What it Takes to be a Personal Trainer: 5 Key Qualities

Training others at the gym is great for people who love fitness

Do you love physical fitness? Is the gym your favorite place to be? Some people who are ultra-dedicated to physical fitness choose to make a career out of it by becoming a Personal Trainer. As a professional personal fitness trainer, you might design personal fitness programs for individuals, run exercise classes for groups, and help promote healthy lifestyles for members of your community.

What does it take to be a personal trainer? According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, fitness trainers should have certain qualities in order to excel in their field. Take a look at these qualities and see if you fit the bill.

1. Customer service
In order to be successful as a trainer, you’ve got to have customers, right? Effective customer service skills will help you attract new customers and keep your existing customers coming back to you. In a sense, the job is a sales and marketing job in which you need to build up a client base for your services. You want customers to sign up for individual sessions with you, attend your group classes, bring additional friends to the classes, and to renew their gym memberships year after year. This means you’ve got to be friendly, encouraging, and personable in your interactions with your clients and potential clients.

2. Good communicator
When you work with clients, you will need to be good at communicating with them. Even if a certain exercise is easy for you, it may not be easy for your client to understand. You need to be able to show them exercises and communicate with them if they are doing something incorrectly. You also need to communicate clearly about class times and appointment times, so that your clients know when to show up.

3. Good listener
One of the aspects to being a good communicator is to be a good listener. This is particularly important in fitness training, because you will be designing customized workouts for your clients. You need to listen to their goals, pay attention to their fitness levels, and hear them when they say that something is too easy or too hard.

4. Motivational
Let’s face it, going to the gym is a challenge for many people. It’s much easier to stay home and watch YouTube videos. As a professional fitness trainer, you will want to motivate your clients to get off the couch and come work out. Having a motivational, enthusiastic personality is a huge plus. You may need to use different motivational techniques with different clients, and figure out what works best to encourage them to stay fit. Remember, they will thank you in the end!

5. Physically fit
This goes without saying, but it’s important to be physically fit if you want to be a fitness trainer. You will be leading group exercises (sometimes several times a day) and you need to have the endurance to make it through. Being physically fit also serves as a role model for your clients, and shows them that you are serious about the benefits of fitness.

Do you have what it takes? It takes a special kind of person to motivate others toward fitness. If you’ve got what it takes, then why not look into a career in this field? It just might be the right path for you.


The Branford Hall Career Institute is proud of the students in our Professional Fitness Trainer program in Connecticut. For more information about how you can enroll in this program, contact us online.