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The Fitness Zone

Danielle Appi Shares 9 Lessons I Have Learnt as a Personal Trainer
November 30, 2015

Danielle Appi is a mother of two, Personal Trainer, fitness business owner and passionate health and fitness advocate. This year, she also completed the Nutrition Coach course at the Australian Institute of Fitness as part of her personal philosophy to never stop learning.

In 2012, resuming her old career in marketing “filled me with dread” Danielle says “so I decided that I was ready for a career change and to pursue my passion for fitness.” After re-cultivating a routine in the gym Danielle started her own personal training business and is continuing to grow and up-skill in the fitness industry.  

So what has she learnt since becoming a Personal Trainer? Some of her insights may surprise you! 


1. It’s Never Too Late to Change Your Life

It’s only too late if you have decided it’s not worth living!  As a PT you are often engaged with people who think it’s ‘too late’ – but my response is, too late for what?  To sleep more soundly?  To move more freely with less pain? To live longer? To minimise your chances of sickness and disease? To spend more quality time with your loved ones? To continue to get up every morning and strive to do the best you can?  

2. Don’t Wish For Change, Create It

Create a picture of what you want to look and feel like in 12 months, 5 years, and 10 years even, and get help from a professional to create a step by step action plan to get you to your chosen destination. No change happens by chance. Desire to change is not enough to produce long term results, it must be supported with a sustainable plan and of course action. 

3. Put the ‘Personal’ in Personal Trainer

A great trainer is one that offers truly ‘personal’ service.  One that consistently shows they care through the little actions. One that treats clients like real people rather than a number or dollar sign, and doesn’t believe that their job is done at the end of a session. 

4. There Are No Shortcuts

No pills, potions or shakes will get you or your clients and keep you the body you want. Good, clean, whole and unprocessed foods combined with regular and consistent movement will create the body you were meant to have. 

5. Nutrition is so Important

Obviously exercise plays a large part in the process but the reality is that if you are not eating the right foods, in the right quantities for your energy needs then no amount of exercise alone will help you achieve your goals. I was so excited to be able to commence my Nutrition Coach course this year with the Institute, as I learnt to understand how to relate to nutrition as a PT. Plus, only having to be on campus twice a month and then studying online in between was really convenient and easy to fit in with my busy lifestyle.  

6. It’s Good to be Different

I jumped straight into a large, respected gym with well-established ‘legends’ in the business and I struggled to build the confidence to compete for the clients. It took me a while to realise that I wasn’t actually competing with them at all and that I had a client base available to me that related to me, my age and my philosophy. Once I accepted that I was different to the other PT’s and that I wasn’t going to attract the same type of clients, I started to relax and enjoy the career I had chosen.

7. Create Habits Not Rules

I believe in guiding my clients to enjoy ingredients that are fresh and simple, flavouring with herbs and spending minimal time in the kitchen. I encourage them to make small, significant changes that will be sustainable and meaningful for the long term. It’s my job to make sure that they do not need me to hold their hand for the rest of their lives in order to maintain their good health and fitness goals, but that they choose to keep me in it as one of their cheerleaders and coaches.  

8. Empower Your Clients

There are many, many PT’s out there who are willing to hand their clients a meal plan to follow without any education on why they should follow it. I feel that as a good PT it is my role to help educate my clients about nutrition and healthy eating so that they are empowered to make their own decisions and choices for a healthier future. 

9. Never Stop Learning

A great trainer continually strives to educate and better themselves so that they keep up to date with the latest knowledge and research, and can be strong role models and inspirational for their clients.


This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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