The Fitness Zone
If you have a passion for fitness, and genuinely want to help others live, and lead a healthier and active lifestyle, then a career as a Personal Trainer is definitely for you. But being a fitness fanatic with a qualification, and being a great Personal Trainer are two very different things, so we went to Australian Institute of Fitness graduate, and Ambassador, Michelle Bridges, to find out what she believes are the top 5 things that make a GREAT Personal Trainer, and here is what she said;
#1 Organisational Skills
“Not being organised and prepared for sessions is a sure fire way to end up with no clients and a disreputable reputation,” says Michelle. Not only does this include having all of your sessions planned well in advance, but make sure YOU are organised yourself too. Not prepping your meals, can leave you HANGRY, and not packing spare gym gear to replace your sweaty workout clothes, can scare potential clients away. So, do yourself a favour and make a daily check list so you are always ready and raring to go - even on those 4am early starts.
# 2 Punctuality
Being organised, is one thing, being punctual is another. So, make sure you only commit to clients that you can actually service. There is no point booking back to back sessions, when you know your first client enjoys a good post workout chat. This will only eat into the next sessions time, giving a poor experience to this client, and leaving you looking disorganised. An easy tip is to use your calendar in your phone to schedule all of your clients sessions, and your own personal appointments e.g LUNCH, because you don’t want to miss that!
#3 Great Listening Skills and Having Empathy
Not listening to your clients would have to be in the top three mistakes that Personal Trainers make. Yes, something so simple as listening, yet so many PT’s fail in this area. If your client says they don’t like training with free weights, don’t give them free weights sessions, it’s as easy as that. Listen, learn, and then tailor your sessions accordingly.
When actively listening to your clients, you will be surprised how much they actually open up to you. Whether you are chatting about their bicep curl technique, or plans for the weekend, creating a bond with your clients will have them coming back week after week. Having empathy when your client shares their struggles and challenges will also play a MASSIVE part in building a strong relationship as it can really show them that you care and are invested in their health and fitness.
#4 You Have To Be Supportive And Encouraging
Being supportive and encouraging is very dependant on #3 - Listening. Understanding your client's challenges and struggles will help you become a better trainer, as you will find your clients will begin to confide in you even more.
Despite the fact that you may have been training in the gym for years, many gym goers are experiencing fitness for the first time when they meet you at their local bootcamp or fitness centre, so being supportive and encouraging is essential for them to succeed and enjoy this new activity in their life. Sending a simple text message after a training session to celebrate how great they worked, can encourage your client to work even harder next time.
#5 You Need To Be Able To Think Fast On Your Feet
There may be times when you have prepared a bootcamp session, and on the day, only 3 people show up. Being able to think fast on your feet, and make alterations to your planned workout will showcase your expertise, and give the dedicated clients a great experience despite the low numbers in attendance.
Now, thinking fast on your feet will come with experience, as you gain confidence as a Personal Trainer. Just remember to always back yourself, be organised and plan ahead!
Photo credit: @mishbridges
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