Personal training is one of the most competitive industries out there, you need to stand out, get results and help those in your area improve their lives. I am going to share with you some golden nuggets, which will help those seeking to break into the personal training industry.
In my first article on this subject . . . What It Is Like To Be A Sheffield Personal Trainer I shared my story, a day in the life of a Sheffield personal trainer, and I explained how i set up LEP Fitness. This article focuses more on what you need to provide your community so you can become the best trainer in your area and deliver a first class service!!!
1) ADD VALUE
Added Value – Highway Sign
When a client hires you, yes they want results, but they also want value, they want to learn, they want to feel respected and listened to, they want you to you care about them. You have the power to change people’s lives, cure people of illness and improve confidence, adding value every session is absolutely imperative when trying to become the best personal trainer in your area.
4 Ways Personal Trainers Can Add Extra Value…
Listen and ask questions during the session warm up (the more you know, the more you can help). You can then use the answers and provide some helpful tips
Blog and share your expertise via e-mail, facebook and twitter. Ask clients for topics they wish to understand, then write an article in layman’s terms to help your community.
Go the extra mile by providing txt and e-mail support. Let your clients know you are there for them when they need you.
Research resources for your clients, send article links, Youtube videos, etc. Help them! Help them! Help them! that’s your job.
2) GET EXPERIENCE & GET LEARNING
There’s always someone out there who is working harder than you, getting up earlier, going to bed later. If you want to become one of the best personal trainers in your city you need to be consistently working harder than all the other personal trainers in that area.
Experience is one of the keys to success, It doesn’t matter how you get it as long as you get it! Work in a gym, train your friends and family members. Train people for free or for favours, write up a free diet plan and give it out to your friends. I also used a system called Pay-It-Forward i.e. you give away free sessions in return for . . . help setting up a website, business advice, before and after pictures, written testimonials etc, etc. Give to others and you will be surprised how others will help you.
Learn by reading, watching and through experience. The internet is full of valuable information, I am going to share with you some of the best resources (which I use) later in this article, to help further your education. You have to stay hungry for success and continuously update your knowledge by going on training courses and working with those who have more experience, this will help you progress quicker.
3) PERSONAL TRAINER PSYCHOLOGY : THE MISSING INGREDIENT
Mindset : The Key To Body Transformation article by LEP Fitness
There’s much more to being a personal training than just prescribing exercise and nutritional programmes. You have to educate your clients, instil positive habits and help teach them about the reasons why they are doing X Y and Z which you are prescribing them to do for a healthier lifestyle. You have to understand your clients psychology, what makes them tick? are they motivated by pleasure? or pain? do they have unhealthy relationships with food? are they naturally anxious? have a stressful job, etc, etc. . . the list is endless.
Each client is like a puzzle and you need to find the pieces to make the picture. Every client is very different, having a good understanding of the psychological state of your client is a key ingredient that any great personal trainer must have in their arsenal. Again this comes from experience, and continued learning.
4) BUILDING A CLIENT PORTFOLIO
When you start to obtain clients, take before and after pictures, record fitness tests and add testimonials. Aim to build a portfolio of evidence to show others on your website or in person. Your portfolio is your CV, it is an opportunity to show others how you have helped others and how you can help them. If you have helped to transform a persons life, they are often very happy to help add a testimonial/picture to your portfolio to say thank you. Check out the LEP Testimonial Page for some ideas. I also filmed a video a couple of weeks ago for the LEP Fitness Youtube Channel and clients were more than happy to feature.
5) GETTING RESULTS
People train with you to get results, and that should be your primary aim. The key in my opinion is to find out exactly what your client wants to achieve in the consultation. The consultation is about the client not about you, listen to them and ask intelligent questions some of my favourites are:
On a scale of 1-10 (1 being not at all and 10 being more than anything) how badly do you want this?
What happens if you don’t achieve your goals, how would that make you feel?
What could prevent you from reaching your goals?
It’s also important to find out medical history, any underlying issues with injuries, training experience, child history (i.e. were they active when younger, what sports did they play, etc), and any other information you believe you need to help cultivate a plan and to help the client. Also don’t be afraid to say . . . No! if you don’t believe the client is ready or your expertise does not fit the bill then the best thing to do is politely decline and explain why.
You need to explain to your clients about what is required in order to achieve the results they desire. A lot of people have preconceived ideas of what they need to do, sometimes they are right, but more often than not wrong. People pick up false notions from magazines, from their friends and external resources, which can lead to yo-yo dieting, poor relationships with food, and a host of other problems. You need to explain to them that in order to achieve X goal you would be required to do X, Y and Z. You can then educate your clients as to why they need to do this and set up a target to aim for, time frame, etc, etc.
