Training Tips

Top Signs You Would Make a Great Personal Trainer

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, Top Signs You Would Make a Great Personal Trainer

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If you’ve been thinking about a new career, or a first career, and have a love for fitness and working out, personal training could be it. If you have what it takes, training can be lucrative, rewarding, and really good fun. 

It’s not a career for everyone, though. Even some people knowledgeable and passionate about fitness won’t make good trainers. Check out these important signs you would make a good personal trainer before you take the leap. 

These are the Top Signs You Would Make a Good Personal Trainer

A love for fitness is a given. If you spend a lot of time in the gym because you enjoy it, if you get up early to cycle or run on the weekends, if a pickup game of basketball always trumps a Netflix binge, you have the first element necessary for being a good trainer. But that’s just the beginning. Here are the other important signs you could actually be great at this job: 

You’re Empathetic and Connect with People Easily

No one wants a robot for a personal trainer. An indifferent trainer is never going to be as successful—no matter what their experience or credentials are—as a trainer who connects with their clients and treats them with compassion. 

You can provide a good workout and training plan, but without a trainer-client rapport, success will always be limited. The best trainers are invested in their clients’ successes. They get to know their clients. They care. And, they empathize with the struggles their clients go through in trying to meet goals. If you’ve always found it easy and natural to connect with people and to empathize, you have a solid foundation for being a good trainer. 

Every trainer comes up against a difficult client once in a while. Here are some tips for working with the most challenging clients.

You’re a Natural Leader and Coach

Clients come to trainers for a leader, not a friend. They need a supportive, compassionate coach, someone to guide them to their goals. If you take to that role naturally, taking charge when out with friends, taking the lead in organizing events, for instance, you have a good foundation for being a trainer. 

You’re Curious and Enjoy Learning

The fitness world is not static. It’s always changing based on new information and scientific research. The best type of fitness professional keeps up to date on the research as well as trends. You can skate by as a trainer with a basic foundation of fitness knowledge, but you’ll be a great trainer if you are always learning and seeking new ways to help clients meet their goals. 

You Rarely Exercise Alone

If you’re naturally drawn to others when you get active, you’re a natural fit for training. For you, working out is a social activity. You thrive on the support of others and on providing encouragement. You prefer classes over solo workouts, group runs to lone runs, and a social bicycle outing to a long ride alone. 

You don’t have to be a social exerciser to be a great personal trainer, but if you are, it’s a sign. You’ll naturally fit into the world of always working with others, connecting, supporting, and working on goals together. 

You Thrive on Setting Goals and Marking Progress

Not everyone gets excited about measuring and tracking progress. For many, it’s a chore. But if you love to set goals and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing progress, you could be a great trainer. The best trainers make goals and progress the foundation of their work. 

They help clients set goals and they measure progress along the way. They get excited for their clients when the measurements are headed in the right direction. They encourage and motivate when progress stalls or goes backward. 

Why are fitness goals so important? Get the answers here and find out how to set effective goals for long-term success. 

Should You Follow These Signs You Would Make a Good Personal Trainer? 

So, all the signs are there. Does this mean that being a personal trainer is the right career fit for you? Maybe, and maybe not. Consider some of the important facts about what it means to do this job before you commit:

  • You really need to be certified, which is a commitment of time and money. Many gyms require trainers be certified, but clients are also likely to choose a certified trainer over someone who is not. 
  • Don’t expect a nine-to-five job. You’ll be training people or teaching classes as early as 5 am, in the evenings, and on weekends. On the other hand, trainers have more flexibility to make their own schedules. 
  • You have to be a trainer and a business owner. Even with a job at a gym, you’ll be expected to bring in personal training clients, which means marketing yourself. As a self-employed trainer, you will be a small business owner. 
  • You’ll change lives. Be prepared to get emotionally involved. Good trainers get to know their clients and are invested in their success. This can be both difficult and incredibly rewarding. 
  • Not all training relationships work out. Training involves emotional highs and lows. It can hurt when you don’t find success with a client, but it happens. 
  • You’ll be active all day. This can be both good and bad. You may struggle to find time and energy to do your own workouts after running around with clients all day. 

Do You Really Want to Be a Trainer?

You may hit all the signs that you’ll be a good trainer, but that still doesn’t mean it’s the right career choice. Before getting your certification, try to get some practical experience. Look for a trainer to shadow for a few days. 

Get into the world of training as a way to see if this really is the career for you. It’s possible you check all the boxes but don’t really have what it takes when you start working with clients. 

Personal trainers have a big responsibility. Clients put a lot of trust and hope in their trainers. They come to them with goals and ask for advice and guidance on how to get there. Don’t take this decision lightly. If you think you would be a great trainer, take the next step and get certified. You owe it to future clients to be prepared and knowledgeable.

When you’re ready to take the plunge, try the ISSA’s Certified Personal Trainer – Self-Guided Study Program. It will prepare you to work as a professional trainer, and you get to learn at home and at your own pace.


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Certified Personal Trainer

The Certified Fitness Trainer program is designed to equip graduates with the practical day-to-day skills necessary, as well as the theoretical knowledge needed to excel as a personal trainer serving the general public. Along with the necessary exercise science foundation, the distance education program covers client assessment, program design, basic nutrition, and sports medicine along with business and marketing skills.

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