American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise
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Everyone tends to focus their efforts on what they’re most passionate about, and that’s perfectly understandable. Just as every exerciser has their favorite type of workout, most personal trainers have an element of the job they enjoy most.  

You may thrive when working with small groups and motivating them to achieve personal bests but become nervous when leading an education session for a larger group. You may absolutely love using social media to empower your clients to pursue their goals but loathe the moment it’s time to close a sale with a potential new client.  

In these scenarios, it’s easy to see how you might lean into those elements of the profession you enjoy and avoid those you don’t. However, it’s important to push out of your comfort zone to become a more well-rounded exercise professional—and one who is best positioned for long-term success.  

Consider the following types of personal trainers and work to identify your strengths and weaknesses in each of these crucial areas, and to determine the optimal balance to best serve your clients. The goal is to become a balanced personal trainer who not only embraces your strengths but also addresses your weaknesses, as that is the key to a sustainable and successful career in the fitness industry.  

The Avid Exerciser 

Many personal trainers simply love being in the gym, inventing new exercises and creating new programming. They stay up to date with emerging research and employ the latest trends and tools, and they feel most at home when working with clients one-on-one. Being well-educated and passionate is vital for any personal trainer. 

To improve in this area, check out ACE’s continuing education offerings on Exercise ScienceCardiovascular TrainingStrength Training and Program Design

The Social Media Influencer 

Some personal trainers, particularly those who began their careers after the emergence and eventual ubiquity of social media, thrive in this space. They create motivational and empowering social media posts and have built a devoted online following. An online community of clients and potential clients that serves as a collective social-support network as they pursue their wellness goals is a valuable asset in the modern fitness world.  

To improve in this area, consider pursuing continuing education on Social Media Marketing Essentials

The Empowering Coach 

Some personal trainers embrace the “personal” side of personal training by focusing on behavior change and coaching techniques that can motivate their clients to achieve goals that align with their values and lifestyles. These trainers empower their clients to take ownership of their wellness journeys and become true partners in these efforts.  

To improve in this area, consider continuing education on the ACE Mover Method or the Behavior Change Specialist Program

The Techie 

These personal trainers welcome the challenge of incorporating the latest technology into their service offerings, including wearable trackers and apps that monitor everything from steps and heart rate to nutritional intake and hydration levels. As virtual training becomes increasingly common in the industry, these trainers are well-positioned to thrive as the industry moves into the future. 

The Salesperson 

A personal trainer who is sales driven has the courage to approach potential clients and sell them on the benefits of their services. This is a skill set that many trainers lack. While being too “salesy” can be frowned upon—we’ve all been in situations where we’ve resented attempts to up-sell us on products or services we don’t want—finding the right approach to closing a sale is essential for any service professional. 

To improve in this area, consider continuing education on Fitness Business Management

Finding the Right Balance 

Do you see yourself in any of the descriptions above, perhaps more than one? Are there areas where you know you fall short? Brainstorm ways to build on your strengths and pursue education and experience to turn weaknesses into opportunities.  

ACE offers continuing education on countless topics in addition to the ones listed above, from business tools and behavior change to nutrition and program design. Browse these offerings and develop a plan to become the best and most well-rounded personal trainer you can be.