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Personal training

3 Most Important Tips for Becoming the Best Personal Trainer

By Joe Talarico on Feb 17, 2023 9:30:00 AM
4 Minutes Reading Time


Being a good trainer requires a lot of the same similar characteristics as other jobs. You need to work hard, enjoy the process, and provide results at what you do. What I’d like to go through today are 3 tips I wish someone had told me early on, to become the best personal trainer.

Emotional Intelligence

You couldn’t be in a more client facing profession. Your job will go way beyond training. I’ve had clients use me as a therapy session, and I’ve also had clients be super quiet and it was up to me to figure out what they needed. Being a great trainer means getting really good at reading people. You have to first recognize that each client is different, so they need different approaches.  

You’ll have the same client who may come in with a bad mood one day, and may not be in the right state of mind to do whatever you had planned. You may have another day where they can do more work than you had planned. The most important part is acknowledging the subtext of what they are going through, and being able to change the workout, and mood of the session to reflect that. The goal is to help them feel empowered and motivated to achieve their goals.


Once you are able to read each client, and understand their personality, you need to know how to talk to them.

The quieter client may not want you yelling in their face motivating them to do one more rep. In fact, they may STOP working with you altogether if you even dared. I had a manager cheer my client on one session, only to have her immediately whisper to me “If you ever coach me like that, I’m quitting.” Everyone has their own style of training and it’s important to figure out how to adapt in order to have longevity.

Some clients need to hear step by step, the full plan of attack on how you are getting them to their goals. Other clients may just want you to be there for accountability. Having an open line of communication allows you to hear your clients needs, and create a program tailored to them as an individual. Life gets in the way, and you need to be able to communicate to them that you’ve taken their obstacles into account. The best trainers in the world are always in flux. The worst trainers try to force the same programs over and over again.

Forever Learning

The third most important trait you can have is the desire to keep learning. Fitness and nutrition research is constantly evolving. Your clients will no doubt ask you questions about the latest workouts and diet trends. While you don’t need to be an expert, you should definitely have at least a grasp of what is going on in the fitness industry. This isn’t just important for them, but just as important for you as a trainer to evolve your training style as you take in different types of clients. There are so many specialties out there from injury prevention, to strength and conditioning and helping pregnant women stay fit. Taking the time to explore these different niches may also help you find an avenue of training you specialize in.

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Joe Talarico

Joe is a certified Precision Nutrition and strength & conditioning coach. He assisted the UCLA Women’s Tennis team in winning their 2014 NCAA Championship Title, as well as study under the great strength coaches at Pepperdine University. He was a collegiate rower at the University of Rhode Island (where he got his Kinesiology degree) as well as an amateur physique competitor. He is currently the master trainer at Upgrade Labs in Santa Monica where he is combining his years of training clients in the gym with newer technology to optimize their performance and recovery. He also cohosts The RelationSH*T Show Podcast with his fiancée where they discuss all relationship topics unfiltered from who pays on dates, to open relationships.

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