7 personal trainer tips you need to know

Personal trainer tips aren’t just for those looking to become a qualified personal trainer.

With the extremely saturated personal training market, it’s necessary to up your game and try to stand out from the crowd.

Despite the current economic climate, data shows the personal training industry is only to set grow, so what can you do to make your business thrive?

We’ve put together some top personal trainer tips to help ensure your business is as good as possible and make sure clients choose you!


How to become a successful personal trainer

Becoming a successful personal trainer will take time and effort—and goes beyond earning your certifications.

As a fitness professional, you will be the client’s link between setting and achieving a goal.

You will need to be good at business and have brilliant people skills since you will deal with different clients daily.

You’ll need charisma and skill to offer valuable fitness advice, training schedules and nutritional plans. Your aim is to keep your clients coming back, eventually building a loyal client base.

With our 7 top tips, you’ll be able to achieve this in no time and have a thriving business.


Growing your business

Before you jump straight into our personal trainer tips that focus on working with your clients, it’s best to look at building and improving your business.

The business side of your work will fundamentally be the key to success and retaining your client base.


1.     Identify your market niche

If you’re starting in personal training, you might not realise it has many different areas and types of training you could focus on.

Doing some research into the area where you intend to provide your services is key. Take a look at the different demographics around you.

For example, are you in an area with lots of elderly or young people? Are you based near lots of antenatal classes or schools? Asking yourself these questions will help you determine what type of audience to target.

Your niche could be, and not exclusive to, the following:

  • Senior and elderly citizens
  • Prenatal or postnatal individuals and couples
  • Couples or groups
  • Young people and teenagers
  • People with different abilities or disabilities
  • Bodybuilders and weightlifters
  • High-level athletes focusing on a specific sport
  • People looking to lose weight or improve their lifestyle


2.     Get experience

Before you embark on setting up your own personal training business, it’s wise to first gain some experience—knowledge is power, after all.

Experience can be gained in all different ways.


Working at a gym

You may want to first start out working at a gym. This will allow you to shadow other trainers and get a lay of the land before jumping straight in.

You’ll get more of an understanding of how gyms operate in all different areas. From equipment to the front desk—you’ll learn both practical and theoretical skills.

Some skills you can gain through working at a gym include:

  • Interpersonal and building relationships—chatting with clients and other personal trainers
  • Understanding of client decision-making—why do they want to join a gym and have a personal trainer
  • Business skills—understanding the rates clients pay for a personal training session
  • Teaching skills—learning from other personal trainers and seeing how they train their clients


Attending the gym

Working at a gym is one of many ways to gain experience. However, attending working at the gym alone may not feel like enough. You may want to brush up on your general ‘gym skills’ by spending time in a gym.

By attending the gym regularly, you’ll learn how to use different pieces of equipment and be able to test out different variations of exercises that may suit different niches.

You can also observe the other trainers working or attending the gym—if they’re friendly, you may want to approach them for advice or some personal trainer tips.


Working with a personal trainer

Taking things a step further, you could invest in working with a personal trainer. This way, you can get first-hand experience and learn what to do and what not to do.

Training people for free is also a great way to gather vital experience. Starting by training a family member or friend will help you build your confidence, learn people skills, and figure out what exercises suit different people.

Remember to ask questions, no matter the route you go down, to gather experience—this is a great way to learn.


3.     Gain and improve upon your personal trainer skills

You might have the beginner qualifications and certifications to be a personal trainer, but do you have the skills?

What do we mean by this? It’s all about improving on what you’ve got to help you stand out.

Earning further certifications is a great way to build on your skills. They can help you expand your expertise and focus on your market niche. Some further certifications include:

  • Nutrition and diet for additional meal planning services
  • Mindfulness and wellbeing
  • General fitness
  • Women’s health focusing on the menstrual cycle, women’s fitness and menopause
  • Yoga and Pilates
  • CPR and further medical training, for example specialising in exercise for Asthma suffers

Developing your soft skills is key to retaining and building a loyal client base.

Soft skills help you understand and relate to other people. They help you build lasting relationships and also can be the missing piece needed for your personal training business to excel.

Some skills to focus on include:

  • Compassion, understanding and empathy
  • Communication and active listening
  • Adaptability and being agile
  • Problem-solving
  • Dependability


4.     Increase your business knowledge

We’ve touched on business knowledge, but this is essential to a successful personal training business and one of our top personal trainer tips.

You may gain some business skills from working in the gym, but you can take this to the next level by doing your research.

You can read many articles about personal training businesses that cover everything from building rapport with your clients to writing your personal trainer bio.

The more reading you do, the more skills you’ll gain.

Taking business courses will also help you better manage finances, legal forms, time management and much more.


Working with your clients

Now you have an in-depth understanding of running your personal training business; it’s time to focus on building your client base.

1.     Get to know your clients and show them you care

It may seem simple, but building a relationship with your clients will be one of the most important parts of your role as a personal trainer.

Your main goal should be to help the client and offer support and advice wherever possible. Invest in them and identify exactly how you can help.

Showing your client you care about their needs before jumping straight in with price plans will show you are more genuine and ultimately keep them coming back—they may even recommend you to their friends.

Understanding your working relationship will make your sessions much easier for you and your clients.

You will want to remain professional and remember that you are running a business. Though it can be easy to spark a relationship with clients—especially as you’re most likely working on a one-to-one basis—you will need to set some boundaries.

Many clients may want to let off steam or confide in you, which is great for building your relationship. However, if your client reveals things that are too personal, you are within your rights to decline to engage in that conversation.

A client may also begin to view you as a friend and want to take advantage of your work—for example, asking you to work an extra half-hour free of charge or asking you to travel outside your ‘work location’.

As a business, you are within your rights to decline and not agree to partake. Although this may not feel comfortable, this will help you remain professional and set boundaries with your clients.


2.     Invest time and attention in each client

During your session, your client should feel that they are the only ones on your books and that you are there for them.

Focus on your client’s needs, ask them about any factors impacting their session and tailor it to them. Also, if your client is new, take time to understand their goals and how your will base your training to help achieve them.

Setting a plan for your clients can motivate them through the sessions.

Ultimately your job is to inspire and set a good example for your clients at all times—no matter how your day has gone or how you’re feeling. Always try to set your personal life to one side once you start working with a client to ensure the focus is on them.

A good way to help your clients feel you are invested in them is by setting them ‘homework’ to do outside of your regular session. This could include exercises to continue on their own, techniques to work on, or simple things such as keeping a workout journal or walking diary.


3.     Advise, don’t patronise

It may seem like common knowledge, but an important part of working with your personal training clients is being supportive, not superior.

Attending a personal training session can be daunting for clients, especially new ones. If you want to ensure your client is comfortable and will return, avoid being a know-it-all.

Create an environment where your clients are encouraged to ask questions and offer advice to help them achieve their goals.


Specialist personal trainer insurance with Insure4Sport

Building your personal training business is exciting, but things aren’t always smooth sailing. Accidents can happen, which ultimately could put you and your business at risk.

With Insure4Sport’s specialist personal trainer insurance, you can ensure you are protected. The cover protects your equipment against loss, damage, or theft and even insures you if a client makes a claim against you.

After putting in the time to build your business, it’s good to know that if you suffer a serious injury while carrying out your sessions, you’ll also be covered for loss of earnings for up to 52 weeks.

Find how we can help here, or click the button below to get an instant online quote.

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