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What’s the Secret to Becoming a Successful Personal Trainer?

What’s the Secret to Becoming a Successful Personal Trainer?
What’s the Secret to Becoming a Successful Personal Trainer?

One in five adults in the U.S. is a member of a health or fitness center. This is equivalent to a total of 64.19 million people belonging to 41,360 fitness clubs in the country.

When the pandemic hit, gym memberships dropped, with people stuck at home. But as the world slowly went back to normal, people are once again going to their gyms regularly.

However, a recent study found three in four Americans experienced an injury while working out as they struggled to get back into their pre-pandemic fitness routines. This is just one of the reasons more people are looking for a personal trainer instead of DIY-ing their fitness.

If you’re a personal trainer, your clients put their health and fitness into your hands. Giving them your best and helping them achieve their fitness goals is important.


What Makes a Personal Trainer Successful?

A personal trainer guides and supports clients with their fitness goals. But becoming a successful personal trainer is more than having certifications or helping several clients.

A successful personal trainer helps clients achieve their fitness goals and see the benefits of fitness.

But how do you get to this point? We share the secrets to success for personal trainers below.


Get Plenty of Experience

As the famous saying goes, experience is the best teacher. By this virtue, you become a more effective personal trainer with considerable experience.

You will get to spend plenty of time familiarizing yourself with equipment and different types of clients, and you can also observe other trainers. It’s a great way to learn about their approach and can help you develop your own.


Find a Niche

Finding a niche is one of the best ways to succeed at what you do. There are many facets to fitness, which means there are also different clients looking for specific types of training.

If you have a niche, you can hone your training skills in that area and establish yourself as an expert within the community. You can find a niche depending on the type of training, clientele, or even the location.

For example, if you want to find a niche clientele, you can focus on working with one of the following:

  • Athletes
  • Bodybuilders
  • People with disabilities
  • Senior citizens

If you want a niche training type instead, one of these could be your focus:

  • General fitness
  • Strength training
  • Weight training
  • Bodybuilding
  • Weightlifting or powerlifting

Remember, though, that having a niche clientele or fitness training type doesn’t mean you should only focus on them. Nothing beats a well-rounded personal trainer. Plus, if you’re well-versed in other fitness areas, you can incorporate your knowledge when helping your clients.


Learn How to be a Coach

One of the essential traits of successful personal trainers is their ability to become a coach or a respected teachers. But this takes time, mainly because you must build a connection with your client to achieve this.

From this connection, you can provide honest feedback and helpful critiques to help them correct their forms and improve their habits. In addition, being a coach means learning how to deliver these critiques to your client in the most effective way.

Equally important, though, is providing well-earned praise and encouragement when your clients succeed at achieving their fitness goals.

Learn How to be a Coach


Get to Know Your Clients

In conjunction with learning how to be a coach more than just a personal trainer, you can only achieve this if you truly know your clients. When you understand your client’s motivations for their fitness, you can support them better with a tailored fitness plan.

Getting to know your clients also involve listening to them. They can tell you about their preferences regarding exercise and the necessary health-related information, like injuries and health conditions that may hinder their ability to perform certain routines.

Apart from learning these vital things, getting to know your clients and listening to them helps them feel valued and respected. This goes a long way in establishing their trust and loyalty to you, which are essential in assisting them throughout their fitness journey.


Use What Works for the Client

One thing detrimental to a personal trainer’s success is putting clients on a fitness plan with routines and exercises that do not work for them.

As a personal trainer, you may know more about the technicalities of certain fitness techniques, but every client is unique. What works well for one person with a similar fitness goal might not work for another. This is another reason getting to know your clients is essential.

You should not define your fitness training type based on your tools or techniques. Doing so limits your professional growth and creativity with customizing fitness plans and can also be detrimental to your clients.

When developing a workout plan, consider your client’s personal preferences, so they’re motivated to go through the routine. For example, your client may require cardio to achieve their fitness goal, but they don’t like running, recommend a dance instead or another alternative that they may find more suitable.

In short, you should mold your training methods based on your client’s needs, not the other way around.


Train Clients on Movement

As mentioned earlier, reports show that many people are experiencing trouble getting used to their fitness routines again, resulting in injuries. Even if this isn’t a particular problem, you might also get clients who are new to or are not used to exercising.

In both these situations, it’s an excellent practice to familiarize them with how to move their bodies. It’s a vital first step to helping them last through any fitness plan you will come up with.

Once your clients are familiar with their body’s capacity for different movements, they become more comfortable doing the routines and techniques required in their fitness plan. They can use this skill to work toward achieving their fitness goal.

At the end of the day, you’ll have clients telling you how much easier everything is because you’ve first laid the foundation in training them about movement.


Use Intensity Wisely

It’s no secret that many people view fitness as something unattainable because of the misconception that every workout routine is intense and, therefore, out of their depth. Unfortunately, personal trainers who work their clients hard are partially to blame.

But a successful personal trainer does not have to put their clients through routines so intense they feel sore for days or have calluses. Fitness should be about celebrating the body instead of punishing it.

Being a successful personal trainer involves knowing how to use intensity wisely. Low, medium, and high-intensity workout sessions are relative to every client and where they currently are on the fitness spectrum.

If your client is new to fitness, you cannot start them off with a high-intensity workout. Sure, it may get them the results they want faster, but it can be at the cost of their confidence and happiness.

The ability to compassionately guide your clients through a fitness plan with intensity tailored to their ability and adjusted with their goals in mind is a mark of a successful personal trainer. You can become a fitness professional that clients trust and enjoy working with.


Give Your Clients Homework

A successful personal trainer can instill the value of fitness in every client. This involves making them see the importance of keeping fit even outside your training sessions. One of the ways to do this is by providing them with fitness-related homework.

It could be as simple as practicing breathing exercises in the morning to more complex assignments like keeping a food diary. When done properly, these things can become second nature for them, allowing them to stay in a fitness mindset in the healthiest and most organic way.


Improve Your Skills as a Personal Trainer

Being a successful personal trainer is constant work. Just because you’ve achieved the steps mentioned above doesn’t mean you stay in those lanes forever. You can constantly improve your skills as a personal trainer through the following:

Earning new certifications

Fitness has many facets, especially since it’s tied to overall health. You can expand your expertise or gain a new skill that will help you become a better personal trainer by earning certifications in general fitness and nutrition.

Training people for free

You can further develop your training skills by offering to train people for free. Ask a friend or a family member who may have been wanting to get fit. You can try different approaches, see what works and what doesn’t, and apply them to your actual clients.

Developing soft skills

Soft skills are essential in any job, especially those requiring you to interact with clients. You can develop a good and trusting relationship with your clients with soft skills like empathy, communication, and active listening.

Training in business

As you become more successful, you may want to pursue operating as an independent trainer or opening your fitness center. Knowing the business side of things will help you grow your career and keep your clients.


Get Insurance for Personal Trainers

One of the tenets of being a successful personal trainer is knowing how to protect your career. You can do so with the right insurance for fitness professionals from API Fitness.

We provide ample coverage for different fitness professionals, whether you’re a personal trainer or a fitness instructor, helping you keep your finances safe.

Learn more about the coverage of our insurance plans now.