Becoming a Role Model Personal Trainer
What does it take to become a role model personal trainer your clients admire, respect, and trust?
In a world where fitness trends come and go, being a trainer that leads by example goes way beyond just guiding your clients through exercises on the gym floor.
It’s just as much about proving your worth as a trusted expert while they’re away from the gym, demonstrating you’re enthusiastic about every session, and genuinely invested in their goals.
Studies show 80% of people who start a fitness program quit within the first few months. A large percentage of those who do quit, will likely point to having almost zero accountability.
That’s where we as personal trainers can help…
Here you’ll learn some of the key principles and actionable steps you can take to transform yourself into the role model trainer every client is crying out for.
The foundations of a role model trainer
Practice what you preach
As a trainer, if you’re turning up to every session absolutely beat up and not able to focus because you’re exhausted from your own training sessions, then you’re not setting a good example. When you turn up to your sessions, it’s your responsibility to bring your A game. That makes it easier for you to ask your clients to do the same and match your level of commitment and intensity. They get that message of consistency because they can see that you’re doing the same. Make sure that you’re getting your training, rest, and recovery in as a priority.
Listening is one of your greatest weapons
Building trust and connection is crucial as a personal trainer. Show empathy towards your clients by understanding their struggles, objections, and aspirations. Practice active listening, allowing your clients to express themselves fully. By creating a safe and non-judgmental space, you can better address their needs and tailor your approach to their circumstances and the look they want.
Constructive feedback is good feedback
Clear goal setting and progress tracking are essential for both you and your clients. Establish realistic goals together and communicate the process clearly. Don’t be afraid to give constructive feedback that acknowledges their progress while guiding them towards improvement that will make a genuine difference to their results. If you don’t pick up on diet slips or poor form in the gym, no one will.
Creating a supportive environment
Any trainer that’s built a loyal client base will tell you a sense of community is important. Clients that feel ‘part of something’ are far more likely to see the results that they want. That might be as simple as encouraging some much-needed camaraderie among your clients to spark a supportive and motivating environment. Organise group activities, challenges, or even social events outside of the gym. By building a community, you inspire accountability and ensure your clients have the support they need.
Overcoming challenges as a role model trainer
We aren’t going to say every day as a personal trainer is plain sailing.
Difficult clients, bad moods, dips in motivation – they happen to the best of us.
Here are a handful of little-known tips from our team on how best to handle similar problems that affect even the top 1% of trainers.
Dealing with client resistance and setbacks
Despite your best efforts, clients may face resistance or experience setbacks. For example, busy days at work overlapping into sessions or struggling to find anyone to look after the kids. You get the idea. Approach these situations with patience, understanding, and adaptability. Identify the underlying reasons for their resistance or setbacks and work together to develop strategies to overcome them.
Clients with unrealistic ambitions
It would be nice to shed 20kg of weight in a few weeks, or pack on size like Arnold after just a handful of sessions. But any qualified personal trainer knows that’s not possible. Unfortunately, some clients build up the idea in their head that they can see unrealistic results in remarkably short timeframes. So, how do you handle that? First things first, avoid making promises you can't deliver and focus on laying out achievable goals on day one of your client’s program. Establish what’s realistic and create targets that align with their abilities, lifestyle, and timeframe. This sets a foundation for success and prevents any disappointment or discouragement.
The art of retaining personal training clients
Retaining clients isn’t easy. It comes with mastering your craft and often years of experience working out how to build unbreakable relationships with clients. However, the rapport your build with your clients is a hallmark of a well-respected trainer. As we’ve mentioned above, invest yourself in their journey, go the extra mile, and provide value the best you possibly can. Stay connected through regular check-ins and create personalised workout plans. Celebrate their milestones and support your clients during both triumphs and setbacks. By fostering strong relationships, you create loyal clients who are more likely to refer others to your services.
Overcoming imposter syndrome and self-doubt
Imposter syndrome and self-doubt can affect even the most successful personal trainers. That very first session is always going to be intimidating and it’s often a reminder of the magnitude of your job. Remember, you’ve worked your way into this position, and if you’re in the fitness industry for all the right reasons, there’s no reason why you can’t succeed. Most of it comes down to attitude and willingness to learn. The more you put in, the more you’ll get out. Adopt a growth mindset and continue to expand your expertise. Surround yourself with a supportive network of fellow trainers who you’re confident you can learn from.