How To Become A Personal Trainer: Turn Your Passion Into Profession
A checklist of things to look out for when learning how to become a personal trainer.
One might question the need to learn how to become a personal trainer. Do we even need personal trainers if exercise programs are uploaded online?
The answer is yes. Trainers are more than the programs they coach. They motivate. They draw the best out of their trainees and they coach for lifestyle changes and not just for ‘abs’.
All those celebrity transformations wouldn’t have been possible without dedicated personal trainers. A lot of people understand this and opt for personal training.
In order to become a personal trainer, you need to keep a few things in mind. This article lists them down!
1. Pick A Niche
This is probably the easiest aspect of learning how to become a personal trainer. It requires you to work towards your strengths.
If you’ve applied your training to yourself, you ideally know the kind of training regimen you want to teach.
Stick to what you know. Expand your abilities over time, but learn to perform and teach certain kinds of training, before teaching it to others. Being the reason behind someone’s injury is never a good time.
So for example:
If a trainee comes asking you for a calisthenics workshop and you’re not fully confident with it, let them know. This way you don’t waste their time and can instead cater to people who want to learn from your expertise.
2. Transform Your Family And Friends, First
One of the most difficult things about learning how to become a personal trainer is convincing clients that your plans work. You may be the fittest-looking person around, but can you replicate that success for other people?
Much like searching for jobs, you won’t get one without experience and you can’t get experience without getting one (chicken and egg, anyone?).
So, start with your family and friends. Take a close friend, a sibling, your parents and make their fitness goals for potential clients to aspire to.
3. Focus On Social Media
You may not get the chance to meet every client personally. In fact, many of your clients may come via online inquiry.
So, create a social media presence for your clients and prospective clients to interact with you. This is also a place to show off your testimonials and display real-life results.
Make social media like Instagram a touchpoint for your stakeholders.
4. Form Deals With Gyms and Exercise Facilities
What’s better than learning how to become a personal trainer? Learning how to become one who gets their clients discounts. It is always good to build relationships with your local gyms and exercise facilities.
These are just a few ways you can do this:
- Negotiating a split in gym revenue if your client joins the gym. You can reduce your share so the client has to pay less, overall.
- Negotiating a day-to-day fee with an exercise facility (like a private pool) so that a client need not pay a monthly amount to access them for a few workouts.
- Acting as a ‘visiting trainer’ at certain gyms so that you can train their clients as well.
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5. Implement Workout From Home Routines
Global lockdowns in 2020 were both a task and a revelation. The concept of physical offices was challenged and so was the necessity of going to physical gyms.
Live online workouts gained prominence and while people who prefer going to the gym will be able to access facilities, those who don’t want to should also be addressed.
To cater to those folks, design workout-from-home routines with and without mobile equipment (mentioned below).
Some examples can include:
- Implementing bodyweight exercises such as squats, pushups, lunges, and adding in variations to increase intensity (like building your clients up to a single leg squat).
- Using everyday items for resistance such as mugs, books, doors, etc. An example includes using your clients’ couch as a platform for split squats/ lunges.
- Implementing mobile equipment such as resistance bands, TRX bands, and equipment such as light parallel bars that require minimal assembly.
- Focusing on functional training, which combines intelligent rest and exercise times.
You can’t learn how to become a personal trainer without learning how to cope with the challenges presented by your times.
6. Add Value By Including Diet Plans
Every healthy person knows this- abs are made in the kitchen. You don’t need to be a nutrition expert to know how to become a personal trainer.
However, an understanding of dos and don’ts can help you craft a blueprint for a diet plan for your clients.
- Macros: How can clients balance between proteins, carbohydrates, and fats?
- Fad diets: How can you teach your clients to watch out for and avoid those?
- Good, nutritional food sources: What can your clients eat to stay active and healthy?
- Supplements: Which ones should your clients avoid and which ones can they opt for?
- Certifications: What courses can you take to increase your credibility?
7. Work On Your Man Management Skills
This is understated, but an absolute must. What happens when your trainee decides to not show up one day? What about when they can’t or don’t seem to want to do that last set or rep?
Worst of all, what if the slow and steady results aren’t enough for your clients and they decide to opt for a permanent sedentary lifestyle?
This is where your motivational skills come into play.
You can do these things:
Be proactive: Call your trainees every day and tell them that they’re needed for a workout. Check on their diets too. You’re their teacher and not a person who’s simply sold the concept of a personal trainer to them.
Read up on communication and motivation books: Learn the what, how and whys of communicating so you can influence your clients positively. How To Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie is a great book for this.
Be vigilant: Don’t let your clients slack off during workouts and note their weaknesses and strengths.
Challenge your clients: Always. Make sure they know the progress they’ve made by making every workout more difficult. Make sure you let them know of the progress they’ve made.
Being a personal trainer can be a thankless job. Most people congratulate (and rightfully so) the person who’s made the lifestyle change/ transformation and not the personal trainer behind the process.
However, getting the best out of your clients and literally changing them is a feat that not many can claim to achieve.
Learning how to become a personal trainer requires you to harbor a lot of intangible skills such as discipline, man-management, and acute negotiation skills.
Master all these and you’re on your way to become a successful personal trainer!