Skills of a Successful Personal Trainer
Personal trainers have varying amounts of experience and education. Some may call themselves trainers, yet they have no formal education. Others hold a graduate degree in exercise science.
There are currently no legal standards or licensure requirements for personal trainers. No law states that people must do x, y, and z in order to call themselves personal trainers. There are, however, skills you should acquire before becoming a personal trainer.
Program design, also called exercise prescription or design, is a fitness plan you develop for your client. It must take into account factors such as fitness level, personality, and current and desired lifestyles. With proper program design, you'll help your clients achieve their goals in a safe and effective manner.
A good program is one that is challenging but maintainable and enjoyable for your client. While you'll learn a great deal about program design from books, it's your ability to understand your clients that will help you the most in this area.
New clients have the best intentions of achieving their goals. Sometimes their excitement may cloud their impression of how much time they'll dedicate to exercise. When developing your programs, remember to keep them short enough to fit into busy schedules. Short workout schedules will be more manageable for your clients, and will increase the likelihood that they'll stick with them.
Personal training is a people business. That being said, it is still a business. Therefore, you must have good business skills or you will not be successful. While you don't have to be the stereotypical salesperson, you do have to sell yourself. This is a skill that can be learned and must certainly be practiced.
Part of being a good salesperson is your accessibility to potential clients. You need to be open and friendly, but not fake. You should always have a smile on your face, as it makes you more approachable. Be sure to make casual conversation with members in your facility, and learn names and pertinent information about as many people as possible so they feel comfortable approaching you to train them.