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Personal Training Mentor: What They Do And How To Find One

Whether you’re a newly qualified personal trainer or an experienced professional wanting to take the next step in your career, you may have thought about getting a personal training mentor. But what exactly is a PT mentor, and do you need one? We’ll answer all of this and more!

This article covers:

Before we get started, if you’re already a qualified PT, why not increase your career prospects with OriGym’s Level 4 Advanced Sports Nutrition course or become a yoga instructor with OriGym's Level 3 yoga instructor course. Enquire today, or download our free course prospectus to find out about our full range of fitness courses. 

What Does A Personal Training Mentor Do?

The dictionary definition of a mentor is:

A person who gives a younger or less experienced person help and advice over a period of time, especially at work or school

- Cambridge Dictionary 

With this in mind, a personal training mentor is someone who gives help and advice to a newly qualified or less experienced personal trainer. They usually have many years of experience in the fitness industry. 

Personal training mentors can offer help in a wide range of areas, including:

Your business plan

personal training mentoring

Both newly qualified and more experienced personal trainers can benefit from help with developing a business plan. 

A strong business plan will not only help give you direction, but you may be required to present it when applying for jobs, banks, investors or insurance companies. A personal trainer mentor can help you with all aspects of this!

For example, if your mentor has set up their own fitness business, they could use this expertise to talk you through how they did it. You could then ask them for advice on a specific area of setting up a business, such as how they conducted their market research. 

If you are looking for general business advice, you could even ask a non-fitness related mentor. 

Whilst it certainly helps to get advice from an individual with experience in the fitness business specifically, your mentor does not necessarily have to specialise in the fitness industry. For example, you could enlist the help of a general business mentor, and simply apply their tips to your PT business. 

To get you started, check out our step-by-step guide to writing a personal trainer business plan!

Marketing

Marketing is an essential aspect of running a personal training business. It is what helps build your brand image and ultimately, helps you gain personal training clients. But many PTs are unsure of how to market their business, which is where a good mentor can come in. 

For example, some mentors may have experience in social media marketing. They may be able to share tips on gaining followers and increasing engagement. 

Many mentors will even specialize in a specific area of marketing. For example, this personal training mentoring service specializes in website design:

pt mentor 3

This company is an example of one who provides ‘end-to-end’ website design and management. 

They will help you with all aspects of your website, such as logo design, content writing, SEO and more. They offer 3 different packages with prices depending on the amount of features you want. 

However, there are also websites who simply give you resources to build your own website, rather than completely make it for you. 

Jimdo is an example of this, as they simply give you the tools and software to build your own website:

pt mentor 2

As you can see, they offer different packages depending on the level of service you require. 

Career progression

Whether you’ve just qualified and are looking for your first job, or are looking for a career change, a PT mentor can help you with your career direction. 

If you have a particular career goal in mind or you want to work with a specific target market, a mentor with relevant experience will be able to draw on their own expertise to help you achieve it. 

For example, say you want to eventually run your personal training bootcamps, it would be a good idea to choose a mentor who does just that! That way, you can ask them questions about how they achieved it, such as:

  • How did they get started?
  • What qualifications did they need?
  • How much money did they have to begin?
  • How did they market themselves?
  • How did they get their first clients?

As well as offering advice, they may even have contacts in the industry that you can benefit from! 

Reading other personal trainers’ bios is a good way to find someone who has pursued the same niche that you want to get into. For example, PureGym list all their personal trainers on their website, such as this one:

personal training mentor 5

As you can see, they have listed their qualifications and specialist areas. So if you also wanted to specialise in body fat reduction, for example, you could contact them to ask how they got into this niche using the contact details provided. 

This could then lead to them becoming your personal training mentor!

However, you do not always need a mentor to help you with your career. If you take your Level 3 personal trainer course with OriGym, for example, you’ll get access to our award-winning post-course careers support. 

This includes things such as CV advice and interview prep, so that you can apply for jobs with confidence. 

Given the nature of the areas they can help with, personal trainer mentors are usually most beneficial for freelance or self-employed personal trainers, since they offer advice predominantly on the business side of personal training. 

However, they can be just as useful for employed PTs working for a gym, who want to progress to being self-employed, for example. 

A mentor could therefore help them with personal trainer career options and give them advice for becoming self-employed.

