How to Be a Successful Personal Trainer – A Complete Guide
Have you ever thought about becoming a personal trainer? If so, there are tons of reasons you might want to make that career choice a reality!
Personal training is an exciting, fulfilling, and financially rewarding career. The average pay is $39,820 per year for a personal trainer or fitness instructor according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Not only is there a high average personal trainer or fitness instructor salary, but there is also significant room for career growth after deciding to become a personal trainer!
If you are considering becoming a personal trainer, there are a few basic points that you should understand.
Although it is not extremely difficult to earn a personal trainer certificate and begin working in a gym, becoming a successful personal trainer with a large clientele is not easy.
If you love learning about fitness, and helping people improve their lives for the better, becoming a personal trainer could be the perfect job for you!
What Are the Responsibilities of a Personal Trainer?
Although the basics of being a personal trainer are relatively simple to understand, there is a bit more complexity to the job than you might see at first glance. Here are some of the main responsibilities of a personal trainer:
Provides Personal Training and Prescribe Workout Programs for Clients
A personal trainer has to provide adequate personal training for their clients. They create a personalized workout plan for these clients to follow.
Before creating the plan, they review their clients’ goals to ensure they are feasible, and tailor plans to achieve them.
Aids Clients in Safely Exercising and Proper Body Alignment
Clients need to engage in safe, hazard-free exercise, and it is the responsibility of a personal trainer to ensure it happens.
The personal trainer ensures that any equipment in place has to meet safety standards. Furthermore, the exercises have to be done safely, and the responsibility is on the instructor to make sure of that.
Along with that, a client’s body alignment is important for the success of exercise drills. Therefore, a personal trainer makes sure that training counts towards developing perfect body alignment.
People who want to gain muscle fast, especially skinny guys can do so with the help of a personal trainer.
Monitor Clients’ Body Regularly
Asides from the traditional exercise instruction that personal trainers provide, it is their responsibility to monitor changes in clients’ bodies.
In the beginning, personal trainers examine different health factors of a client’s body. Some of them include heart rate and blood pressure.
The personal trainer repeats this process regularly to ensure no potential health issue is developing.
Along with this, not only do personal trainers need to have a personal training certification, but they must have a CPR Certification and be First Aid certified as well. In the United States, The Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) makes CPR training mandatory for healthcare, industry, education, and a variety of other fields.
For complete details of their training course you can check Occupational Health and Safety Books.
personal trainers can complete something online like the BLS certification online, or they can choose something more advanced like doing the complete ACLS pretest and doing an in-person exam which is more reputable.
Tips on Becoming a Successful Personal Trainer
Training people to improve their physical body and overall health is a very noble task. Here are a few specific tips that will help you become an excellent personal trainer:
Start with Getting the Proper Certification and Training!
If you want to be able to work in any gym in the United States, and be able to train your clients to your fullest capacity, you will definitely want to have the best personal trainer certification possible!
All personal trainers have to get certified by an organization that’s been accredited. There are numerous certifications and accrediting organizations in the U.S — The American College of Sports Medicine (accredited by NCCA) and the International Sports & Sciences Association (accredited by DEAC) being two of the most well-known and respected.
The International Strength Training Association is another organization educates and certifies personal trainers and health professionals. The ISTA is easily one of the best “places” you can get your personal trainers certificate, and they will help you to learn more about what your job will entail.
One of the oldest and most respected personal trainer certifications is the ACE Fitness certification. All four ACE certifications are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and built on the foundation of the ACE Integrated Fitness Training® Model.
ACE teaches you how to motivate people to become more active and lead healthier lifestyles. ACE offers a 20% discount on additional Certifications with an Ace Fitness code.
This includes the Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Health Coach and Certified Medical Exercise Specialist study programs.
Personally, I am an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer.
Check whether the certification is universally-recognized, and find out details about the exam and how much it costs (prices can vary from $300-$1000) before signing up. If you have a particular employer in mind, find out the certifications they require.
Having the proper certification is obviously necessary for working in a lot of gyms, but it is also necessary for you to learn methods of injury prevention and basic safety as a personal trainer.
You might be great at helping your friends build muscle or lose fat, but the proper certification will still teach you a lot!
Not All Your Clients “Want It” as Much as You Do
One problem that a lot of personal trainers find out is that a lot of clients want results, but not all clients want to do what it takes to get these results.
This might frustrate you, but handling this frustration is important to succeeding for yourself, your business, and your client.
A personal trainer is not just someone who understands physical exercise, they also need to understand how to motivate people as well.
