Five skills you’ll need for success as a personal trainer

Anyone who takes the required courses and passes the required testing can be a personal trainer. While these events are important milestones, they don’t guarantee success.

You’ll need some specific skills to truly succeed in this highly competitive field. And they go beyond knowing the ins and outs of physical exercises. 

While we will discuss them here, some of these skills require years of experience to master. This guide will walk you through the basics you’ll need to cultivate a successful career as a personal trainer. 

1) Excellent communication skills

Listening is a soft skill that’s necessary in many fields. But it’s required as someone who’s self-employed and whose income derives from quality. 

You need to listen to your clients, understand their needs and goals, and provide feedback and guidance so they can understand. 

Whether you are discussing diet plans, exercise routines, or simply checking in to see how they feel, good communication skills can make all the difference. People want knowledge and support. 

They don’t want to be ridiculed or yelled at. Many of them have dealt with that their whole lives. That’s why they sought your expertise in the first place. 

2) Empathy and understanding

You never know what your clients have been through in life. 

There was a show called “From Fit to Fat to Fit” on the A&E network. Personal trainers would spend months putting on weight. The show documented their journey, both in gaining weight and then trying to lose it, along with their clients who were on this mission for the first time.

The trainers gained a perspective they’d never had before. Essentially, they walked a mile in their client’s shoes. It made judging them and their efforts impossible.

Training without judgment and providing empathy will give you the tools to tailor your approach and create a supportive environment necessary to help your clients thrive.

3) Industry knowledge and expertise

Knowing how to lift weights isn’t enough. Knowing how Arnold did it back in the day won’t suit every client. You need to be updated on what science is saying today. Every client will have different needs and goals. 

Some will want to be on a keto diet and need help losing weight. Others want to gain muscle and eat more protein. Some might be vegan. You will be coaching males, females, old, young, and everything in between. Each case will need a different type of training and a matching nutrition plan.

Alternatively, you may choose to specialise in training one demographic. For example Women’s Fitness Education offer a Certificate III and IV in Fitness which specialises in training women and includes bonuses courses such as training pregnant women, training menopausal women and training around the menstrual cycle. 

Highly successful trainers are able to constantly expand their expertise and incorporate new strategies and methods into their practice. It keeps clients engaged and excited about their workouts. You’ll also establish yourself as a knowledgeable and skilled professional in the field.

4) Marketing and branding awareness

Being a great personal trainer is only half the battle. Marketing and branding will set your business apart from the competition. 

Spend some time developing a personal brand. Try promoting your services through various channels, such as social media, networking events, and partnerships with local gyms. 

These practices increase your visibility, which helps lead to a successful and sustainable career as a personal trainer.

5) Time management and organization

You’ll likely have multiple clients with different schedules and availability. Managing your time effectively is crucial for both your own productivity and the satisfaction of your clients. 

Excellent time management skills will help you create and stick to a schedule, plan effective workouts, and efficiently balance your personal life with your business. 

Staying organized with apps like MyPTHub reduces the risk of double bookings or missed appointments. While cancellations are a part of the business, being organized provides a smooth experience for both you and your clients.

Pump yourself up with these five skills

Being a personal trainer is all about understanding your clients, communicating effectively, keeping yourself updated with industry trends, and organizing your time efficiently. 

These skills require time and experience to master. Taking the time to develop properly will lead to a successful career in personal training. 

Your clients look up to you as a fitness guide and a beacon of motivation. Strive to be a source of unwavering support on their journey to healthier lives.