What to do and what not to do as a personal trainer. 5/5 (1)

Origym, Personal Trainer


Being a personal trainer, you have to tow the line between being a professional and being sociable. You have to ensure that your client has effective sessions that they can either engage with or enjoy. If you do not strike a balance between the two, you can be sure to kiss that client goodbye.

Believe it or not there is such a thing as correct etiquette. As a social professional engaging with clients on a P2P basis, you should already be practicing this etiquette. If you do not already abide by these unwritten rules you should begin to take note. This will improve your reputation and increase your client directory.

These are just some points to consider when starting out as a personal trainer. There are some things that seem elementary and others that seem obscene but the personal trainer business is a fickle business. Therefore, you should always analyse your approach to clients and sessions so you can be effective and turn a substantial profit.


Origym, Personal Trainers


Don’t use the same workout twice

Each client is different from the next so you should make the extra effort to develop personalised sessions. This can be time consuming but it will be effective. By personalising sessions you are mutually benefiting your client and your brand.

Remember a client differs in personality and physicality. As a personal trainer you have to adapt your routine to your clients. Imagine asking someones ol’ grandpa to to lift a 50kg plate with their neck. It would be non-sensical and even worse, unprofessional.

You should enjoy the challenge of developing workouts for different clients. If you don’t, you should consider pursuing a new profession.


Let your client direct the conversation.

It is good to talk to your client during session because this build report and the best way to remain clients other than giving them physical results is by building a good report. I talk with my clients often and would even say that some are my friends.

However, when starting out with a new client you should be sure to test the waters. When you are developing a professional relationship you want to make a good impression and sometime your mouth can be to big for your thoughts. Personally, I act on the notion that a client should direct the conversation. You do not want to ask any leading question that will drop you in deep water. Be conversational but let your client speak more than you. Dial back the biographical account of your rags to riches story and please remember that your client does not pay for therapy.

The client pays for your theoretical knowledge of fitness swell as your ability to apply it within a practical setting and environment. So if you think that your conversation is going south it will be wise to bring it back towards the mutual topic, fitness. This gives your relationship with your client, professional credibility.


Everybody in the gym is a possible customer

You might not be aware of it but your current client is not the only one who is watching you in the gym. In fact, there are many people throughout the day who will be watching you at different times. Some nonchalantly as they rest on the rowing machine and others as they divert their attention from the burn of a deadlift.

The gym is voyeurism at its finest. People watch other people for tips on form, posture and exercise. Some other people just like to people watch just like an old geezer at the bar. So at any time someone could be looking across at your session with varying degrees of interest. However, you should not take this highly because anybody within the gym is a possible client and you can either possibly gain a client or lose a potential client. So make sure you engage with your client and the exercises. Don’t slack when your client is not looking or check your phone or stare obliviously into space. Keep your attention on your sessions and you never now what could happen.

It is important to market yourself at all time as a personal trainer because it is a busy industry. Make sure you maintain a professional image at all time.


Practice what you preach

There will be some clients whom you ask very little of and some clients whom you will ask a lot more of. This is the contrasting nature of your profession. Just make sure that you never ask your client something that you yourself, can not do.

For instance imagine if you asked a client to do an exercise and they asked for a demonstration. Your location would signal dangerous levels of awkwardness and this would not add to the credibility of you or your personal trainer brand.  It also relays the importance of you own fitness. If a client wanted to do weight training and he had to choose between you and the local beef cake, who would he choose?
Point proven. First looks do count and a client will build himself of your image. Market yourself aesthetically. This is superficial, I know, but we are in a superficial business were our clients want to look better. We want to market ourselves based on this assumption.


The Gym is a small place

Wow word travels fast. In my local gym at Origym , Liverpool, it tends to travel quicker. Especially now we have the means to instantly communication. Entire relationships have come to die on social media and it is no bodies fault but their own. People can even talk anonymously without anybody even knowing.

However, you should remember that you and your client are in a relationship, a professional one at that. You should be strictly professional and not talk about other clients with other clients. In some cases it may be inevitable. For example, you might not have been introduced to a client through a mutual acquaintance.

