In case you somehow missed the headlines, fitness in the UK is big business and that’s putting it mildly. Looking at it is a whole, the industry is currently worth more than £5bn and that’s bolstered by 15% of the UK population (over 10 million keen exercisers) being a member of a gym. Everybody wants to get fit and lose weight, and with the news that being overweight increases risk of serious illness and death from coronavirus, people are keener to lose weight than ever before.
If we were to break things down, you’d see that personal training represents around 13% of the wider health and fitness industry, bringing in gross revenues of £650m plus, per year. It’s perfectly understandable that for many people aspiring to work in the fitness industry, the role of a personal trainer is seen as the apex. They’re usually the people that are first to arrive and last to leave. In terms of the results, the body transformations they’re able to achieve, well, they speak for themselves.
Now, the process of actually becoming a personal trainer is relatively straightforward. You need to choose the right personal trainer courses for you, study hard and gain a qualification. That really is the first critical step. But, if you’re sat thinking that’s all you need to succeed, you’d sadly be wrong. You only have to take a look at some of the UK’s best personal trainers to get a real appreciation for the hard work you need to put in on a daily basis and the personal and professional qualities that have to be ingrained in you.
So, with all that being said, we’ve picked out three of the essential qualities you need to show in order to prove yourself as a world-class personal trainer.
This is perhaps something of a no-brainer but it is often overlooked. Yes, it helps from a marketing point of view if you’re a PT that looks the part, you’re in shape and take care of yourself. Ultimately though, it isn’t about you, it’s about the clients you train and the results you help them achieve. At the end of the day, that’s how people will measure your success and effectiveness as a personal trainer.
In the words of Nick Mitchell, founder of Ultimate Performance: “Great trainers can come in many forms and guises, but they all have just one single thing in common – they take their client’s results personally. A great trainer is invested in their client’s progress, is aggravated and annoyed enough when they do not progress to really dig into the problems and get under the skin of the client, all of which takes time and effort far above and beyond the usual gym babysitting job done by 98% of the industry.”
Are you willing to put your clients’ needs first and help them achieve results no matter what? You’re on the right track if the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
As a personal trainer who has set their sights on greatness, you shouldn’t ever look at yourself as the finished article. Yes, you’ve achieved the necessary qualifications but has the learning stopped there? Absolutely not. The best personal trainers are constantly refining their knowledge and enhancing their skill set. This can be achieved in a number of ways. Firstly, CPD (continuing/continued professional development) is a fantastic way to gain new knowledge and grow your client base.
As a qualified personal trainer, there are so many routes you can take and it’s really down to what you’d like to specialise in or where you feel there are gaps in your knowledge. Perhaps you want to train more pre and postnatal clients or venture into exercise referral and treat chronic conditions. Sports massage, low back pain, and obesity and diabetes are all viable course options.
Having a ‘Why’
This ties in to having a client-focused approach but it’s much greater than simply have the desire to help people. Think of the ‘why’ as your purpose as a personal trainer, your core belief, your cause. Essentially, it’s your USP. Take a look at the millions of people who buy a new iPhone every year. For some it’s just because it’s shiny and new, for others however, the more conscious consumer, it’s because they’ve bought into Apple’s ‘why’, which is to go against the status quo and produce technology that is original, forward-thinking and easy to use.
How do you discover your own ‘why’? You don’t necessarily need to write things down but have a think about what really drives you, what beliefs do you hold dear the most? What really drives you?
Find the answer and position that as the very centre of every single thing you do as a personal trainer.