“It’s easy to motivate a client when they are sitting on a bench right in front of you, but the real challenge for a trainer is to have that motivation exist even when you are not around.”
Jessie Pavelka, American – Athlete
The above quote, from Jessie Pavelka, highlights one of the key qualities that a personal trainer must have. They need to motivate their personal training clients so that these people develop a passion for exercise so that they carry on with their fitness routines well after the personal training relationship has ended. In this article, we’ll have a look at the other essential qualities that a personal trainer must have so that you can decide if you have these and whether you want to become a personal trainer yourself.
A passion for fitness
The first, and most obvious, quality that a wanna-be personal trainer must have is a true love for fitness. Possibly one of the absolute worst things that you could ever do is to become a personal trainer if exercising is something that you ‘have’ to do as opposed to something that you love to do.
Why do we say this?
As a personal trainer, your body is your billboard. People who come to you will choose whether or not to take you on as a personal trainer based on how you look. For example, if you’re a guy and you decide to go for a male personal trainer, you’ll be more likely to choose a trainer if he has a good set of arms and pecs. This is because you’ll think that if he can develop his own body he will definitely be able to help you with developing your own body.
This means that in order to get a well-toned physique you’ll need to dedicate a lot of time to this project. You’ll need to spend hours in the gym, carefully working on each body part. You’ll need to be dedicated to getting yourself into tip-top shape. Fitness doesn’t happen overnight. You need to consistently work at it. This means that if you love working out, this is the first sign which will tell you that you’re meant to be a personal trainer.
As we alluded to in the introduction of this article, personal trainers need to be superb motivators because when a client feels like they just can’t do another rep or set – or if they want to give up your sessions altogether – the trainer needs to encourage them to keep on going.
Some clients respond well to bootcamp-sergeant-like motivation, in other words you barking instructions at them. Others respond better more gentle and tactful words of encouragement. Every client is different and you, as a trainer, need to respect this and modify your style of motivation accordingly.
Here are some ideas about how to motivate your personal training clients:
- Set long-term and short-term fitness goals,
- Give your clients words of encouragement,
- Stay positive,
- Make workouts fun.
The best way to set fitness goals is to make them ‘S.M.A.R.T’, which stands for:
A people person
A personal trainer needs to be a people person. This is because they will be talking and interacting with people on a daily basis. As a business owner, they will need to interact with potential new clients and will need to convince them to take up a training package with them.
Added to this, a personal trainer needs to have superb written and verbal communication skills. They will need to be able to use these skills in order to explain exercises properly to their clients as well as to maintain a professional image in all written communication such as text messages and emails.
If you ticked the boxes that we mentioned above, you should really consider becoming a personal trainer. The next step, after you’ve made the decision, is to find an accredited and recognised course that you can study personal training through.