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What does a Personal Trainer look like?

People will always have different ideas of what the stereotypical personal trainer should look like and while it does play a role in things such as marketing and proving to people that they also practice (& live) the values they preach, but should it be the deciding factor?


Considered becoming a personal trainer? How hard can it be? Read our guide to find out more.


Have you considered the Triple Filter Test?

Keep in mind the Triple Filter Test to help you in making the best choices for choosing a personal trainer:

  • Proof of Past Success (achievements - client centric)
  • Certification & Accreditation (accreditation)
  • Preaching or Practicing (application - personal trainer centric)

Aesthetics can be considered last on the list, and by that it means right at the very end, because things that would come before in regards to the application of a personal trainer knowledge/skill to their own life would be in regards to health, longevity and so on.

In fact you’ll often find very successful and capable personal trainer's that may not fit the image some have in their mind. As such they themselves may have a personal trainer to keep them accountable, which actually shows they’re willing to invest in that which they may struggle to try and do themselves.

Going off topic for a second, a lot of good trainers will have a trainer of their own.

  • Speaking from experience my mental focus would be 100% on clients programming and their needs. This left little time for any cognitive thought for my own training, so I hired someone to do that thinking for me, and this is because having high physical performance and good health was a priority to me personally - not to say it needs to be to other trainers, however it can be hard for some people to trust a trainer that doesn't value their own health.

Think of it this way, who would you be more likely to trust?

  • Personal trainer 1 - Decent fitness level, good health/hygiene and puts effort into their own wellness.
  • Personal trainer 2 - Poor fitness level, poor health//hygiene and doesn’t care about their own wellness.

As much as people will champion fairness and being non-judgmental, we are visual creatures, so such things will matter.


Personal trainer with client in a gym


Why is the Triple Filter Test Important?

It’s why the Triple Filter Test is important because a truly great trainer can look like the classic cartoon Santa Claus and yet be the best person to work with you in helping you achieve the results you desire.

Whereas the one that looks ready to step on stage for a body building show might put a little more effort in to looking at themselves flexing in the mirror than your form when squatting.

This is not always the case of course, but worth considering.

All of this being said, it’s not wrong or evil to expect a personal trainer to perhaps have a specific physical aesthetic that you desire to achieve, because while it’s true they may not have all the answers, or even the best ones, if they’d done what you want to do then there’s a fair chance they have some of the answers you seek.

Now from experience there is a list of things to search for in a personal trainer focused around their appearance that can be useful.

What does a personal trainer not need to look like?

  • 6 pack
  • Muscles on muscles
  • Perfect skin/hair/teeth
  • Flawless tan

What should I look for before hiring a personal trainer?

  • Reduced amounts of total body fat
  • Clean teeth and skin
  • Good attitude towards health first and fitness second
  • An overall look that suggests they take part in regular physical activity


Personal trainer motivating a client

What do YOU want (or think) your personal trainer to look like?

Working in commercial gyms people tended to hire me for one of these three reasons:

  1. They watched how I trained people and liked what they saw - often saying it felt like the right style of training/coaching for them.
  2. Seeing my level of fitness and aesthetic when I trained myself - they wanted this themselves.
  3. We struck up a conversation where the cringeworthy yet highly effective sentence would make an appearance - “If you want to change your life, then you need me in it”!

Does a personal trainers look impact client success?

In closing, in the end it doesn’t matter how a personal trainer looks so long as they’re great at their job and get people results, because that’s the name of the game; results. No ifs, buts or excuses, just results.

Yet don’t be afraid to hire a personal trainer because they have a look you desire or have achieved something you want.


This article was written by Future Fit Tutor, Ross Mitchell.

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