A career in personal training is not as straightforward as it might seem. When you think about personal trainers, you probably imagine someone who struggles to do one last push up and a personal trainer yelling in their face to keep pushing.
Not only is this an inaccurate picture, but it also deters others from getting started on a personal training career.
There are plenty of benefits in taking up a career in the fitness industry and depending on what you’re looking for in a career, this might just be the dream job you’ve been looking for.
What attracts most people to this career choice is personal trainer income and flexible working hours.
But that’s not all there is to it.
In this article, we’ll be going through some things to look out for in a personal training career. These range from interpersonal skills for the career development of health improvements, all of which you will attain by pursuing a career in personal training.
The best part?
The skills you learn as a personal trainer can spill over into your private life to help you become a well-rounded person.
Let’s dive right in…
1. Client Management Skills
One thing you must learn fast when going into personal training, other than getting certified, is to deal with multiple clients at once. You’ll often have several clients to deal with daily.
But here’s the problem:
Clients will have different personalities and often different fitness goals that you will need to keep track of.
Personal training will teach you to deal with a wide variety of personalities, often from people of varying backgrounds and ages.
Here’s a quick example of what I mean:
On any day, this is what a typical diary might look like
|Client Name||Occupation||Age||Primary Fitness Goal|
|Jim K||Senior Retiree||63||Overall fitness|
|Andrew S||Student||19||Larger chest and abs|
|Anne P||Sales Consultant||26||Toned stomach|
As you can probably tell, these are different individuals with different fitness goals. Dealing with a 63-year-old, that’s trying to get into good shape will differ from a 19-year-old who wants to get a huge chest and a 6-pack.
This also refers to the way you communicate with each client. You can’t encourage a 23-year-old female client who is also new to fitness training the same way you would a 19-year-old male who has been training religiously for 3 years.
What do I mean?
Some clients will need a softer touch, while others need a harder push because their bodies and mindset can take it.
Client management is also vital in drawing up not only fitness exercise routines, but also meal plans to suit the client.
This brings us to our next point:
2. Physical Health
A lot of fitness training aims to increase physical health for your clients. So when you get started on a personal training career, a lot of the theory will cover biology, nutrition and how the body works.
The material you study when preparing for a personal trainer certification will teach you more about nutrition, strength, and conditioning.
The certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) features a great certification for strength and conditioning, while the NASM certified nutrition coach certification will give you all the nutrition information you need.
Here’s the best part:
Having all this information on hand means you can implement it not only for your clients but for yourself.
We all know that:
If you’re physically healthy, you have more energy and motivation to go after your goals and reach them.
That brings us to the next point:
Motivation is researched thoroughly in many careers and industries. What sets personal training apart is that you have to be a source of motivation for your clients.
If you’ve ever wondered:
Why people have headphones on at the gym?
It’s because music serves as a great source of motivation to get through the exercises.
A personal trainer has to do a similar job to encourage clients and keep them motivated.
You’ll soon learn that personal training requires a bit of motivation. It serves as that extra bit of fuel you need to push through that last set of exercise routines or to put in a few more repetitions.
But here’s where things get tricky:
You only have so much motivation throughout the day and you probably have multiple clients.
So the question is:
Where do personal trainers get all that motivation?
Well, it’s not that personal trainers have an infinite amount of motivation. The difference is that they’ve learned how to push through the challenges and tap into that extra bit of motivation when needed.
Personal trainers get to share that motivation and enthusiasm with clients to help them reach personal fitness goals.
As you get deeper into your personal training certification career and have the experience, you’ll soon notice that a lot of this also comes with a solid dose of self-discipline.
Often confused with motivation, discipline is not as futile as motivation. Self-discipline is often the result of endless challenges that you have overcome and are now easier to get through.
Like a specific muscle group being trained, self-discipline requires practice and repeated actions that can then form a habit.
Having a disciplined mindset as a personal trainer means you have gone through countless challenges. Coming out on top and winning those challenges just shows that you’ve learned to get started with minimal motivation.
This then becomes a solid habit which you can then transfer to both your personal training career and your clients.
Why is this important?
Different clients will have varying degrees of self-discipline. To have them stick to diet plans and exercise routines will require some self-discipline on their part.
If your clients see how disciplined you are in your approach and dedication to help them reach their fitness goals, they’ll likely follow suit and become just as dedicated.
5. Time Management Skills
This one should be right up there with the most important stuff such as getting certified. Time management skills are vital in the fitness industry, especially if you work for yourself.
Because punctuation is vital when dealing with clients.
People value their time and are very choosey about what they spend their time on. This will be the case with your personal training clients.
Respecting the client’s time and sticking to the set schedule will not only help build trust with the client, but it can also serve as a great way to reach fitness goals in time.
If you don’t miss any training sessions with your clients, you can estimate how much time it will take the client to reach their fitness goals.
Getting to training sessions in time or arriving earlier instils a sense of confidence and trust with the client. It shows the dedication to help them and that you are respectful of their time.
This is especially true for very busy clients who have hectic schedules.
Because busy clients are usually short on time and sometimes anxious. If you get to the gym or studio before their scheduled session, you can set the atmosphere. A comfortable and controlled environment decreases their anxiety because they know that they spend their precious time consciously.
Another benefit of having good time management skills is managing multiple clients. The more clients you have, the less time you will have for planning.
A career in personal training will teach you a bit of project management, which includes planning for unforeseen circumstances.
This means you will learn to draw up a working plan that incorporates future changes to guide you even if your client base grows larger.
Speaking of a larger client base, how do personal trainers go about gaining new clients to grow the business?
6. Marketing Skills
Marketing skills are increasingly becoming an invaluable part of career development in any industry. Knowing how to sell yourself or your service will go a long way in determining your success rate.
With personal training in mind, the right marketing skills will grow your business if you’re working for yourself or if you’re working at a gym.
Here’s the deal:
Working for yourself in your own business will have its challenges because you might have to wear different hats. When starting, this means you’ll be your accountant, salesperson, and the boss.
A lot of the marketing ideas involved in growing your business will be up to you to implement.
Effective marketing skills include:
- Reaching out to potential clients
- Using data to decide the next logical steps
- Understanding your target market
- Delivering specific results
These are just some essential skills you must get comfortable with.
If you’re just fresh out of a certification exam and you’re looking for a job in a gym or fitness studio, these will also come in handy.
Looking for a job as a personal trainer also needs more marketing too. This entails being able to communicate your strengths and future objectives with your prospective employers.
The confidence in your marketing skills will grow the more you practice. Your improvements will show when dealing with potential clients and so will your results.
To Wrap It All up…
There’s a lot in personal training that can prove useful in both your professional and private life.
Most people often make the mistake of thinking a job does not carry over into your personal life.
This is wrong because the skills you learn and challenges you over when becoming a personal trainer can help you become a stronger and well-rounded person in your private life too.