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So you want to become a better PT?

So you want to become a better PT?

Created by Jamie Spoor


6 minute read

So you want to become a better personal trainer?

Being a personal trainer is, no doubt, fun, fulfilling and very fruitful when it comes to helping clients and members strive to hit the heights.

Improving a client’s self esteem, lifting them from the depths of despair to the crest of a wave and walking with them, step by step and side by side, on every stage of their journey - just a few of the many perks that come with life in the profession.

But it’s also important to remember, as is the case with any job of course, there are certain responsibilities which come with the territory. We have outlined five of the most important ones below.

Here at Train In Blocks we want to help you to become the best PT you possibly can be so with these few simple pointers we’ll be sure to set you on your way.

Be a friend but keep it professional

It’s always important to approach fitness with a positive, strong, “can do” attitude and the instructor/personal trainer will set the tone. You should be approachable, helpful, and conversant - there’s nothing wrong with being friends with your clients but you need to ensure it stays professional and “in house.” If all clients are befriended on a personal level, it can lead to favouritism, both parties can become compromised and the client may not get the professional help they’re looking for.

You will both get the best results by maintaining a strong connection with each other - pushing each other on, being comfortable with one another. Be careful not to sacrifice your work by spending time with each other outside your sessions - the personal trainer’s good habits, discipline and healthy lifestyle will have a greater chance of rubbing off on the client too!

fist bump

Be brand aware

It depends on what you want your brand to be - or the brand image of your gym or company - but continual growth, development and improvement is a pivotal part of any personal trainer’s repertoire. Start off on an individual footing, then you can always adapt your approach to meet your branding needs.

If you’re more group based, you might want to organise team or group events with all your clients to build trainer - client relationships. Find a niche which suits your brand and focus on what makes you stand out from the rest in a crowded market. You can look to “hone in” on one particular area of fitness you’re adept in and develop it; you can then market and promote these specific skills when it comes to ‘branding’ your services.

As a trainer, you should remain consistent in pushing your brand to the masses.

yoga handstand

Set expectations from the off

When you meet your personal trainer, they will want to get to know you (and you them). It is of course, well, personal and so it figures they need to be able to connect, understand, listen and get to grips when it comes to laying down what your goals, ambitions and challenges are. Be sure to make this clear from the first consultation: listening to your clients and a constantly evolving dialogue is crucial.

Outline a plan together - you want to be challenged, but the outcomes also need to be achievable and realistic too whilst keeping your clients accountable. It’s a two way street - you set the goals, the client carries them out. This should always happen during the initial consultation process. This will help to develop confidence, build a rapport between you and create a strong first impression. Consider human factors such as medical and physical history, lifestyle, fitness levels, nutritional habits, and daily activities. Most clients should fill in a questionnaire to help give you the best idea of their individual needs.

Old man barbell

Gifts are fine but make sure it’s appropriate

It’s the old-age question: can I give a trusted colleague, a confidant or a client a gift for Christmas, their birthday or perhaps even just a special occasion? There’s no right or wrong answer here - just use your discretion and keep it simple. This is a tricky one - whist you want to show your gratitude to your clients - and vice versa - you need to make sure it’s something suitable. If you want to give a little something for a job well done then that’s fine and appropriate but be sure not to cross the line between professionalism and intimacy. Think about what your motivation is to give such a gift. Also consider exactly WHAT to get. A voucher or a small token of appreciation such as a key ring, a stopwatch, or health food products are ideal. A small amount of cash will never go amiss but make sure you don’t go over the top - keep it appropriate. Even better, why not gift a voucher off your next session to turn them into a repeat client.

Have a good time and be adaptive

The best personal trainers are those whom adapt and make a workout fun but also productive. You will, of course, all have your own specialist niche, but your approach and repertoire should be tailored to meet a client’s individual needs. If the personal trainer specialises in boxing and the client wants boxing training then go for it, but if a client wants to lose weight or improve stamina then you’ll need to be able to implement the change.

Remember, not all clients are the same so you don’t want a one-size-fits-all identikit: a programme that may work superbly for one client may be terrible for the next - remember, you’re there to help your clients, not torture them! You don’t want to set your clients up to fail so having the ability to adapt and respond is a vital aspect of your raison d’être as a personal trainer.


So there you have it: our five ‘fail safe’ Train In Blocks tips to ensure you can become an even better personal trainer, to make a difference and to help make everything fitness has to offer enjoyable for both you and your clients. Good luck!

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