 

Enhance your personal trainer career prospects with OriGym

Take our Level 4 Advanced Sports Nutrition course to expand your skills and expertise! 

Personal Training Mentor Vs Fitness Business Coach

personal training mentoring 4

Before we get into finding a personal training mentor, let’s first clarify the difference between a PT mentor and a fitness business coach. These terms may sound very similar, but there are actually some key differences between them. 

Fitness business coaches are usually people with business coaching qualifications who give fitness professionals specific strategies to help them improve their business. 

For example, they could help by assessing your current business model and identifying its weaknesses. 

Say you are struggling with client retention and it is affecting your finances, they can give you a specific financial or client retention strategy to help you improve this area of your business. 

Because of this kind of specialised service, fitness business coaches usually charge high fees for their advice, almost like a consultancy service. 

However, with personal training mentoring, the emphasis is on guidance and advice that comes purely from experience- they do not necessarily need to have specific qualifications or even explicitly market themselves as a ‘mentor’. 

Fitness business coaches will generally take a more proactive role in the running of your business. 

For example, they could analyze and monitor every step of your sales process, giving you precise points to improve your conversion rates or upselling techniques to increase the amount of money you make per sale. 

In fact, most of the things that fitness business coaches help with are tangible and measurable. 

This means that they will often offer a certain result in a certain time frame. For example, they may claim that they can make you [x] amount of money in [x] amount of time, or help you gain [x] amount of clients. 

Here is an example of a fitness business coach’s website:

pt mentor

This business coach offers either a ‘one off’ session for £400, or a 6 month program for £3000. 

These kinds of high prices are common for fitness business coaches, so you should be absolutely sure that the service you get from them will pay this off in the long term! 

So, should you get a personal training mentor or a fitness business coach? 

Ultimately, it depends what you want to get out of it. In summary, fitness business coaches typically give more structured financially-focused advice, compared to PT mentors who give more holistic guidance.

How To Choose A Personal Training Mentor

Before we tell you where to find a personal training mentor, here are some things that you should consider in your search!

#1- Decide what you want to get out of a personal training mentor

personal training mentoring 2

Before you even start the process of finding a PT mentor, you should take the time to think about why you want one and what you want to get out of it. 

Do you want to learn how to specialise in a particular area of fitness? Are you wanting to go into group fitness training? Do you need help with your social media marketing?

Deciding what your goals are for seeking personal trainer mentoring will help you choose the right mentor for you, as you will have a better idea of what you are looking for. 

For example if you decide that your goal is to improve your social media presence, you can then make sure that you are looking for a PT mentor who has lots of social media followers themselves. 

Thinking about what your goals are will also help you decide if you really do need a personal trainer mentor at all, or if you would actually benefit more from simply taking a course. 

For example, if you are a newly qualified PT and are just looking to start your own business, you may not be sure which specific area you need help in yet. 

In this case, you may therefore benefit from taking a Personal Training Business CPD course for now. Through this, you will learn the basics of running a PT business, such as how to set up and register your business, GDPR, how to create sales funnels and more! 

There are also lots of free resources online from fitness companies. For example, here at OriGym, we have lots of blog posts, on specific business-related topics, such as ‘How To Use Google My Business As A Personal Trainer’

We even have a dedicated YouTube channel, with lots of video resources on being a personal trainer and running a PT business. 

If you feel like you still need further guidance after this, then you can approach personal training mentors with a more specific goal in mind- and this will help you get the most out of their services. 

#2- Is their experience relevant to your goals?

When it comes to choosing a personal training mentor, perhaps the most important thing to consider is their experience and whether it is relevant to your goals. 

For example, if your goal is to grow your mobile personal training business, it is no good asking a PT who works in a commercial gym for advice. 

Instead, you should ask someone who has a successful mobile personal training business, as they will have experience and knowledge that you can benefit from. 

If your goal is to specialise in a particular niche of fitness, you should find a personal training mentor who does just that! 

For example, if you are wanting to get into pregnancy and postnatal personal training, it is no good having a mentor who has no experience at all in that area. Instead, you should specifically seek out someone who has this particular area of expertise.