The gym is a communal place that is filled with lots of different personalities. Some compliment each other while others do not. That is the way it is. As a professional you don’t want to get caught up in the middle of this.You may not regard one client as highly as another client and this is natural. However, you should not go around complaining to other members of staff or other clients what so ever. You are in the customer service business and like it or not, the customer is always right.


Take charge of your session

I ended my last point with a bold statement. I said that,“the customer is always right”. In the context of my previous point I was correct in saying that. However, in terms of your session, you are the boss! Your client came to you so they could improve their fitness and you are the qualified personal trainer and your client expects you to point them in the correct direction towards the land of perfect health and fitness that is across the steep hills of innumerable graft.

Sometimes you might not know the way but by god you can make an educated guess. I have had clients who have argued with me in regards to a session’s content. I have had to respectfully explain to them why we are doing what we are doing and how it will benefit them. If I have not been replied to respectfully I have shown them the exit door to my services. As long as you handle the situation in a professional manner, you will be ok. In other words don’t be a door mat for your clients running shoes. You have to set the standard otherwise you will be miserable and become worse at your job and gain a bad reputation. When you are in a session, you are the master and the client is the apprentice.


Follow your gyms policies

If you are renting space at a gym you should respect their policies. So much so, that you follow them strictly. This will make your life a whole lot easier.  If you have your own gym, go ahead and develop your own policies. This is perfectly fine. However, if you are under the roof of another gym either on contract or as a independent contract , you should make sure that you follow the gyms policies. Take note of them and make them your second nature.

One of the most important policies that gyms uphold is the cancellation policy. This holds true for personal trainers. If a client cancels on you last minute, you will be losing both time and money. Make sure that you uphold a cancellation policy because a cancellation policy gives you ample time to either replace your client with another or use your time wisely.

These are just some points you should consider when making your way as a personal trainer. Being a personal trainer can be tough. You have to be adaptable, physical and sociable. Like a bicep curling chameleon, who can talk. Have you ever seen one? No, me neither.

You are the rarest of the rare my fellow PT. Make sure you adopt these skills so you can ensure a steady flow of clients and income.


Personal Trainer


Be a constant professional

This is something that never came naturally to me. Believe me, I wanted to become a personal trainer for any reason other than being a professional.

I enjoyed keeping fit and I started to emass a pile of books on my bed side cabinet that covered subjects such as anatomy, plyometrics and nutrition. I soon realised that I enjoyed learning about fitness and that I did not have the stomach for what is now my old job. Apart from that I wanted to spend my time at the gym because I enjoyed going to the gym. I could relax and have a sense of accomplishment. I found this very rare.

So my advice to you, is that you should understand the professional implications of becoming a personal trainer. You have to be knowledgable, practical, pro-active, business minded and sociable. Pretty soon, I  realised the potential to have a self perpetual network of clients and a substantial source of income. So I started to conduct myself in a more professional manner by marketing myself both online and in person. I developed resources that included Youtube tutorials. These tutorials emphasised my brands professionalism and I also made sure to carry across my professionalism into the gym. When I was speaking with clients, I did not shove a stick up my butt but I made sure that the main conduit of communication between me and client was formal and focused upon results.


Time is important

When I started out I did not value my time as much as I do now. Many clients have called and cancelled on me. Some I would see next week and they would apologize and others I would never see again. After a while it began to annoy me.

I was not angry of the fact that clients had other priorities. I was angry of the fact that it affected my personal trainer salary. Especially considering how hard I had worked to get to this point.  I could now book clients, so when I first experienced a few people dropping out I felt rather dis-enchanted . If someone had dropped out of a session, I had lost £50.00 and I had an hour of sweet nothing. However, that sweet taste quickly turned bitter.

By being productive with your time you will improve every aspect of your business. So make sure you spend your time wisely and use it as a resource to improve your business instead of hindering it.


Research your information by not reading from one source

As a professional you are selling knowledge and experience. A client wants to know how to get fit, fast. Some other clients may have different reasons for enquiring about a personal trainer. They may want to complete an obstacle course, look good on a holiday or look good naked. So you have to ensure clients that you can help them reach their goals.

