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Becoming a personal trainer can be a dream job for some: it keeps you fit and active whilst making sure you meet a wide range of people. On top of all this, you get paid for carrying out the satisfying task of helping people reach their potential.

However, be warned: when starting out, the hours can be long and unsociable. The cash flow can also be unstable, unless you manage to secure work at a gym.

Still convinced the job is for you? Here are five things you absolutely must do if you’re going to become a personal trainer…


All sales is personal and, as the cliche goes, “people buy from people.” However, in very few industries is this more true than with personal training and fitness. Wether they admit it or not, clients are frequently motivated by personal vanity and the desire to improve their appearance. If you don’t have a physique that they can admire and aspire to, you simply won’t get the work.

So don’t even thing about starting down the road to becoming a personal trainer unless you can crack walnuts between your biceps!


All successful trainers develop their own individual style and you will need to do the same. From the way you sell your services to potential clients  to the manner you choose when needing to motivate clients to push themselves out of their comfort zone.

The easiest way to get a handle on the dynamics involved is to hire your own personal trainer. Listen and observe them very closely. Always be asking yourself what they do well and what could be improved on. When you start out, you’ll find yourself “borrowing” the phrases and style of others as you gain confidence and begin to develop your own approach.


One thing that will make a huge difference as you start to talk with potential clients is the certifications you can let them know you have. Clients don’t just want a trainer with a great physique. They also want the reassurance that you know what you’re talking about: that words like physiology and nutrition are not new vocabulary!

Make sure to find a reputable personal training firm in your area and do you due diligence before signing up.


It’s important to stand out from the crowd of other personal trainers who are competing for your potential clients. One great way to do this is to pick a speciality and focus on becoming an expert in that.

For example, you might pick ski-ing as your speciality – and develop a range of fitness programmes specifically designed to help skiers develop their core stability and leg strength.

Far from limiting your field of clients, this approach is, in fact, likely to increase client-bank. You’ll not only attract the keen ski-ers but will find other clients see this as a “halo effect,” whereby their see you specialism in one area as something that increases your professional credentials in all areas.


Of course, the most important stage in becoming a personal trainer is finding people to train!

When you are starting out, the obvious thing to do is identify all the local gyms in the area and call round them all to find out when the gym manager will be on shift. Then you can visit them in person (make sure to wear your best sleeveless vest to show off those triceps!) to find out if they have any vacancies. Gym managers invariably have problems filling up their shift patterns, so if you show yourself as polite, personable and reliable, your chances of landing a first role are good.

Beware of gyms that pay no basic at all (arguing that you can meet personal clients whilst on shift). You should always be getting some kind of basic wage to cover your time.

However, once you are employed on the gym floot – make sure to be friendly and helpful to all of the members. These are the people who are most likely to become your first clients!