If you are a trainer just starting out, or one that has been in the field for a while, you may be wondering what else you can do to be the best at your field. That in itself, is a great way of thinking in life. You should always strive to be the best at whatever it is you want to pursue. I think far too many people get comfortable in their jobs, and become complacent. This leads those individuals to get stuck, or stop finding their work rewarding and wondering why everyone else seems to be climbing the ranks except them.
If you find yourself falling behind, try putting yourself in a position to be more proactive about figuring out how to build on your skills, and how you can be of most use in each moment.
Here are some tips I recommend for becoming the best personal trainer you can be.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned as a trainer was that it wasn’t about how much I knew about lifting. My clients ultimately didn’t care about that, and it isn’t what led to their success. It was understanding the psychology behind their behaviors. Everyone knows what they should be doing when it comes to their health, but so few actually implement those behaviors day in and day out. Why is that?
Old habits are hard to break, and building new ones are even harder. The worst thing a client can do is try to 180 their life and do every possible healthy thing they can think of. To be the best trainer you can be, you need to be able to understand your clients behaviors, and figure out how to slowly add in new ones over time, that they can see themselves still doing a year from now. If you aren’t able to figure this out, then you won’t see much success.
Along that same note, in order to understand their behaviors, you have to build relationships with your clients. The best trainers in the world don’t just use that one hour they are with their clients and then check out. They make themselves an ongoing resource for their client, and a guide that can help them through any roadblocks they might have.
Take the time to get to know your client. Learn about their lives, their mindset, and the way they like to operate. Achieving their goals is as much working with their personality type as it is giving them goals to hit.
Find A Niche
When you are first starting out, I definitely recommend working with as many types of clients as you can. Your job when starting out is skill building. You are trying to build as many skills, and get the experience working with every type of client so that you have a foundation to refer to later on. The best trainers can pretty much handle most clients (serious ailments and injuries not included. Please know when to refer them to a doctor).
Once you establish that general skill set, now it’s time to see where your strengths lie. After training enough clients, you’ll start to see that you have the most success with a certain type of population, or love to work with a certain type of client over others. Double down on your strengths!
To be the best trainer means to always be learning. Your education doesn’t end the moment you get certified. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Getting a certification means you learned the bare minimum to not hurt your clients. Do your research. You entered this field because you love working with people and helping them get better. If that’s the case, you should want to take the steps needed to help them do so. You will get all sorts of questions, many of which you may not be able to answer at first. It’s okay to tell them you don’t know something, but what you can do is make sure to do your due diligence to try and find the answers. This will only further help carve out your specific niche.
Last but not least, is patience. Like any career, becoming the best at what you do takes time. Training in particular can become very frustrating because you are dealing with all sorts of personalities. You will have a ton of clients who won’t listen to you, or will skip out on workouts. You’ll have clients you may not get along with, or periods in your career where business is slow. That is okay, it is part of the process. Just like building muscle, it’s about spending most of your time slowly progressing, and skill stacking, to get better working with, and understanding your clients.
Becoming the best trainer doesn’t happen in one year. It will take many years of experience to obtain the tools and mindset necessary to be the best. If you focus on enjoying the journey and embracing the process, you will find in the long run it will pay off.