more).
What Credential Does a Personal Trainer Need to Have?
Being certified a personal trainer is important because it proves that you have a solid understanding of how the body and muscles work. There are a number of accrediting agencies that issue the test for personal trainers.
Your credentials count as a personal trainer. As you start a business or expand an existing business, your fitness club or gym partner reflects well upon you and vice versa. Select a partner organization with a robust business in a good location. When clients meet with you, let them know about your personal training education and credentials. Provide a card with your authorized credentials. For example, your card may say, “Don Smith, ACE-certified Personal Trainer.”
Prior to getting qualified and taking the certification exam, you will need to ensure that your education is up to par. Some things that you will need to do are:
- Get certified in first aid
- Get certified in CPR
While some people do get college degrees to become personal trainers others do not. Schooling for personal trainers may just come from one of the accrediting agencies like the NCAA. However, it’s likely you will have to have the first aid and CPR training before being accepted.
What Does a Personal Trainer Do to Keep up to Speed?
Affluent clients with fitness goals want a personal trainer with an understanding of the latest health and fitness information. Reading medical journals or scientific journals for scientists isn’t necessary. To stay on top of the vast information flow about health and fitness, many just read “Prevention” or “Men’s Health.”
PubMed, a service offered by the National Institutes of Health, also provides synopses of the latest research about any health or medical topic. If a prospective client wants to recover from a heart attack, you’ll probably research the latest information to add value to your client’s regimen. Naturally, you’ll work with the client’s physician or medical team to make sure any training regimen is safe for him to perform.
Studies may or may not help solve your client’s problems, but your knowledge of the latest information can help you guide the client. For example, a client’s concern about her thyroid hormone level isn’t anything you can address. You can support her decision to obtain tests from a medical doctor.
If her thyroid hormone level is too low, her doctor can provide medication to assist a decision to lose weight. Your client will enjoy speaking with you about the follow-up, and she’ll be impressed at your knowledge about the latest information on subjects of interest to her fitness goals.
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What Does a Personal Trainer Need to Know About Business?
You don’t need a business degree to become a personal trainer. However, you do need to market effectively and learn to manage the bookkeeping side of a small business.
Marketing is merely getting the word out! Like most solo practitioners, personal trainers must find clients willing to pay for services offered. Many personal trainers start by making inquiries to other personal trainer businesses to learn the going hourly rate in their area. Others talk to gym and fitness club owners to learn about contractual arrangements offered by these organizations.
Starting out with a local gym or fitness club can help you develop a clientele. In exchange for the opportunity to sell clients of the fitness club, the personal trainer either develops a profit-sharing arrangement or pays the fitness club a monthly fee. Here are some basic marketing ideas:
- Business cards
- Social media like Facebook and Twitter
- Website – your own or an affiliated site
Many new personal trainers worry about the bookkeeping and financial management side of things, especially folks who have never been in business before. While there can be a lot to learn, and you do need to take it seriously, there are a lot of resources at your disposal.
Consider these options:
- Courses at your local Small Business Administration
- Hiring a bookkeeper
- Management software
What Interpersonal Skills Does a Personal Trainer Need?
The most successful personal trainers provide outstanding customer service. Skills involve a combination of friendliness and truly caring that your client gets a good deal. You need to create a win-win.
For example, your goal to increase client revenues may lead you to offer reduced rates for pre-payment. When a client pays for six months of services at a time, she saves up to 30%. Your cash flow increases and locks in the client for a period of time. Additional incentives for referring new clients can also increase your cash flow.
Of course, the most successful personal trainers are always on time for client appointments. Arrive a few minutes early for a client appointment. If unavoidable circumstances make you late for a client appointment, offer the client a bonus along with an apology. In the same way that you expect clients to be on time, you must be on time and honor the client’s schedule.
When the client calls ahead to explain she’ll be late for an appointment, do everything possible to accommodate her. She can choose many personal trainers, and she’s chosen you. Well-heeled clients pay more for personal trainer flexibility, and they refer friends.
What Business Development Tools Does a Personal Trainer Need?
Professional development of your personal trainer business starts and ends with you. However, the basics of business management, like sending invoices and receiving payment for services, is an area that some personal trainers say they need help with. That’s why a software suite designed specifically for personal trainers can get your business on track.
Our online training platform is designed to make it easy for you to handle more clients and present a more professional product – contact us to get more information on how to get started!