Top Five Tips for Personal Training Success

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As a personal trainer, you’re in the business of bettering yourself and those around you—why not apply this same attitude and perspective to your business itself?


Whether you’re just entering the profession of personal training or you’ve been honing your personal training skills for years, there’s always room and opportunity for growth, improvement, and updates.  

We’ve laid out a few of our top tips for starting, running, and maintaining a successful personal training business.

Check out some of the most important facets of keeping your personal training business in tip-top shape.


Nail Down Your Niche

When it comes to crafting your own personal training business, you’re granted the freedom to offer a unique mixture of different types of training and fitness regimens. 

While it can be an exciting prospect to offer an array of services to your clients, we suggest nailing down your niche and knowing your target audience. 

We understand the desire to offer your clients every kind of training under the sun but take into consideration your own skill levels in these areas before adding a new type of fitness training to your repertoire.

Decide on what type of training you plan to offer, what sort of clients you’re looking for, what type of licenses will be required for those specific training plans, and how you can best perfect these types of fitness in your own time. For example,

Will you be dealing mostly with senior citizens? 

Are you hoping to focus on athletes, specifically?

Will your training reflect weight loss, bodybuilding, or be geared toward the physically impaired? 

Nailing down what type of training you’ll offer, as well as the types of clients you hope to focus on, will require a constant furthering of your education in these areas, as well.

We suggest staying up-to-date on the latest health journals, certifications, reading popular online and offline publications that report on new fitness and health trends, and understanding how to best explain and discern misinformation to your clientele. 


Anticipate Client Cancellation and React the Right Way

As a personal trainer, you’re working in an industry that’s – most of the time – one-on-one circumstance. 

That being said, you’re still running a business. It’s important that when dealing with clients – in any facet, but specifically in cancellation situations – you’re providing a firm, but respectable policy. 

We suggest working with your clients to have them committed from the start of their program.

While you can certainly expect a cancellation or two every week (depending on the amount of clientele you acquire), it’s crucial to implement a strict cancellation policy that your clients are aware of from the get-go.

One way to discourage clients from cancelling sessions is to implement a pre-pay policy, as well.

This will help keep your clients committed to the program they’ve already paid for. 

We do advise you to be flexible with your clients every so often but explain to them when you’re cutting them some slack.

For example, if you have a client who rarely cancels, but for some reason is unable to attend a session, explain to them (kindly) that you’re happy to refund their money this time, however, make note of your 24-hour cancellation policy (or whichever policy you’ve implemented).

This lets them know that you’re professionally understanding, but you’re still maintaining the correct client and trainer relationship, and that next time, you’ll be unable to refund their money.


Remember—You are Not Your Client, and Each Client is Different

As a fitness professional, your focus is on your clients, but it’s also on honing and perfecting your own abilities in order to properly serve those clients. 

Sometimes it can be tough to not fall into the trap of designing programs that are specifically tailored toward your own skills.

As a personal trainer, it’s important that you’re always remembering the specific needs, issues, goals, and skills of each, individual client you’re working with.

It can be hard to remember each program requires distinctive training.

What helps is keeping a log for each client that’s set to track all of the details of their program—

The nutritional guide they’re hoping to follow, their starting weights and measurements, their weekly goals, their overall goals, their hesitations, their skill level, their progress pictures, and more. 

We suggest keeping track of your clients’ progress by providing mini-evaluations throughout their training programs.

This way, you’re not just keeping track of their own progress and re-adjusting their training to best benefit them, you’re reminding yourself constantly of where each client is, as well as refreshing yourself on their individual goals. 

With this in mind, you’ll be able to consistently provide each client with a custom program that works best for them.

Be Sensitive to Your Client’s Issues, But Firm.

As we stated before, working as a personal trainer is, most of the time, a one-on-one situation. 

This is both a blessing and a curse, as people are often in their most vulnerable and uncomfortable zones while they’re working toward their fitness.

If you’re dealing with a difficult client, one who is either suffering from insecurity, embarrassment, or confidence issues, we suggest ensuring that you’re being sensitive and listening to what your client has to say, but also staying firm on your policies and on your program.

If you’re dealing with a client who’s unsure about the safety of an exercise, walk through that exercise with them.

If you have a client who’s embarrassed to do a certain exercise in a public setting, consider a convenient, private room for your client to get comfortable with that exercise (within reason, of course).

If you have a client who has scheduling conflicts, do your best to work with them.

However, make sure your clients know going into your program that you’re both understanding and firm, so any bad attitudes, disrespect toward you or others, and disregard for your rules will likely result in the cancellation of their program.

Ensure your Professional Liability Insurance is on Lock

Professional liability Insurance for personal trainers is often a forgotten issue, but it’s one of the most important facets for running a professional, legal, and lucrative business. 

Liability insurance is going to be critical for any personal trainer as it protects you from any legal repercussion that could happen while you’re working with your clients.

Professional liability will provide protection for your company, help you avoid financial consequences of a lawsuit that could damage your reputation, and most importantly, provide your clients with the reassurance of your professionalism.

While we’re sure you don’t plan to accidentally injure your client, accidents do happen – either by your fault, fault of your client, or no fault at all.

Having a reliable, professional liability license will cover you and your business and protect you from both reputation and revenue damages.

Meet The Author:

Parker Franklin

Parker, IFG’s Brand Manager since 2022, began his wellness journey in 2020, leading to a significant personal transformation. He holds a journalism degree from Murray State University and started his career as an award-winning journalist in western Kentucky before transitioning into marketing and PR. At IFG, Parker is responsible for writing content, managing The Fit newsletter, and overseeing promotions and collaborations with affiliate fitness organizations.