Will You Make a Good Personal Trainer?
If you've been dreaming of a profession as a personal trainer, there are some important things you must know before you begin this journey. Like many people just beginning a new profession, you may want to know if this kind of job is right for you.
There are five criteria that can help to define a successful personal trainer. Do you have what it takes?
Genuine desire for the transformation of others
Most people think about the physical transformation that can take place when someone loses weight or becomes lean. While this can be very dramatic, there is also a very important mental transformation that can take place. According to research from the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, personal trainers can have a significant influence on the attitudes a person has towards a healthy lifestyle and exercise over their lifetime. This type of transformation will stay with clients long term even when their weight may fluctuate over the years because you end up teaching them the principles of a healthy lifestyle, goal setting and the overall benefits of engaging in exercise.
Willingness to form a life-long connection
The bond you are likely to form with many of your clients is unlike many other relationships you are already familiar with in life. When you help someone change their lifestyle, this can have a profound effect on their well-being, longevity and day to day decision making. You may give them a new body, but you also instill confidence and self esteem. You teach them principles that they can carry with them every day and transfer to other life skills.
These lessons don't come easy. In fact, they can be hard earned with every repetition and every word of encouragement you offer over a period of time. Ultimately, the weight they lose just may save their life. The extra skills they learn or improvements they see in their sports just may elevate them to a level where they achieve some life-long goals. This bond is one of mutual respect and admiration and will not fade quickly or easily.
Eagerness for continued education and discovery
Once you become a personal trainer, you will need to continue earning credits every few years to keep your certification. This means you will continue to attend industry conferences and register for other specialty courses. However, this only begins to scratch the surface of continued learning when you have an eagerness to be the best in your profession or line of specialty within personal training.
Successful personal trainers strive to be the very best they can be. They have a thirst for knowledge and education that extends beyond their basic requirements. There are always new discoveries in every field and industry. Personal training is no different. There is an endless amount of research a trainer can do, new techniques to try and brand new ways of offering solutions to common training problems.
Quest to measure and achieve results
You will learn some anatomy, physiology and biomechanics, but there is much more to being a successful trainer. One of the first lessons you will learn is about the process of helping a person become better. It is not about one program, one set or an extra repetition. It all comes back to finding a system, a program and a style that is progressive in nature and helps someone achieve both short and long term goals.
Successful trainers will love the process. They will begin training with a set of measurements and tests as well as clear cut goals with each client. The tests and measurements will set a baseline of where the person is relative to what they want to achieve. It can be weight loss or performance based or something completely different. However, the process is the same. Measure, test, train, monitor and repeat.
At the end of a specified period of time (end of a week, a month or longer), new data will reveal how much closer the client is to achieving their goals and objectives.
Desire to motivate and inspire
Many personal trainers are self motivated. Most have set their own personal fitness goals and have achieved them over time. They want to go on and motivate and inspire others. This is what keeps them going. They maintain a visually appealing appearance because it is important to them. Their fitness levels may be impressive as is their work ethic, dedication and commitment to the health and well being of their bodies.
As a personal trainer, you may want to give the same results and way of thinking for each and every client. Since most clients have not yet learned how to be successful with some of their physical challenges, a personal trainer can teach self awareness, display empathy, provide motivation to get going and ongoing encouragement that the client is on the right track.
Becoming a successful trainer will take a continued effort and dedication to your craft. When you are ready to become a trainer, take a look at your strengths and weaknesses and try to give yourself an honest evaluation as you would your own clients. What areas are your strengths and which areas are your weaknesses?
You should have a fitness level and body you are proud of. This way you can lead by example. This doesn't mean you have to meet an unrealistic expectation, but at least have a positive self image that you can use to inspire others. You may also have vast knowledge of training principles, but how are you at communicating those principles both in written and verbal form? You will need to be able to clearly communicate goals and objectives as well as answer questions and get clients on the right path. You can also use your language as a motivational tool. Words are very powerful and using the right words to create a transformational experience takes time and understanding.
Once you become a personal trainer, the world of motivation, inspiration and teaching will begin to all kinds of people. Embrace the journey and never be afraid to learn and grow from your experiences.