The phrase “An educated consumer is our best customer” was a popular advertising slogan years ago. In modern personal training, the same phrase is true for a number of important reasons:
1. The more a client knows about exercise, the more likely they are to take personal responsibility for their health and fitness.
2. The more a client knows that you know about your profession, the more confident s/he will be in your ability as a personal trainer.
3. The more a client knows about your personal training philosophy and how it matches your credentials and program design, the more likely they are to keep training with you and promote you to others.
Taking responsibility for their own health
We want our clients to be educated so that they take personal responsibility for their own health and well-being. This is part of self-determination, where clients find the intrinsic motivation to exercise because they embrace it. You play a critical role in providing evidence-based information and expressing the information in a way that is meaningful to your client. Sorting out the misinformation is as important to your client as understanding how to embrace the path to self-determination.
Confidence in your ability
Part of what makes you an expert personal trainer is your knowledge in these key content areas:
· Exercise science
· Program design
· Behavior modification and lifestyle management
While the debate on certification and minimum level of education continues, think about it in terms of being the best you can be – always try to maximize your fundamental knowledge in key content areas. The best always seek to be better. Take inventory of what your clients have asked about and in what area(s) you can enhance your education.
Longevity and promotion
It has been said that many personal trainers subscribe to a specific training philosophy without ever establishing their own. One of the best things you can do is to establish your own personal training philosophy, which of course is borne from your own knowledge and experience. If your program design aligns with your personal training philosophy, clients notice. If your philosophy, or lack of a philosophy, leads you to be sporadic in your program design with inconsistent programs and results, client notice that as well.
When the educational components align
Education is critical to the success of your personal training career. You must make a conscious effort to not only educate yourself, but to educate your clients. Your education should enhance key concepts and challenge your current philosophy. The alignment of your philosophy, educational pursuits, program design, and strategies for helping your clients become self-determined will promulgate your reputation as a highly-qualified personal trainer.