Carlsberg don't make PTs but if they did...
...They'd probably be the best in the world, or so the old Carlsberg advert went. But what would make a personal trainer the best in the world?
It was a brilliant form of advertising as it really captured the imagination of the public. Suddenly this average Danish lager was being thought of as the best in the world, and to some extent other products that were excellent were now considered as good as Carlsberg.
Become the best Personal Trainer
In this article we are going to look at the habits and traits of personal trainers who are in the top 1% of personal trainers in the world, and hopefully inspire you to join them.
Personal Training Business Success versus Client Success
Before we start we should discuss what being a successful and effective personal trainer is all about. Some would say it should be based around how knowledgeable you are, and how much you can help your clients. While others would say it is all about financial success. We would humbly argue that both answers are important.
Too many knowledgeable personal trainers fail to survive in this industry because they don't know how to attract clients, this allows bad personal trainers who know how to market themselves to get more clients than their ability deserves.
On the other hand, there are many personal trainers who become incredibly successful but don't spend time improving their knowledge base. Lots of personal trainers exist who have massive Instagram followings, but no real knowledge of the industry. These personal trainers can be incredibly successful, but can also cause a lot of damage.
A balanced approach to learning about building a business, while also continuing your fitness/nutrition education will yield the greatest results.
Professionalism in the world of Personal Training
Being constantly late for sessions, arriving to your session covered in sweat after a mad 400m sprint from your car to the gym, or completely forgetting to turn up for a session, are cardinal sins of personal training. Not having a planned out training program for your client is another sign of a disorganised personal trainer. If you want to be the best you need to be thinking about your professionalism.
Book your sessions in so that you arrive 5 minutes early, have calendar reminders on your phone, walk or cycle rather than drive if possible (no pedestrian ever gets unexpectedly caught in traffic). Schedule in 5-15 minute breaks if you are training 4+ clients back to back so that you can change your shirt, have a shower, and readjust between sessions (only if this is possible of course).
Lay Down the Law
Successful Personal Trainers realise that as well as being professional, there has to also be an aspect of being personable as well. Whilst a Personal Trainer may wish to accommodate a client who has to cancel a last mission session for an emergency, in the industry sometimes even the best trainers can be let down by their clients, this is a particular problem for "nice" personal trainers. People who struggle to charge their clients for missed sessions, allow clients weeks to pay off outstanding bills, and move sessions "last minute" to satisfy difficult clients. This is okay when you are starting out and only have 3 clients within the week, but if you want to become the best personal trainer in the world, then it's not going to fly.
Create systems that make it clear to the client that your time is as important as theirs. Bill all clients on a monthly basis, regardless of how many sessions they have missed (though you can allow for scheduled holidays/emergencies of course). If the client doesn't pay then stop training them, and use that hour to find a new one. If a client misses a session without giving you 24 hours notice then charge them anyway.
For some reason personal trainers put up with stuff that no other professional would, and it is time to stop that! Your clients will respect you for it and your business will improve.
Personal Training & Nutrition
The BEST trainers in the world, will excel in both subjects, and will follow the science rather than their ego. Don't put clients onto paleo diets, gluten free diets, or 5:2 diets. This is not your job. You are a personal trainer and should work within your professional boundaries and only offer dietary advice if you have sufficient qualifications.
When it comes to training, keep your sessions enjoyable, follow scientific principles (progressive overload, periodization etc), and be adaptable to a busy gym. In other words don't spend 10 minutes waiting for the bench press to become available when you're next to an empty chest press.
Always be Improving
If you look at the best trainers in the world they all have one thing in common, they never stop learning. They attend courses, they attend lectures, they go to fitness conventions, they network with each other, and recommend training and nutrition books. Some of them create their own books and courses (which is a great way to improve your knowledge once you've reached a certain level). They constantly say that the more they learn, the more they realise that they didn't know! Don't let yourself stagnate, get yourself on a Personal Training course today.