For example, a quick Google search of ‘pregnancy personal trainers’ brought up this PT:

personal training mentor 4

Once you have found a relevant website, you should then navigate to the ‘About’ section to find out more about the trainer themselves. 

personal training mentor 3

As you can see, they have detailed some information about their qualifications and how they got to where they are today. You could then contact them directly to ask any further questions you have, which could ultimately lead to them becoming your mentor! 

#3- What qualifications do they have?

personal training mentoring 3

Technically, a personal training mentor does not need to have any specific qualifications. As we said, the emphasis is more on their years of experience and relevant expertise. 

However, there are some qualifications you should definitely look out for to make sure that you are receiving a high standard of personal training mentoring. 

Just like when someone is choosing a personal trainer, you should make sure that your mentor has a minimum of a Level 3 personal training qualification. Without this, they are not qualified to be a personal trainer, let alone mentor someone! 

In addition to this baseline qualification, you may also want to look for a mentor with additional specialist qualifications too. These could be Level 4 courses such as Lower Back Pain Management, or CPDs such as Strength and Conditioning

You may also want to look for a PT mentor who has a business qualification. This could range from a business CPD course to a degree in business. 

Business qualifications are by no means essential, but may be beneficial if you are looking for a particularly high level of business advice. 

If you have a particular area of personal training or fitness in general that you would like mentoring in, then you may want to look for a personal trainer with qualifications in this area. 

For example, if you want advice on how to start giving nutrition advice to your clients, then it makes sense to get yourself a PT mentor with a Level 4 Sports Nutrition qualifications at the very least!

Even if their extra qualifications are not directly related to your area of interest, they are always beneficial. Ultimately, the more qualified your mentor is, the more expertise and knowledge they have for you to benefit from.

It also shows that they have taken the time and made the effort to commit to their own professional development, so will be better equipped to help you with yours!

Enjoying this article so far? Here’s 3 more that we think you’ll love:

 

Enhance your personal trainer career prospects with OriGym

Take our Level 4 Advanced Sports Nutrition course to expand your skills and expertise! 

#4- Consider their personal qualities 

personal trainer mentoring

A personal trainer mentor may look good on paper in terms of their qualifications and experience, but their personality is just as important. 

This is because you will be working closely with your mentor on both a professional and personal level. You need someone who you feel comfortable with and who you can trust with your business! 

Here are some key personal qualities that a good mentor should have:

  • Approachable
  • Motivating and encouraging
  • Patient 
  • Committed to your success
  • Reliable and trustworthy
  • Holds you accountable
  • Organized
  • A good listener 

However, these abstract qualities are hard to determine from a website or Instagram bio. 

So, the best way to see whether you are compatible with a mentor is to meet with them before you commit. This could be in-person in a cafe or gym lobby, or virtually via video call. 

This should immediately give you an indication of whether you will be compatible or not, and help you decide whether you want to take them as your mentor. 

#5- Research reviews and reputation 

Looking at reviews and personal trainer testimonials from past or current mentees is vital when choosing your personal trainer mentor. 

Testimonials can be found on a personal trainer mentor’s website, such as this one:

pt mentor 6

This review says that their personal training mentor helped them to ‘define and hone [their] niche’ and ‘develop more of an online trainer presence’ and improve their social media. 

So if these are things that you are also looking for, you should look for reviews to see if it is something that they offer, and if so, whether they are any good at it! 

However, always take reviews from a mentor’s own website with a pinch of salt! 

Remember that they will have chosen this review to post, and that they are very unlikely to choose to include negative reviews. 

It is therefore always best to look for reviews on neutral, third-party websites such as Trustpilot. This will give you a good indication of their reputation and the kind of service they offer, without being influenced by their own marketing and sales techniques.

For example, here are some reviews of Remote Fit Pro on Trustpilot

pt mentor 4

pt mentor 5

As well as online reviews such as these, a mentor’s reputation can be revealed through word of mouth. 

Since mentoring is all about their experience and expertise, a good PT mentor will have a strong reputation in the fitness industry, either in your local area or nationally. 

A good way to gauge this is before you sign up to a mentor, mention their name to others you know in the fitness industry and see how they react. This will reveal whether they are someone you can trust, or someone to avoid!