Before I said that time is a commodity, well information is also a commodity. You want to undercut your competitiors by beating them with premimum knowledge. The better the commodity, the more clients you have. So make sure you question your references and your knowledge. If you misinterpret information you leave yourself liable. I understand that it is hard to be correct about everything in regards to health and fitness because of the number of recycled articles that are saturate the internet. With each recycling the facts became less true. So instead of consulting the very accessible but not very trust worthy internet you can research using alternative resources.

Thread based sites can offer exceptional knowledge espcially if you specify your questions. There is also a plefora of case studies and informative books that come from trusted sources. Be wise about it and you be able to maintain a reliable directive of fitness knowledge. Clients will be sure to appreciate this and your brand will benefit because of this.


Be what your clients want to be

This sounds very obnoxious but there is some sociological credability to this heading . The personal trainer business is a superficial business. People who want to get fit normally want to look better but there is a portion of people who want a personal trainer so they can improve their athleticism.  Therefore, you have to polish your CV so you can attract clients.

If your CV says you have experience in boxing then someone who is preparing for a charity boxing match is much more likley to come to you for boxing sessions. If your CV says you have competed in a traithlon then someone who wants to compete in a triathlon is much more likley to pay for your sessions. If you have pulsating biceps and admirable glutes then someone who also wants pulsating biceps and admirable glutes is much more likely to require your services.

I have been beaten to the punch many a time by a competitor who is aesthetically better than me. They either look more ripped or could bench more than me. Clients often mistake this for premium training. If it came down to a test of knowledge I would have won clearly each and every time. However, it is the clients decision. Give yourself an advanatge and make sure your perpetuate the physically fit image that all of your clients aspire to.. This will improve your sales, your brand and marketability.


Always pack some extra clothes

During a day you will most likely sweat through 3 t shirts at a minimum. Make sure you keep spare clothes and toiletries in your gym bad because no client wants to be with a personal trainer who is un-hygenic. This will not be good for your brand.


Empower your clients 

All of the knowledge and practical assessments you gain throughout your Level 2 and Level 3 courses can overshadow one of the most important aspects of being a personal trainer. Most clients are able to replicate a meal plan or a workout routine without poisoning or injuring themselves. What most clients do not do is stick to a plan or routine.

As a personal trainer you have to provide your client with the means to succeed. Motivation can facilitate this success. It is like poking the bear without getting your arm ripped off. It just helps the client on their way to motivating themselves. Be that inner voice for a while and your clients will be more passionate and they will also enjoy keeping fit.

This will help you obtain as well as maintain clients while ensure the development of stable and professional relationships.



Having a stable network will determine your income and brand. I was told to network by my course tutor who gave us extra lesson on marketing during my Level 3. He was a former personal trainer himself and he said that when he was a freelance PT, he built what he described as a web of clients. He said that one client would lead to another and that word of mouth was the best form of marketing because people trust each others opinions much more than a brands opinion.

His network also made sure he was able to branch out towards different areas within the fitness industry with minimal effort. Sometimes this would need to happen rather suddenly so it was a helpful asset. This is why you have to create a network of people/business who are based within you area or elsewhere across the country. This will help you further develop you brand. Keep in mind that not everyone does everything for free and that any business ventures with have to be mutually beneficial to both parties. That is just the way of any competitive business.


If you are to follow the doe’s and dont’s that are outlined in this article you are more than likely to establish yourself as a successful personal trainer. Whether you are an online personal trainer or a p2p people trainer in health club or a freelance pt. There are many different options for you to explore but the formula for gaining clients and keeping them is always the same. Be professional, reliable and good at your job. If you need anymore advice on what to do as a personal trainer make sure to contact one of our advisors by email or telephone.


> Sociological advice for being a successful personal trainer.
> Breaking down the does and dont’s of being a PT.
> Satirical conversation.
> Guidance for aspiring fitness professionals.
> Images included that can be pinned on Pinterest.


> Not very scientific.

What to do as a PT and what not to do also.
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Starting out as a personal trainer you can be confused by what you should do. Your course may teach you the correct theoretical and practical applications but it does not teach you how to be social. This article will help out.

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