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Personal training

What You Need to Know if You Want to Switch Your Career to Personal Training

By Joe Talarico on Apr 30, 2021 9:00:00 AM
4 Minutes Reading Time


If you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and become a personal trainer there’s several things you need to know. Especially now, with the landscape changing at a much faster pace, the industry isn’t what it used to be.

Start With The Basics

Let me start off with general advice.

Get Certified - Seems obvious, but yes. Make sure you have a proper training certification so that you are competent enough to train people. If you are going solo, make sure you have trainers insurance in case anything happens.

Know Your Lane - Know your strengths, and acknowledge your weaknesses. There is nothing wrong with telling a client you don’t know something. Refer out if you need to. The worst thing you can do is take on a client with a list of injuries you don’t know how to deal with and make them worse. It will not hurt your business to admit what you don’t know, but it CAN hurt it if you make matters worse pretending.

Be Confident - I know when I started out at a big box gym, I felt like an imposter. Why would these clients pay that much money for ME? You aren’t that client. You don’t know what their financial situation is, or why they are coming to work with you. What you DO know is what it took for you to get to this point. If you have a certification, and have had success yourself transforming your physique, you probably know 99% more about fitness than the client does. Embrace it.

Always Be Learning - This is an ever evolving job. New research and methods are constantly coming out with how to help people get better. That doesn’t mean you need to switch up your clients routine every week to keep up with it. Just be aware of the trends and hype going around because your clients will ask you. Also, it’s just good business practice for you if you want to be hugely successful to be on top of your game. If you love this business then you should love continuing education.

Learn From Your Peers - If you are just starting out, and at a big box gym, take full advantage of that. Ask your other coworkers what methods they are using, Use the best of what you think everyone else is using and apply it to your methods. The only way we can get better is to keep ourselves prepared and ahead of the game. Find out what tools your manager, or more successful trainers have gained over the years to help grow their business. Surround yourself with people you want to be like.

Now For the Advanced Stuff

Have a Presence - Especially with covid now, the world has shifted. We can’t rely on working at a big box gym and hoping they provide us with our entire business. These days you have so many forms of social media to have such a bigger reach than ever before. Post tutorials on YouTube, use Instagram to show previous clients success as well as helpful tips, create or appear on podcasts to get your name out there. There are so many more ways than just focusing on your local clientele that can help your business grow.

Be a Hustler - If you truly want to succeed as a trainer you have to have an entrepreneur’s mindset. I find myself constantly thinking of ways to market myself both through social media, and through my existing clients. Your list of clients will never stay static. You will constantly have a rotating schedule of clients coming in and out, and it’s on YOU to figure out how to generate more leads. Can you start driving to their house to provide more value? Can you use zoom or rent a private gym? Maybe you can meet them at a park. There’s always a solution.

Provide Value - Going back to social media, you should constantly be providing value. YouTube is like your education platform, and Instagram is like your resume. I’m sure you know by now there are so many people trying to become online trainers. What separates you from the rest? What can you make videos of or posts about, that express your knowledge and training style different from the noise.

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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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