Where To Find A Personal Training Mentor

Now that you know what to look out for when choosing a personal training mentor, here are some of the main places and ways that you can find one:

#1- Word of mouth

personal trainer mentoring 2

In many cases, a mentor-mentee relationship will emerge naturally- it is not always something you purposefully seek out! 

By this we mean that you could encounter someone who naturally starts to take on a mentor role in your life. 

For example, say you have recently started working as PT in a gym. You may start to naturally build a relationship with another member of staff who has been there for several years, and has worked in the fitness industry their whole life. 

Through working with them, they may start giving you general tips or tell you about how they got to where they are today. 

Before you know it, you have a personal training mentor, without explicitly seeking one out! 

You could also find a mentor by another PT in your gym recommending someone to you. For example, they may know someone who has helped them with a particular area that you also need help in.

Plus, having someone give you a recommendation is also a good sign, as you can be more confident that they are a good mentor! 

However, not everyone will encounter this situation. Especially if you have just qualified and are working freelance, it can be hard to find these kinds of connections! 

Instead of waiting for a mentor to come to you, there are other ways you can find one, which we will outline next.

#2- Networking

Actively networking in the fitness industry is a great way to find a personal trainer mentor. 

For example, look out for events that you can attend, where other fitness professionals will be present. 

This could be anything from a national fitness industry convention or conference to a local fun-run or football tournament.

Approaching a potential mentor in-person at events like this shows them that you are proactive and serious about improving your business, making someone more likely to help you. 

It is also a good idea to create some business cards to bring along with you to pass on to people at these kinds of events. Likewise, you should make sure that you take theirs! 

Your personal trainer business card could look something like this:

personal training mentor 4

As you can see, you should include your phone number and email address on your business card. 

This makes it easier for you both to contact each other and creates a connection straight away. 

 

Enhance your personal trainer career prospects with OriGym

Take our Level 4 Advanced Sports Nutrition course to expand your skills and expertise! 

#3- Social media

One of the best ways to find a personal training mentor is through social media. 

For example, you may follow a fitness account on Instagram who you particularly admire and whose skills and experience you would like to benefit from. 

A personal training mentor may also be someone who you don’t necessarily follow on social media. You can find a mentor on social media by using hashtags or joining Facebook groups, here's how.

Using hashtags: On Instagram and Twitter, you can search a hashtag to bring up posts and users that have used that particular hashtag.

Some examples of hashtags you could search for are:

  • #personaltrainermentor
  • #ptmentor
  • #fitnessmentoring
  • #personaltrainermentoring

To search using hashtags on Instagram, for example, use the search bar and select ‘Tags’:

personal training mentor 3

This brings up all of the posts that have used that hashtag:

personal training mentor

You can then click on these posts and from there, you can explore their profile and directly message any that you think could be an eligible mentor for you! 

Facebook groups: There are lots of Facebook groups out there specifically for personal trainers to share knowledge, tips and network with each other. They can therefore be a good place to find personal trainer mentoring. 

There are larger groups such as this one, which has 4.8K members:

personal training mentor 2

These larger national groups are great to be a part of because you will get posts from people all over the country. 

However, you should also be wary that with these larger groups, you are more likely to encounter spam, or ingenuine posts from people claiming to be PT mentors - we’ll outline the red flags to look out for later in this article! 

It is therefore often easier to network and find a PT mentor in a smaller, more local Facebook group. 

Once you have found someone on one of these platforms, you could reach out to them by sending them a direct message. But you should take the time to think about the wording of your questions. 

For example, compare these two kinds of message:

Message A- “Hi, can you help me improve my personal training business?”

Message B- “Hey, I hope you don’t mind me reaching out, but I really love your page and I love your work. I just saw your recent post about how you grew your online personal training business. I was just wondering how you went about gaining your first clients? I’ve just qualified as a PT and I’m struggling to find clients, so any tips you can give would be much appreciated! Thanks!” 

Of course, message B is much more effective! 

This is because the questions are more direct and related to them, making them easier for them to answer. 

Someone is less likely to respond to message A because it is a very broad question that will require more effort and time for them to answer. 

When finding a personal training mentor on social media, don’t be disheartened if you don’t receive a response straight away- especially if you are reaching out to someone with thousands of followers. 

Remember that they will likely receive lots of messages every day from other personal trainers asking for advice! 

