Youare one of several personal trainers at your fitness center, and you wantmembersto notice and, ultimately, train with you. Some of the other trainersonthe floor include bodybuilding champions and fitness competitors, andmemberscannot help but be drawn to them. You, on the other hand, are alsocertified,educated, fit and knowledgeable. So how do you stand out?
Thereare many things you can do to set yourself apart on the trainingfloor,even if you don't have biceps that pop out of your shirt, and it can besummarizedin one word: Professionalism.
Wearyour personal trainer uniform proudlyProfessionalathletes wear uniforms on the playing field. As a personal trainer,yourplaying field is the training floor. In order to appear professional, youmustwear the trainer uniform that was provided to you by the fitness center.Dependingon where you work, this may include a trainer shirt and possiblyevena name tag. Your trainer uniform allows members to clearly recognizeyouas a personal trainer and not just someone else who is there to workout.Inaddition, it is the first indicator to them that you are a professional, careaboutyour appearance and are there to help them reach their fitness goals.
Whenyou are on the training floor, it is essential that you are well-groomed.Whatmember would want to work with a personal trainer who looks liketheyjust rolled out of bed, did not have time to shave, or whose breathleavessomething else to be desired? As a personal trainer, you are not onlyrepresentingyourself, but you are also representing the fitness center. Showrespectfor yourself and your employer as well as the members by takingcareof yourself like a professional. This is a direct indication of how you willtakecare of the clients that you train.
Showup early for client sessions, be prepared and greet themwitha smile
Yourclients have busy schedules, and they don't have time to waste. If theirtrainingsession with you begins at 6 PM, be at the fitness center no later than5:45prepared and ready to train. The first thing they should see when theyarriveon the training floor is you there to greet them with a smile. If you werealreadyat the fitness center training your previous client, that's great. Just besureto complete that session so you can begin the next one -- on time. This isthesign of a true professional, one that is conscientious enough to be promptandorganized enough to be prepared. A warm smile goes a long way, too!
Don'thave anything in your hands other than a pen and clipboardwithyour client's exercise routine
Duringa training session, the only things you should have in your hands are apenand clipboard with your client's program. This shows your client that theyareyour top priority. They are paying you to train them, so they deserve 100% ofyourconcentration. Eat or drink before or after their session, but never during.Also,do not make or accept phone calls or check voicemail messages or emailswhiletraining a client. Doing this is not only unprofessional, but unsafe.
Stayfocused on your client
Atmost fitness centers, there are many things happening on the trainingfloorat the same time. Members are exercising, trainers are working withtheirclients, staff is cleaning equipment, people are talking to each other,musicis playing, and there are multiple televisions set to various channels.Asa result, it is easy for a personal trainer to become distracted when trainingaclient. Do not let this happen to you. Always stay focused on yourclientand the task at hand. Taking time away from your client's trainingsessionto talk to other members, trainers or staff, or to check the score of agame,is not what your client is paying you for. Other members see this, too,andit will prevent them from ever wanting to train with you.
Someclients come to the fitness center after a long day at the office, staringata computer screen and dealing with all kinds of corporate challenges.Otherscome to take a break from their family responsibilities. They all looktoyou, their personal trainer, to train them with enthusiasm. This is theirtimeto have fun and reinvigorate themselves. Your attitude is contagious. Ifitis positive and uplifting, your client will inevitably share that emotion. Ifyouappear disinterested, they will feel that way, too.
Thankyour client, provide honest feedback and confirm theirnextsession
Atthe end of each session, remind your client how much you appreciate trainingthem...and they will most likely thank you, too. Remember, they have chosentotrain with you among all of the other trainers at the fitness center. Shareyourthoughts about their session and provide them with honest feedback regardingthework they are putting in and the progress they are making towardachievingtheir goals. Finally, be sure to confirm the day and time of their nextsessionto make sure you are both on the same page as you move forward.
Thebottom line: personal training is a competitive industry, and moretrainersare entering the field than ever before. The things you do, and insomecases do not do, to set yourself apart as a professional, is what willultimatelydetermine your success. Any trainer can just show up and gothroughthe motions on the training floor. Not all trainers will be disciplinedenoughto learn, grow and apply the principles that will attract memberstobecome clients and clients to become fans. As Penn State's legendaryfootballcoach, Joe Paterno, once said, "You have to perform at a consistentlyhigherlevel than others. That's the mark of a true professional."
JeffRosenblum, BS, is an ACE-certified personaltrainerand president of Posture Plus Fitness in Atlanta,Georgia(www.postureplusfitness.com), providingin-homeand on-location personal training, grouppresentationsand corporate wellness programs.