Becoming a top-tiered trainer is not something you're usually born into. My grandfather drove an MBTA train and my father owned an electrical business. Neither one of them worked out a day in their life.

Why am I sharing this with you?

I simply want to show you that you don't have to have coaching or personal training in your "genes" in order to excel and become a successful fitness coach. What you do need to have is the desire to learn and to be coached by others that have paved the way for you to become great. Each of the following traits exemplifies how you can and should move through the ranks of starting out in the fitness business industry to becoming a Master Trainer.

1. Model Success
In order to even know which path to go down to become successful you need to start somewhere, and that somewhere should begin by modeling another successful coach's actions. I'm not saying you should copy everything this person does (you still need to keep your own personality), but you should use it as a starting point. By modeling a successful person's business practices and training principles you will save yourself years of stress, frustration, wasted money, and lost time.

2. Put it Into Practice
I know too many people to count that love the idea of modeling success and even pick out a great coach in the industry to be mentored by (or simply to "model"), but then they never follow through on it. This is like asking to win the lottery without even playing the numbers ... If you want to be great you need to practice the skills that will make you great. This just doesn't mean go at it half-heartedly either -- If you want to stand out in a crowd of over 100,000 personal trainers you need to "bring it" everyday you come to work.

3. Recalibrate
I've never once met someone who hit their intended target 100% of the time and you won't either -- And that's okay. As long as you are practicing what it takes to become successful and then recalibrating every time you get off track or learn something new, then you're destined for success. I'll be honest with you, when you're trying to break new ground and make a name for yourself there will be times when some trial and error will be needed and this is only natural when you are doing things most other trainers aren't willing to stick their neck out for and potentially get it wrong. As the old adage goes, there are no mistakes, just lessons to learn from ...

4. Dream Big
When I was 18 years old I wanted to become a personal trainer and help clients transform their bodies. Today, I still hold that very same dream in my mind, but with every passing year I seem to dream bigger. I no longer just want to touch the lives of those in my local community. Instead, I want to extend my reach to helping others all around the world. And, I've even branched out and found that I love helping other fitness professionals achieve the success I've had in this industry. Your dreams may be completely different from mine, but the one thing to remember is that you must truly see yourself stepping into whatever dream you have envisioned and being the person that can make those visions a reality.

5. There's No Off-Switch
A lot of people ask me if I mind when I get bombarded with health and fitness questions when I'm out to dinner with friends, at a family barbeque, or even at a social event with complete strangers. The truth is I love what I do and I've accepted the fact that I'm a fitness professional 24/7. That means I relish the opportunity to share my knowledge with others and I do it with passion. It's part of who I am and I can't unravel my work from my personal life -- the two are inseparable.

I hope these five master trainer traits will help you on your journey to becoming a local or even international star in the personal training industry!

Stephen Cabral has consulted for MTV, Maxim, Men's Health, NutritionData, SELF, Women's Day, as well as dozens of others. He was named the PFP 2011 Trainer of the Year. He is also a fitness writer, author, studio owner, and the founder of Personal Training Business School. His free fitness business video series, proven strategies and success tips can be found at


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