Personal training is a win-win relationship.
Personal training is often focused on the advantage of students who receive this mentoring; very rarely is any emphasis placed on how the personal trainer benefits.
Who wins? The student who seeks to get back into shape and acquire new skills, and the coach or sports educator who lives his/her passion and enjoys seeing protegés' gains, whether a beginner or competition-level athlete.
In this article, we will discuss the need for creativity in training programmes, personal development and the complementarity of physical and mental training, among other things.
Come now and discover these aspects indispensable to the personal trainer, or anyone who wishes to work in the personal fitness services sector.
Become a Personal Trainer to Make a Difference
To fully belong to the new generation of personal trainers, your greatest asset will be your ability to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Your unique traits as a coach not only makes it easier for you to find clients, but is also more beneficial in terms of your personal development.
It is indeed more rewarding to develop your own fitness program in accordance with your vision of physical activity in general.
A good personal trainer or sports coach is someone who does not play follow the leader.
Feel free to establish your own best practices, all while exercising your creativity and staying up to date on news and findings from the world of exercise science.
Obviously, it would be acceptable to recycle your best workout routines and proven fitness programs, like Pilates, but it is essential to adapt them to your fitness education philosophy.
Another way to stand out amongst the current legions of personal trainers is to identify which segment of the population you hope to market your brand of fitness to.
Your services as a personal trainer must reflect your ethos, and translate into the steps you need to take in order to reach and teach your clients. You should ask yourself:
- Do you prefer to teach group lessons in a gym, or practice individual or in-home coaching?
- Are you more enthused over aerobic exercise done to a pounding beat, or would you rather train bodybuilders, CrossFit or Parkour?
- How do you define your focus: with exercises targeted to weight loss? Toning, shaping and sculpting?
- Or would you become a fitness trainer for a professional athlete?
- Have you declared a specialty: gymnastics, senior fitness, stretching, Zumba? Or do more general programs, such as resistance training, appeal?
- You may also consider youth fitness – an aspect of the fitness industry that tends to be marginalised
- Would you consider teaching personal fitness training online – as opposed to meeting clients at their home or in a gym?
- Do you feel that a Level 3 or higher certification lends you more credibility as a fitness professional, or should Level 2 prove sufficient commitment to your clients?
NOTE: In the UK, you could conduct group fitness sessions in a gym with a Level 2 certificate, but you must have Level 3 or higher to conduct one on one personal training in a gym, or personal training in clients' homes.
Pondering these variables and others will help you refine your position as a personal fitness trainer.
Once you've determined what type of fitness you want to teach and the level of trainer certification required to teach them, you can start thinking about populating your stable of clients.
It would be helpful to incorporate ancillary services into your profile, such as lifestyle and nutritional advice, to enhance your marketability.
Which means you should be knowledgeable about nutrition and lifestyle issues!
Finally, know that your students will judge you on the rigour of the workout and discipline you demonstrate.
They will appreciate the fact that you are attentive and adaptable to their needs; something you could demonstrate by, for example, keeping a training diary for them that lists complementary exercises added to their routine.
That would entail evaluating your students regularly, in order to measure and record their progress.
While seemingly ordinary, these mundane tasks that pertain the business of personal training would impress on two scales:
- Proving your credibility as a trainer – thereby earning client loyalty
- Achieving a level of organisation that will keep you focused on their progress
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Personal Training as a Guarantor of a Healthy Lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can keep you motivated, and in fact propel you into your future career as a leader of exercise programs.
Indeed, becoming a personal trainer encourages you to maintain optimum physical conditioning, primarily to maintain credibility with your students.
What legitimacy would you have to instruct on exercise physiology, tightening thighs and glutes, or even bodybuilding if you yourself cannot lift 10 kilos?
As a fitness trainer, regardless of your preferred discipline, working out should induce you to expand – or at least keep current on your knowledge of diet and exercise in order to provide your clients the very best counsel, addressing each of their concerns with confidence.
Which foods should be avoided and which ones are suited to that trainee's body type and exercise regimen?
Such a nutrition knowledge base will get your students in shape faster, and permit you to keep in shape as well!
Fitness training does not only tap on physical capabilities.
