Does A Personal Trainer Need To Be Fit?
One of the biggest arguments in the personal training community is “does a personal trainer needs to be fit, or in super great shape to be successful?” What does in shape mean? Do you need to be shredded, run marathons, be an uber athlete? What does success look like for a personal trainer?
There are differing opinions in the fitness industry on the whether you must look like a fitness model to be a personal trainer or not. However, from the client’s point of view, their trainer simply needs to lead by example so they can learn about living a healthy lifestyle. Healthy eating, stress management and daily activity need to be a part of coaching a person to live a better life.
It is also important to feel healthy and energetic so that you can motivate your clients, and be on your feet demonstrating exercises all day. You will find that you need to put as much effort into your well-being as you do into getting your clients fit.
How Fit Do You Need To Be, To Be a Personal Trainer?
People often think that personal trainers all look like fitness models. That they have the strength and power of people in strong man competitions or are endurance athletes that do competitions like triathlons. Many trainers are drawn to the industry so they can mix their passion for fitness with a career. However, it is NOT a requirement for the job to be an athlete. The fact of the matter is, the proportion of personal trainers who are extremely super fit is much lower than expected.
Honestly, depending on the clients you are trying to attract to your business, it may help to have a background in athletic competitions. Clients quite often want to feel you can give them what you have for yourself. However, when you are dealing with special populations, such as people who are considered obese, third age, or in need of rehabilitation, overly muscled trainers are more likely to scare them away.
Another thing to consider is being “in-shape” or “fit” can mean different things to different people. Being fit comes in various shapes and sizes. Avid yoga participants tend to be slender, and they prize flexibility, football players depending on their position can be small and well-toned to large and undefined while marathon runners are toned but extremely slender. When going into personal training, it is important to play to your strengths and work with people who you will naturally appeal too.
Being “Fit” Creates Trust and Credibility
No matter what fitness looks like for you, being fit adds credibility. It is important when working with a client that they believe you are in shape because it will establish you as an expert to them. A trainer that is out of shape appears to be insincere or hypocritical, which won’t garner trust. You need to remember people tend to make instant decisions based on first impressions. You are a walking billboard for your business.
Another reason why it may be wise to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Personal training can be very physically demanding, no matter what type of clientele you choose to work within your practice. You will be spending your day demonstrating exercises, moving weights and stretching people out. Occasionally following along on a set will help the client to maintain form or jogging beside a client will help to motivate them to push harder. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle yourself will make these jobs easier on you.
Other Skills Are Important
There are a variety of other skills that you need in order to be an effective and skilled personal trainer and a successful entrepreneur in the fitness industry.
The number one skill you need to be a truly great personal trainer is clear communication skills. The ability to take an idea and put it to paper then break it down with verbal direction is often the most difficult part of personal training. Clients come to a personal trainer because they have difficulty with their kinesthetic awareness. Being able to clearly and concisely break down an exercise and explain where they should be feeling it and how to move their joint is more challenging than simply looking the part. No matter how great you look if a person does not understand the exercise they will not feel motivated to come to you. It is imperative to make people feel successful!
You need to be able to sell yourself and your services. Your looks may get a person through the door. However, your personality, powers of persuasion and confidence in yourself and them is what will keep them.
Having the ability to market yourself effectively is imperative. In today’s day of social media and digital advertising, it is all about how you put it out there to draw them in. Learn how to sell, and you will be guaranteed a flourishing business.
Not All Personal Trainers Have the Six Pack or The Perfect “10” Body
In the end, we are in the business of success. Clients want results period. Not all personal trainers have the six pack or the perfect “10” body but what clients desire or want in the end is the ability to achieve their goals. Are you able to set up specific goals for them and get them where they want to be in the allotted time frame? That is the real measure of whether you are an outstanding trainer.
It is imperative that you can effectively demonstrate exercises with precision and form. Clients want people who make them feel comfortable and are great at their job. Having a fit body will help you get people in the door, but your knowledge, guidance and ability to motivate are what will keep them coming back. No “body” is perfect but striving for health and happiness shows the true success!
So to answer the question “does a personal trainer needs to be fit”, we say, personal trainers, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. Being a successful personal trainer is much more than appearance.