Presuming the clients goal is to lose body fat, I like to use measurements (bodyfat and tape measure), weight and pictures. Pictures are by far my favourite as a picture paints a thousand words. Regular pictures allow both coach and client to assess progress and make amendments along the way. Amendments are often needed, there is not 1 perfect plan, but a selection of tools you as a coach have to help your client. It is up to you to use the right tools when needed.
6) SHARING IS CARING
Share you knowledge and help others. You can share by writing blog posts, e-mails, Facebook updates, tweets, holding seminars, Skype consultations, etc, etc. You have the knowledge to help others improve their lives, share with them the tools that will help them to get there. There are no words to describe the feeling one gets from helping others, seeing results happen. It’s an amazing feeling and you have the power to do it. So share it!
TOP 3 BLOGGING LINKS TO CHECK OUT
How To Start a Blog – Beginner’s Guide
How to Write Great Blog Content
The 15 best blogging and publishing platforms on the Internet today
7) CHARGE WHAT YOUR WORTH
When i first started out in the industry i charged 7.50 (GBP) for 45 minutes. Although I had obtained a Sporting degree from Sheffield Hallam and possessed a couple of personal training qualifications, I felt like i had to earn the right before charging more. I could only do this by getting results and gaining experience. Personal training is very much like what they say about driving . . . you don’t actually really learn to drive until after passing your test!
You may be a personal trainer in great shape and have a system that works extremely well for you. But I can 100% guarantee that this system will not work for everyone. I know because when I started out in the industry I was one of those coaches! You have to build up experience and learn how to deal with people who have a number of different health problems. You have to be willing to research areas that you are unfamiliar with. You have to want to help your client more than they want to help themselves! passion is contagious.
There are also plenty of personal trainers out there with vast experience, a portfolio of results who undercharge for their personal training services. In my opinion excellent personal trainers have a skill to match that of doctors and lawyers. The best trainers have the skills to transform lives, reduce illness and greatly improve mental wellbeing, that’s an incredible combination of well needed skills. If you are great at what you do, charge what you are worth.
On the flip side, I also see an abundance of inexperienced trainers who overcharge for services. I have witnessed newcomers charging 55 (GBP) per hour. It’s my opinion that you should charge a fee based on your results, personal training experience, client training experience and qualifications. You have to earn the right to charge more.
Most coaches charge by the hour, but you have to take into consideration each clients needs. If you are spending time outside the sessions: gym/nutrition plans, sit down educational sessions, emails, weekly check ins, etc you should charge appropriately. Some clients will require more than others, more time, more help, etc, etc. Make-sure you deliver the best service possible and quote accordingly.
8) KEEPING INTEGRITY
Integrity is greatly lacking in our industry. There are coaches out there selling short term programmes i.e. 8 week Shredder! . . . For most people they are not going to get the results they are expecting in 8 weeks. After all most of your clients will have spent many years abusing their bodies. Whilst improvements can be made in a small time frame, it’s up to you to be honest with your clients. If it means a client walks away and does not sign up then you have kept your integrity.
Integrity and reputation are everything in this industry. You may be able to get people to sign up for 8 weeks, but then after the 8 weeks, when expectations have been unmet what then? You are on a constant hunt for more clients! and you develop a poor reputation for results. Not good.
Short term thinking will take you out of this industry faster than you can say . . . Roberts your Fathers Brother! 70% of my current clients have been with me for over 2.5 years, most of my new enquires come from referrals. Referrals are the best compliment you can receive as a coach. Chances are the new referral will know what’s install for the transformation as they have already asked their friend what the journey entails.
Be honest, and stay true to yourself. If you specialise in body composition, would it be wise to take on somebody looking to improve flexibility?
Most probably not. Stick to your strengths and most importantly do not sacrifice your integrity for any means. Integrity is the difference between making a quick buck and staying in the personal training industry for many years to come.
INVEST IN YOUR PERSONAL TRAINING EDUCATION:
I’ve spent lots of money over the past few years on my education. It’s not been cheap but every single penny has been worth it. I have learned from some of the best coaches in the industry, helping me improve my knowledge, confidence and grow my business from 0 clients to 35 in just 2 years.
From each coach I have picked up golden nuggets, not only scientific knowledge, but learning from the intangibles; watching them in action, how they hold themselves, how they communicate, etc, etc the list is endless. I would recommend any aspiring Sheffield personal trainers to invest in education on a continuous basis. It’s going to help you acquire extra knowledge bombs! so you can help more people, make you a better trainer, get better results, and attract more clients.