Mental preparation and conditioning are contributing factors to a person's overall well-being: feeling at ease with oneself and motivated to improve one's physique is a formidable tool for self-development.
Before you can start any training session, you must stay motivated to encourage such a change of mindset in your students.
You should count it a personal investment if it means your students are able to develop such an attitude under your tutelage.
In other words: enthusiasm is definitely a bug you should infect your students with!
If being a fitness instructor is your therapy, you could motivate your students in a two-pronged approach: on one branch, in terms of reaching their fitness goals.
The other side touches on the mental and psychological aspects of becoming healthier.
A healthy lifestyle, whether yours or your students', is an all-encompassing concept.
With sound nutrition implemented and a measure of regular physical exercise, we'll bet you get raves from your students on how much better they're sleeping, and the sense of wellness that infuses their being!
Moving more will condition their bodies, which will improve their disposition which, in turn, will elevate their mood, urging them to push against their limitations...
Shouldn't we all take advantage of this virtuous circle that encompasses our physical and psychological sides?
Earn Your Personal Trainer Certification to Live Your Passion
If we accept the premise that working out makes us feel good, then earning your fitness certification takes on a deeper meaning.
Becoming a certified personal trainer effectively marries a functional discipline to your passion.
Admit it: don't you feel more fulfilled when you're doing something you love to do?
In spite of all that loftiness, it is essential to stay grounded; to not idealise the profession.
Above all, you must shun the belief that your love of sports will make every training routine perfect – for you and your clients.
If all of this resonates with you, perhaps you will need to educate yourself on the finer points of fitness instruction and, more generally, on the profession itself.
Becoming your own boss means stepping out of your comfort zone, especially where pay and other work-related benefits are concerned.
It is natural and understandable to feel a measure of trepidation, all the more so if your entire professional life has been lived as a salaried employee.
Here is where your self-confidence comes into play!
What, exactly, causes your worry – besides trading a secure income for one that may not flow so readily?
Talking with other health and fitness professionals, those who have made that daunting leap into establishing themselves in the personal training business, could give you insight and encouragement toward your success.
After all, if you have qualms, isn't it reasonable to assume that others before you also had them?
Now, we give you a great tip for success...
Your students look to you for leadership; in their workouts, for motivation, and because of your qualifications and expertise.
However, nobody says you can't let your students educate you!
Talk with them, during and after your personal training sessions. What part of the training program did they like the most? The least?
Would they like to engage in cardiovascular training along with their strength training? How about building endurance, or maybe even challenging themselves with a demanding general fitness boot camp?
Such exchanges will uncover new horizons for both of you: where you could lead the training, and in how hard your trainee could push him/herself!
To Summarise: Why Lead a Personal Training Program?
From Your Perspective:
Becoming a fitness specialist or a group fitness instructor allows you to thrive in a career that addresses something you are passionate about.
You may start out uncertain of being your own boss, but with time comes experience – and experience is the best teacher!
Talking with other exercise program leaders and fitness and nutrition specialists – don't forget them!, will expand your knowledge base, permitting you to present your most confident self to each of your clients.
Seeing your students progress is extremely rewarding; a gratification that will provide you with a sense of a job well done.
From Your Students' Perspective
Most likely, your clients also want that 'well done!' feeling: it is up to you to help them experience it.
Your clients will probably have clear ideas on what they want to achieve, and how they want to get fit.
Some might need corrective exercise to recover from an injury, followed by functional training, rounded out with exercises targeted to strength and conditioning of their body.
Others may simply want to increase flexibility or trim their body fat. New mothers may want a post natal workout tailored to them.
In all cases, fitness hopefuls looking for a personalized fitness plan are actually hoping for all-encompassing training techniques that will revolutionize their body composition as well as their lives.
It will be up to you, with your personal training certification and passion for fitness, to be the motivational force behind their lifestyle changes, all while helping them to train.
The win-win relationship between you and your clients should be at the heart of your initial consultation, follow your clients' journey to fitness and wellness, and continue through every phase of individualized training.
Not only is it the key to continuing success in your fitness career, but also the best way to thrive in the practice of this health fitness profession!
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