This week Mark answers the question, “What does it take to be a good personal trainer?” Watch the video. ‘Like’ and share it, leave a comment to let us know what you think.
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To answer this question, I’d like to first discuss what you need to do to in order to make personal training a full-time career. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, you need to have a lot of passion, because, let’s face it; in the beginning it can be pretty tough starting your own business. What I did, and I can only really share and answer this question from personal experience, is that I trained pretty much everyone and anyone. I did everything in my power to build up my experience.
I’ve worked with people who have Parkinson’s disease and cerebral palsy, rich clients, poor clients – people from all walks off life. I’ve worked with Commonwealth Games athletes. I’ve worked with a multitude of figure competitors, fitness models, sports models, bodybuilders, competitors; you name it, I’ve probably worked with them. But there comes a point in your training where you need to get very good and very competent at a basic level, which then allows you to open the door to clients who are much more challenging and probably, a little bit more demanding in what they expect for the money that they’re spending.
I believe you do need to earn your worth. It’s not a matter of doing a marketing course and tomorrow saying, “I’m going to charge a premium,” when you’re really not worth a premium. I believe that in this industry, or at least in the service-based industry, people search for what you know, and that what you know really is the most important thing. I think in the product-based industry, it definitely is all about price, but certainly not in the service-based industry, because people want what they want, and if you can deliver on that confidently and give them the very best advice, you absolutely can charge premium.
So in saying that, the only way you’re going to get that level of knowledge and that level of confidence, not only confidence but that level of competence to be able to sit down with someone for the first time and know that they have confidence in you, is to spend hours in the trenches. That’s hours and hours and hours of personal training, consulting, you name it. Doing it all, working with a very broad range of clients from the extremely challenging to those absolute dream clients, the ones that take your advice on board and do everything that you say.
You need to work with the full spectrum of clients to really earn your worth. And it is going to take time, because there is absolutely no substitute to real hours of one-on-one coaching.
So this brings me to the second topic I would like to discuss in answering this question. How do you find a good personal trainer? Well, the very first thing I would say is that you want to find someone that is invested in their career, where they really don’t have a backup plan. It’s something that they would do regardless of the income.
I know that this has definitely been true for my entire career. I love training. I started my career with a passion for physical culture, and that’s been the driving force. You want to find a trainer that is enthusiastic about training, because ultimately that enthusiasm is going to rub off on you. You’re going to become more inspired. I’ve had people sit down with me and say, “I was kind of excited before coming in, but now I’m really excited. I really want to get started”. I’m more enthusiastic than they are and then my enthusiasm rubs off on them, so they can’t help but want to do the things that I’m telling them to do.
Obviously, there are a number of education programs out there. In my opinion, courses such as the PICP program are very good. It teaches long-term periodization and provides students with good nutritional knowledge. However, these days I would say that private internships are the way to go, as well as programs that are very similar to the courses that we run here at Enterprise Fitness. We run a three-day internship, a two-day internship and as well, we’re hosting new events such as Bob Guiel’s NRT Muscle Testing course in December.
In terms of finding an appropriate trainer, you want to find someone who is invested in his or her career, and who seeks out ongoing education.
By Mark Ottobre
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