Personal training is a fulfilling career, but you won't succeed unless you strive to improve every day. If you want to make your clients even happier, try adopting these seven habits of highly successful personal trainers.
1. They’re Focused
What's the point of asking a young soccer mom to perform max lifts if her primary goal is fat loss? A lot of personal trainers are guilty of projecting their own values onto their clients. Remove your ego from the equation. If an exercise doesn't meet your client's needs and goals, then remove it from their program.
2. They’re Relatable
Personal trainers should care about their health, but that doesn't mean they have to eat steamed broccoli and rice for every meal. Everyone has a guilty pleasure or two (I'm a sucker for gummy worms) and sharing little details like this with your clients helps them to understand that the occasional indulgence won't hurt them as long as they make healthy decisions most of the time.
3. They Walk the Walk
If a mother tried to convince her children to stop eating so much sugar with a can of Coca-Cola in her hand, how effective do you think she would be? Not very. Don't expect people to take you very seriously if you don't follow your own advice. I'm not saying you have to be perfect, but you'll have an easier time finding clients if you walk the walk.
4. They Ask Questions
Resist the temptation to lecture your clients. If you've ever attended a boring college lecture, you know your clients won't retain much information from a dry, lengthy lecture. Instead, let them do the talking. I like to ask my clients to tell me about a time they made an impulsive eating decision. This helps me determine the triggers that influence their behavior. It also gives me the opportunity to ask them what they could do differently next time to make a better decision.
5. They Educate their Clients
"If I give away too much advice, my clients might decide they don't need me anymore!" Sound familiar? If that was really the case, they wouldn't have hired you in the first place, because you can find all kinds of advice for free on the Internet. Explain things like anatomy, proper form and exercise selection as time goes on. Your clients might even share your advice with their friends, which could result in a referral or two.
6. They're Easy to Understand
It's important to teach your clients in a language they understand. You can point out the latissimus dorsi on a diagram of the human body but the average person can't even pronounce it. Just call them "lats" and make sure your client understands that they are the broadest muscle group on your back and should be activated during exercises like rows and chin-ups.
7. They Give Their Clients Homework
Your clients don't live at the gym. Their lives can't revolve around fitness because they're juggling a lot of responsibilities. It's hard to find the time to prepare healthy meals when you're a single parent or a busy professional. You need to understand this struggle because your clients' results depend on it. A little bit of exercise can't make up for a lot of poor eating decisions. Give your clients some "extra credit" assignments they can do in between sessions.
Identify the most common struggles of your clients. Find some books, articles, or YouTube videos that deal with that subject and use them to inspire your clients with relevant homework assignments.