A background in psychology is great for a personal trainer, but a basic understanding of people works just as well.
Use your frustration for something productive, because when you are working as a trainer it will certainly come!
No Matter What, This is a Results-Driven Industry
One of the reasons I mentioned that it is vital for you to understand the psychology of your client is that no matter what, you will be expected to deliver results.
Even if your client is having a hard time with their diet, or motivation to train, they are ultimately still going to expect to see improvements in their body and physical capabilities.
You are probably going to have to adapt your style for each individual that you are training, but it’s not a bad thing!
Finding how to help each of your clients is one of the many joys of being a personal trainer, and will set you apart from others in the same field of work.
Always Be Professional
As a personal trainer or fitness instructor, you will work in a friendlier capacity with your customers (trainees) than in other lines of work, but it is important that you understand how to maintain professionalism.
A few key tips to remember here is always show-up early to your appointments, treat your clients and those around you with respect, and never think you have learned enough current information.
Become a Master Motivator
Everyone has their own personal strategy on how to motivate clients, but you need to keep in mind that the best strategy is the one that works for that specific client.
You may feel more comfortable being a hardened trainer who doesn’t allow any slack from their clients, but this may not work for everyone you are training.
Stick to your principles, but don’t be afraid to adapt to the situation. Motivating your clients to work hard and stick to a training and diet regiment is half the battle!
Keep Your Clients Safe from Injury
The easiest way to lose clients and to lose your job is to have them perform exercises or workouts which are too difficult for them, causing an unnecessary injury.
Don’t be afraid to push the intensity of your workouts, because otherwise, your clients may stop coming to you due to a lack of results. However, make sure that you learn the limits of each of your trainees, and only push them to this capacity each workout!
Nobody Cares How Much You Know, Until They Know How Much You Care
The title of this tip pretty much sums up what it’s all about!
You might be the most knowledgeable trainer in the world, but if your clients don’t feel as if you actually care about their improvements and their life; they won’t continue to come to you for training sessions.
Do your best to express your personal concern and well wishes for their life, before you get to “sciency” with them!
Working in a gym as a personal trainer is an excellent job and a type of job which is rewarding in more than just one way.
Do your best to not only learn about your profession but also to learn about the people you are going to be training and working with.
Always Keep Learning
You may be concerned that you don’t know enough to be a personal trainer, but the truth is that a good personal trainer never stops learning. Fitness is an ever-evolving field, and you need to invest in continued education to provide your students with the safest and most effective sessions.
That means regularly attending workshops and conferences, as well as taking online courses and webinars. Committing to continued education is a must for remaining competitive and developing your skills as a personal trainer.
The Beginners Guide to Starting a Personal Training Business
Having your own personal training business is one of these very rare lifestyle choices where you can have it all. You get to be your own boss, you can make great money, all the while keeping yourself healthy and do what you love.
Pretty awesome, no? Of course, if it were all just that easy, everybody would be doing it. For that reason we have written up this little article.
Below you can find some core elements you need to keep in mind when trying to open your own personal training business.
Who Are Your Clients
First thing you need to take into account is understanding your clients. A personal trainer has many roles, from teaching people how to exercise, right down to motivating people to actually do it. You need to keep one thing in mind – a client comes to you because you are the expert, and he or she is not.
This means they don’t think like you, they don’t have the same passion and excitement about exercise you have. You need to get into their head, you need to understand them.
Being a personal trainer means you need to handle some psychology as well.
By talking to people, figuring out their goals, their lifestyle choices, how their work and studies are set up, you can create the perfect routine. Put simply – you need to get to know your clients.
Get the Right Paperwork
On a more practical, annoying part, you need the right paperwork. Unless you want to deal with fees and complaints, you need to get the right licences and certificates. You also need to insure your business, to have it inspected, keep it in line with municipal and any other local laws and regulations.
The other reason we emphasize getting certificates and licences is that they allow you to avoid a potential lawsuit.
Namely, these can seriously hinder your business and reputation. If needed, you can also contact specialized personal injury lawyers who can give you some extra advice on how to stay safe and avoid annoying bureaucracy.
You never know who you might end up dealing with, and a good lawyer can have your back completely.
Specializing is a Good Idea
Specializing, at least at first, can be a good idea. On one hand, you have good reason to be wary of it – focusing on a niche means you will be losing out on a big piece of the market.
However, on the other hand you might just be fulfilling an empty spot in a market, a place where there is very little competition, and a lot of demand.
So, developing your customer base can really push you forwards. This can be focused on either a type of customer, or a type of training. For example, maybe you only want to work with younger people, or perhaps with senior citizens. Maybe you enjoy working with bodybuilders and elite athletes.
