Trainers are those guys that stand over your shoulder counting reps and looking at their phone whilst you exercise, then charge you £50 an hour for the pleasure right?
A personal trainer can offer you so much more than being your babysitter for an hour. If you want to know more about what you can offer as a personal trainer, or you want to know what a personal trainer can offer you, read on, and I’ll tell you everything you need to know.
There are things a personal trainer can offer aside from exercise and dietary assistance. A trainer can drastically improve not only your physical but also mental health by offering support and guidance when needed. They also offer friendship through understanding and compassion.
So apart from the standard, “looking over the shoulder” thing, and making sure your clients aren’t dropping dumbbells on themselves, what else can you offer them as a personal trainer?
Well, let’s list everything out and work from there, shall we?
What Can You Offer As A Personal Trainer?
- Exercise knowledge and development
- Dietary assistance
- Client self-sufficiency
- Gym time management skills
1. Exercise knowledge and development
Ok, the obvious stuff first, as a trainer, you can offer top-notch exercise instruction that allows your clients to make progress much faster. The really important thing is that you can make sure they are constantly progressing and pushing themselves further than they ever would do themselves.
Going to the gym and doing a workout is great and everything, but if they aren’t progressing and lifting heavier and working harder each time, they aren’t going to be making any progress at all, so they are effectively wasting their time and their membership.
You can help them to get the most out of their sessions so they actually start to see some benefit to what they are doing, which is something that the vast majority of people who sign up to a gym never end up seeing.
2. Dietary assistance
No one makes a lick of progress without understanding that what they put into their body heavily impacts what they get from their training.
In my years as a personal trainer in London, something I learned is that people generally understand how to exercise, they know about reps and sets and that they need to work hard, etc, but what they are really poorly educated on is the impact that diet makes.
As a trainer, you can offer them simple advice (unless you are a qualified dietician), but the simple advice is more than enough for most people.
Making it clear how much protein, fat, and carbohydrate they need to reach their goal and then steering them towards an app like myfitnesspal (link takes you to site), that makes it easy for them to easily log the details can make a huge difference to people’s lives.
You can turn a very complicated topic such as diet, break it down into easy-to-understand tips and pointers, then teach these to your clients. 9/10 people will heavily benefit from this, the other one out of ten is probably one of “those guys” that knows everything already.
3. Client self-sufficiency
This is really important for your clients.
You aren’t just someone that helps them with their training during sessions and looks stunningly handsome, you are a teacher.
You’re a teacher because you’re showing them how to safely and effectively train with weights, and training methods that get them the results they are after, faster.
A lot of my clients used to call our sessions “lessons”, and this shows you the mentality behind someone that is buying training from you. When you become a fitness instructor, personal trainer, or fitness coach, in reality, you’re becoming a teacher.
It’s doubly important because if you want your clients to get results (which you really should), you need to teach them how to train correctly on their own outside of your sessions together.
The better results your clients get, the more referrals you get, it’s important that you can show that you get your clients results to get some positive reviews out there.
Yeah, that’s right, you heard me, friendship.
A lot of people get pretty lonely in this world, they might struggle to make friends at work or at home, but their trainer can always be their friend.
Sure, there are plenty of trainers out there that don’t think this is the right way to go because “clients should stay clients” but I’ve stayed friends with tons of my previous clients, and those trainers are probably the weird robot people robots with no personalities.
I still talk to my old clients and give them advice whenever they want it, and I still really enjoy their company whenever we meet up. I found that after spending sometimes several hours a week, you are almost certainly going to end up learning a hell of a lot about your clients and some of them you are going to really enjoy hanging out with.
Being a friend, someone your clients can trust and turn to for help is incredibly important when you are helping someone fix issues in sensitive areas such as their body and their self-confidence.
You do need to remember that you are the teacher too, so you need to show you are in charge sometimes.
How often do you get told by your friends or co-workers that you’re doing great, they believe in you, and that you’re making great progress and really impressing them?
I bet it’s not as often as you’d like 🙁
Well, being a PT, you get the opportunity to offer your encouragement to each and every client you have, no matter how big or small the achievements they make.
Working out is tough, you might enjoy it, but a lot of people hate every second of it. Without your encouragement, deciding to quit and decide that the body of their dreams isn’t possible for them would be so much easier.
It’s your voice and your words that can keep people going through even the toughest of times and workouts, to make sure that they make the progress that you know they can and see the results that you also know are just around the corner for them.
