8 Tips to Make You the Best Personal Trainer You Can Be
8 Tips to Make You the Best Personal Trainer You Can Be
– Whether you’ve always been a gym bunny or came late to the PT party, becoming a personal trainer can be a super-fulfilling career. While your friends are stuck behind desks all day cultivating their carpal tunnel syndrome, you get to travel, meet new people, stay active, and see your clients transform before your eyes. What could be more satisfying?
Whether you take an online personal training course or go the traditional gym-based route, you’ll need a qualification to become a professional PT. However, a qualification alone won’t make you successful.
So how do you become the best of the best?
Keep on Evolving
You don’t have to be the Madonna of personal training, but you should never stop learning. Always try to be better than your competition, and always stay ahead of the curve.
Continue your formal learning by taking fitness and personal training courses in specialty areas. Getting qualified in kettlebells, sports massage or lower back pain will make you stand out from the crowd.
Outside of the classroom, strive to attend as many fitness conventions, conferences, seminars, training workshops, fitness webinars, and other educational events as you can. Read books and blogs on personal training and fitness. The more knowledge that you have, the better you become at designing and developing personal training programs for a variety of clients.
Commitment, understanding, passion and knowledge are the hallmarks of great personal trainers. To become the best of the best, you can’t just work on your clients – you have to work on yourself too.
Understand that Your Client is Not You
The secret to being a successful personal trainer is in understanding the strengths, weaknesses and needs of your client. Just because your workout regimen works for you doesn’t mean it’ll work for them, even if you have the same goal in mind. Make sure you’re not projecting your own assumptions and experiences onto your client – listen to them!
Define Your Own Brand
Personal training is a business, and an integral part of any successful enterprise is carving out a niche and thus standing out from the crowd. Trying to appeal to everyone a little makes it harder to appeal to anyone a lot.
If you want to attract and keep your ideal clients, define your strengths or interests and build a brand from that. Are you a drill sergeant or a nurturer? Do you love teaching mums, geriatrics, football players or gym buffs? Do you prefer training for weight loss or bulking up?
Identifying your niche and marketing yourself accordingly means that over time, your ideal clients will begin to seek you out, not the other way round.
Build a Strong Network
If you’re naturally shy and just beginning as a personal trainer, it will be difficult to gain a respectable number of clients. Now is the time to step up your networking skills.
Try to participate in wellness fairs, health and fitness workshops and local gym events to make connections in your industry and meet potential clients.
Create active social media pages that reflect your brand and encourage people to reach out and engage with you. Personal trainers such as Kayla Itsines have become global successes because of their Instagram accounts – you can at least be a local hit.
Always Deliver More than You’ve Promised
It’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver. By keeping the fitness goals of your clients as realistic and achievable as possible, you’re not only making sure you can hit your targets, you’re making sure they feel good about their success as well. If they can see that they’ve achieved more than they thought they would, they’ll be more likely to keep going – and more likely to think of you as instrumental to their progress.
While many digital marketers don’t believe in the power of traditional word-of-mouth marketing, in the world of personal training, it’s basically what gives you a steady flow of clients. Happy customers will always recommend their personal trainers – plus, their new muscles will be a walking billboard for your excellence!
Your clients have lives, jobs, families, friends and other commitments, and they will often be faced with situations beyond their control. Your training style should allow for this, even if you’re more of a drill sergeant than a nurturer – don’t be too harsh when something’s not their fault.
However, you should maintain high standards and a sense of discipline by ensuring they know you won’t be deviating from their training programme every time. This way, you can show your humanity as well as your dedication and commitment to their success.
Assign Homework for Added Value
Try assigning breathing exercises or stretches to practice then evaluating their progress at the following session. This helps your client to stay focused on their training program and encourages discipline when you’re not there to encourage them.
You could also ask them to keep a workout journal or food diary. This gives you a deeper insight into their lifestyle and how well they’re sticking to your recommendations.
Build Lasting Relationships
Let’s face it – going to the gym is a chore for many people. Having a friend there can make it less so. Be that friend! One of the most critical mistakes a newbie personal trainer can make is keeping their professional relationships strictly transactional.
Knowing more about your clients’ lives, families, friends, interests and dreams will let you tailor your programme more directly to their needs. Plus, their trust will likely translate to long-term loyalty and glowing recommendations.