On the other hand, you may tailor your work in accordance with people who are just too busy, but that really want to get some workouts going.
The other type of focus can center on things like marathon training, strength training for athletes, and conditioning for fighters who need to make weight…
Just remember that you need some extra training if you want to specialize.
For example, disabled people, or the elderly, have a host of other issues that you must be aware of, and that you know how to handle, if you want to do a good job. On the other hand, a background in a particular sport could be very useful if you’re gonna work with a specific type of athlete.
Finding a Job
As a personal trainer, you have a wide choice of employment options. Health clubs and commercial gyms often have vacancies. However, you may have to work on commission for lower pay. Hospitals, local community centers, cruise ships and spas are other options. You can even decide to launch your own business once you’ve gained experience.
As a business owner, you’ll have extra responsibilities like marketing yourself and providing fitness business insurance for your staff, which will protect your business in case anyone becomes injured on the job.
Insurance can give you and your employees financial peace of mind and cover subsequent medical expenses and lost income as you take time off to recover.
Online Marketing as a Fitness Trainer
Online marketing has been one of the ways people get their business and services out there for some time now. For this reason, it is a vital and important part of any business that wants to succeed with its marketing efforts.
Now, there are a couple of ways you can approach this. Obviously, a website can mean a lot. People will trust you more if you have a website, you will seem more real. Furthermore, they can find some useful information there that can help them make a choice.
Social media is a great way to get your name out there as well. With a social media account, you can get into direct contact with potential clients.
You can have conversions over your Facebook page, for example, and answer their questions publically. This builds rapport, and moves you towards becoming established in your area, slowly.
Regardless of the amount of skill you have as a trainer, or the amount of knowledge that you have, you will not find clients if you are not marketing yourself correctly.
Working for a commercial gym can certainly be helpful as they will provide clients for you, but learning marketing for yourself is still the best way to maximize the total number of clients that you can have!
Using Social Media as a Fitness Trainer
In today’s age, social media is probably the most important form of marketing in the world.
The massive number of people who connect through social media makes it imperative that most personal fitness trainers build a social media presence to maximize the number of clients that they have.
There are certainly many different aspects to this, and it does not just include showing off how “cool” of an exercise you can perform. It might also include showcasing some cool promo products that you or your gym give out to new clients, for example.
One way in which a fitness trainer can utilize social media to gain clients is by posting health and fitness articles for people to read.
By taking the time to write and post helpful health and fitness articles, the trainer will be able to instantly show any potential clients a sample of their knowledge, and how they would be able to help the client.
Furthermore, it is also possible that current clients will share the information that you have posted, spreading your knowledge to a huge amount of people.
Another way that a fitness trainer can utilize social media is by showing the progress and transformations of current clients. Whether you are helping a client build strength, muscle, or lose fat, being able to show these results to the world is absolutely the best way to gain more interest for yourself.
If people see that you can provide them with useful and unique health and fitness tips, they will surely want to follow you!
Instagram is probably the overall best social media for this type of marketing.
Instagram will allow any fitness trainer to visually document the performance of their clients, and easily show the world how quickly they can make drastic changes in the appearance of the people they are training.
Although it can seem difficult, getting more followers for Instagram is not as difficult as it may seem in the beginning. There are services that specifically help you gain followers for Instagram at a low cost, and your own performance as a trainer will also help you build a social media following.
Capitalizing on social media is extremely important for any fitness trainer, but this certainly does not come before your own credentials and abilities. A wise trainer will first work to gain as much knowledge as possible, before ever considering the need for marketing themselves.
Starting a fitness blog is another great idea as well.
However, even with incredible celebrity endorsements, a bad trainer will not last in this industry!
The best tip for marketing yourself as a fitness trainer is to help your clients achieve amazing results with their bodies, and the rest will become extremely simple!
Utilize these tips and you will build a larger client base than you ever could have considered!
Concluding Thoughts – Becoming a Successful Personal Trainer
Starting your own personal training business is not an easy thing to do, but it’s immeasurably fulfilling. Personal training is a rewarding, flexible and varied career. If you love fitness, enjoy working with and helping people reach their goals, and have a passion to continue learning, it could be the perfect career path for you.
However, taking several things into account is vital if you want to have things go off on a good start. Specializing is always a good idea, as is investing some time and money into online marketing.
Furthermore, figuring who your target audience is, and getting the right paperwork is vital.
So, decide with whom do you want to work with, invest the right amount of work into your marketing efforts, and you will be good to go.