#4- Online 

Perhaps the most obvious way to find a personal training mentor is online. By this, we mean through a simple Google search. 

If you are looking for an in-person personal training mentor, you should include your location in your search. For example:

‘Personal training mentor in Liverpool’

‘Liverpool PT mentoring’

For example, the first search pulls up the following results:

personal trainer mentor

As you can see, this brings up results specific to Liverpool. 

However, note that results 3 and 4 are about how to become a personal trainer, meaning these results aren’t relevant if you’re already qualified! 

Ensure that you are aware of this when reading through search results to avoid any confusion. 

If you are flexible on location, you could even expand your search further by including your general area, e.g. ‘North West personal training mentor’ 

If you are looking for online personal training mentoring, some keywords to include are:

‘Online personal training mentoring’

‘Remote personal trainer mentoring’

personal training mentor 5

These kinds of searches can pull up individuals who are personal training mentors, or there are also larger organizations who offer PT mentoring, such as M10 Personal Training Mentorship and FM Personal Training Mentorship

If you like the idea of learning from the comfort of your own home, all of OriGym’s specialist fitness courses such as Level 4 Advanced Sports Nutrition, are taught online. This means that you can study at your own pace, whilst still receiving all the award-winning teaching and support from our expert tutors!

Personal Training Mentor Red Flags

personal trainer mentoring 3

Although the majority have genuine intentions, unfortunately, there are lots of cases of ‘fake’ personal training mentors who make false claims or charge extortionate prices for little results. 

To avoid this, here are some of the main red flags to be wary of when it comes to fitness business coaches: 

#1- Exaggerated promises 

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is! 

Claims such as ‘Earn 6 figures now!’, or ‘Start a multi-million pound PT business overnight!’ are often sweeping statements designed to capture attention. 

But in reality, the amount you earn and the time in which you do it will vary from business to business.

You should therefore be wary of promises like this, as a PT mentor should give a service which is tailored to you and your business only!

Unreliable claims is also one of the signs of a bad personal trainer which we explore further in this article

#2- Approaching you in direct messages

If you’re a personal trainer, you will likely be familiar with receiving lots of unsolicited requests and messages from people claiming to magically improve your business. 

This is a tell-tale sign of an untrustworthy personal trainer mentor. If this is their way of getting clients, then you should be wary of how they would help you get yours! 

Whilst some may indeed be legitimate, most professional personal training mentors would not randomly reach out to people through social media without any prior interaction with you. 

#3- No proof of their own success

If someone is claiming to help your business be successful, they should be able to practice what they preach.

This could be either through a successful business or their own, or by client testimonials. If you cannot find evidence of either of these things, then this is a major red flag that they are not a legitimate PT mentor.  

For example, you shouldn’t take advice on website design from someone with a poorly designed website! 

When searching for personal training mentoring, you should make sure to check what they have actually achieved. This should be evident on their website or social media. 

For example, this bio for a personal training mentor details their achievements:

personal training mentor 2

The fact that he ‘opened his first gym at 25’, for example, is a tangible achievement that you can aspire to and ask him questions about. 

#4- No website

Unless they are exclusively on social media, any good personal training mentor should have a professional website. 

For example, if someone is claiming to be able to help you improve your personal trainer  website or online presence without a website of their own, this is not a good sign! 

To get started yourself, check out our tips for creating a good personal trainer website here

Before you go!

So, that covers everything you need to know about personal training mentoring. We hope that you now feel confident deciding whether you need one, and what to look out for when choosing one.  

As a personal trainer, another great way to improve your career prospects is by taking a Level 4 Advanced Sports Nutrition course, allowing you to create tailored meal plans for your clients. 

Enquire today, or download our free course prospectus here to browse the full range of courses available at OriGym. 

Written by Alice Williams

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

Alice is a content writer at OriGym. With a first-class degree in French and Linguistics, she loves all things language, fitness and culture. As part of her degree, she spent a year living in France where she worked for a lifestyle blog, gaining professional experience in both translation and content writing. 

When she’s not writing, you can usually find Alice practicing yoga and she hopes to one day become a yoga instructor herself. She also loves running, tennis and cooking up a vegan storm in the kitchen! It was this passion for health and fitness, combined with her love for writing, that brought Alice to OriGym.

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