Encouragement is a seriously big deal, so it’s something you should always offer.
Most of the people that come your way looking for advice from a trainer will know next to nothing about exercise or diet, and that’s perfect, why should they? That’s why they have come to you in the first place.
You might not consider yourself to be an expert when you compare yourself to some of the other trainers in a gym, (there’s always one or two guys who are like professors), but don’t worry, in comparison to what your clients will know, you’ll be a genius.
It’s really good fun teaching people who are genuinely interested in learning about why we train them the way we do. So, take advantage of clients who are interested by letting them know all the cool facts about the body and how your style of training or dietary methods will help them reach their goals.
The information you can offer your clients helps them keep in shape for the rest of their lives, and you could even help them live longer, so that’s a pretty big service to offer.
You will need to be a rock for your clients, if they feel like giving up, you need to be there to let them know how well they’re doing and how close they are to achieving their goals.
You need to be the person that convinces them to come to the gym and do their workout when they aren’t in a great mood or are “feeling a bit too tired” (never let that one fly).
You are also going to be the person that’ll hear about your clients’ troubles and difficulties in life. I know technically this is something that you don’t have to get involved in, but I feel that your client wants to get you involved in their life, you really should be there to listen and offer support.
Imagine you were spending two or three hours a week with someone, and they wouldn’t listen to anything you spoke about other than exercise, it would be dreadful, wouldn’t it?
You’re by no means a psychologist as a trainer, but you need to be able to show your clients you can support them through the tough times they might encounter during their journey.
Your clients are going to want to give up, all…..the…..time!
It’s up to you to get them in there, get on the treadmill or bench press and start getting some results.
If it were up to them on their own, they would sack off going to the gym at the drop of a hat (that’s probably why they hired a trainer).
Those early morning sessions that your client wants to cancel last minute because they went out for work drinks? Well, that’s your time to shine as a trainer and motivate them to get their butts to you ASAP.
They won’t always like your methods, but sometimes you’ve gotta think outside the box a little when motivating people.
I had clients that needed me to call them before every session to make sure they were still coming, I agreed to do this because I know some people just plain aren’t motivated. Other clients turned up to sessions and just needed me to motivate them through the most painful reps of a workout.
Everyone’s different, but motivation will help pretty much everyone you meet.
For a really detailed view of what you can do to keep your personal training clients motivated, check out the article I wrote below.
9. Gym time management skills
Oh, how often what would have been a quick half an hour workout turns into an hour and a half instead.
I’ve done it myself (I’m not too proud to admit). It’s easy to sit and scroll through your phone after each set (because cat videos won’t watch themselves), and what should have been a thirty-second rest period easily turns into five minutes.
If people make this mistake too often, they’ll start telling themselves that they just don’t have time to go to the gym, after all, it eats up half their evening if they do.
What you can offer here as a trainer is to impart the knowledge of working efficiently in a gym. From timing your rest periods to using supersets and full-body training programs to get the most bang for your buck in the least amount of time.
People’s lack of time is a big factor that they often cite for not being able to get in shape. If you can show them how they can easily get what they need complete in half or even a quarter of the time they currently do, they’ll be seriously grateful.
Everyone feels like giving up at some point in their training. I can say I’ve got pretty fed up plenty of times after a week or two’s super intensive training, only to find that I have made little to no difference in terms of weight loss or body re-composition.
As a trainer, you know that you might currently be sitting squarely in plateau town, but there’s plenty of things you can do to break through it, but for a client, it can be totally devasting, even making them want to cancel with you and give up on the whole idea.
As a trainer, you can offer them reassurance by letting them know that it’s totally normal to hit a plateau or to become fatigued with training in general. You can show them that there are ways to break through these barriers and start seeing the results pouring in.
This is something really only a trainer can offer, because kind words from family and friends usually aren’t enough to convince someone, but as a qualified exercise professional, what you say has a little more credibility to it.
Personal trainers aren’t just meatheads that shout at you until you lift things up and put them back down again enough times……(well some are).
As a trainer, you can offer a ton of assistance that might not be immediately obvious to most clients. When they sign up with you, they’ll quickly learn that there’s much more to training.
I hope this article has shown you a few of the things that you can offer as a personal trainer, and maybe there are some on this list that you are doing already that you hadn’t even realized?
Either way, I hope you have a great day and have learned something new today.
Go get ’em!
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