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The Fitness Zone

How to Be a Successful Personal Trainer
April 11, 2015 | by Michael Lowe

Personal training can be a glamorous career choice, which can also be extremely rewarding. The role of a PT can motivate and inspire others to achieve many goals, both personally and professionally. A good PT is merely a vessel to guide and support others on their new lifestyle journey.

The role of a PT sounds amazing, but as all experienced PT’s know, it is your first 2-3 years of trade that will determine your longevity in the industry. PT’s who work hard within their first 18 months to 2 years build a great platform for further success for many years to come, and it is A LOT of work! One component of being a PT that people fail to understand at the start of their career is that you are not only a trainer but you are also 9 times out 10, a business owner and YOU are responsible for building your client base.

I first entered the fitness industry as a fresh-faced Gym Instructor, 14 years ago. I have been fortunate enough to receive some great advice and feedback on what makes for a great PT experience. The learning’s I gained are still part of my current business plan today.

Three fundamental principles of a successful PT experience are:

1. Adaptability and Consistency

An adaptable PT who is consistent will stimulate his or her clients on a regular basis. Your client’s will come from many different backgrounds and because of this you need to be able to adapt and become versatile to cater for all types of client’s goals and needs. This is what will make you a quality PT. In addition, most quality trainers know that consistency is the key to success. It is hard for the industry to be deemed creditable if trainers are being inconsistent with their knowledge and practical delivery. Consistency is what motivates and inspires clients with their training.

2. Knowledge

A PT with a solid knowledge base will always be in demand. As a trainer your knowledge needs to be maintained at least to a minimum standard. The industry can lose credibility when fitness professionals either over or under deliver with their knowledge. As a good trainer, it’s important for you to invest in yourself by continuing to update your knowledge. You may have heard the term ‘cowboy trainers’ being thrown around out industry, and this is because there are trainer out there who are not qualified or giving poor advice as they lack knowledge. Make sure you set aside time and money to invest in your knowledge as this is investing in your career.

3. Replication

Finally a quality PT knows that delivery replication is essential to longevity within the industry. A trainer that provides quality service to all clients contributes to the authentic nature of the industry and will always retain business. When you first start in the industry set up your business systems and get them in play from day one. Once you have finalised these systems, no matter where your career takes you, your business systems will follow and you can replicate them to suit.


Michael is a Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness NSW.

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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