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Personal training

Why a Personal Trainer Should Always be Striving to Learn More

By Joe Talarico on Sep 6, 2023 3:15:00 PM
4 Minutes Reading Time


As with most careers in life, an individual should never settle for the baseline education. While that may have gotten you to where you are, rarely do you ever find it takes anyone to the next level of success. Being the best version of yourself in life will always require that you strive to learn more. Being the best trainer means embracing the journey of constantly learning and improving your skill set. The fitness world is full of fakes and people who only had success with themselves and now think they are the expert on all things fitness. This is exactly what is wrong with this field. You should never reach a point where you think you have all the answers, as that is usually when you need to learn the most.  

Ability to Problem Solve

One of the biggest things you will encounter as a trainer is diversity. Work with enough people, and you will get through every obstacle and goal you can think of. You’d be surprised at how nuanced people's problems can be. One person may have a history of knee problems, while the other has been 100 pounds overweight their whole life. Maybe one client is pregnant, and the next client is 78 years old, and just wants to move around like they used to. There is no one size fits all, and a great trainer will always be learning more to be able to answer the questions to all their clients needs so that they can better serve them.  

Understanding the Science

A personal trainer doesn’t need to be a science whiz, but they should be keeping up to date with what is going on in the fitness world. All of the greatest fitness ideas are rooted in science. By knowing the mechanisms behind why a nutrition program, or workout regimen is effective, allows you as the trainer to better serve the clients. The human body is complex, and every year we are discovering new ways to approach healing the human body. Just because something seems like a good idea today, might not be the same 10 years from now.

It also allows the trainer to be better informed about trends that come and go. I can’t tell you how often I get clients asking me about some fad diet, or workout program. I do my due diligence to read about both the trend and the science behind it, so that I can correctly inform those clients about the true efficacy. One of my biggest gripes in the fitness world (especially online) is the most dangerous people tend to be the ones that know JUST enough to think they’ve mastered the material, but not enough to realize how much they still don’t know. It’s what perpetuates the constant confusion and overwhelming conflicting data.

Individualizing a Client’s Approach

Every one of us is unique. If a trainer tries to provide the same workout program or diet, I would run in the opposite direction. A well versed trainer is familiar with all modalities, and alternatives, so that they can better dictate which program will suit the individual the best. Let’s be real, not everyone needs or should be doing box jumps and kettlebell swings.


While this isn't necessarily a must, a client who pursues additional certifications is demonstrating their awareness to want to improve their skills. A trainer with a couple certifications under their belt will almost always outperform the client who only received their basic certification to start training people. Keep this in mind; a personal training certification doesn’t mean they are an expert. It simply means they have proven to be competent enough to put you through a workout.

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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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