Being a PT is a great career choice and a fantastic way to work with people, using your knowledge to help individuals become healthier, fitter, stronger and happier.
Whether you’re starting out or have years of experience, there are some common mistakes a PT can easily make. Because we don’t want you to make those mistakes, we’ve compiled a list of common errors and have come up with some tips for avoiding them. We’ve got your back.
Being late - Someone has paid for your time, so it’s a good idea to be there when you say you will be. If you know you’re going to be late, let your client know. If you’ve over-stretched yourself, then you need to speak to your clients and make some changes. To help plan your day, get a good diary, schedule all your clients in, set an alarm and reminders on your phone, and get to sessions early.
Checking your phone - Is your Instagram post going to get that many more likes over the course of an hour? Of course not. Will that WhatsApp message wait? It certainly will. Put your phone away unless you’re using it as a timer or to keep a record of a session. Your client wants your full attention and their form will definitely need it.
Rubbish record keeping - Maintaining client records is crucial to the success of their training. Log their workouts, the weight lifted, reps and sets. This will help you to monitor improvements and any areas that need more work. Records can also be used to help motivate a client. If the numbers are improving, you can show a client how well they’re doing. You can keep track by using OneDrive, GoogleDocs or Excel. Spend time updating them after each session.
One size fits all session plans - Every client has different needs. What works for one won’t necessarily work for another. Of course, there are a variety of movements and methods you would expect to use across multiple clients, but the same sessions for every client isn’t going to cut it.
Some clients might be looking for specific and targeted improvements, others might be looking at weight loss or general fitness. Talk to your clients, find out their needs, their medical background, their training background and write a tailored programme specific to them.
Related Content: Find out about our Business Skills course
Not using your free time effectively - Whether you’re starting out or have been in the business for a while, you’ll likely have periods of down time. Sitting back and popping out a few Instagram posts or emails isn’t enough. Your quiet time is the perfect opportunity to be building and expanding your brand, as well as developing your business skills. Some skills that you could be working on include:
Creating and editing video - We live in a world where video is rapidly becoming the number one way to digest information. Don’t miss out on this key tool.
Blogging and copywriting- Building a brand and a personality can be started with a simple blog. You don’t need to go into too much detail at first, but you do need to have a basic grasp of writing for your audience. Read, research, check out what the competition are doing and search free tutorials on the internet.
Social Media - Check out our article 5 steps for becoming a Social Media star for more detailed information on utilising social media to grow your business.
Yourself - Having a PT course under your belt isn’t enough. You should always be learning: new methods, new techniques, new classes, new ways of delivering programmes. You should be spending as much time as possible studying and researching.
Not putting in the required effort - A lot of personal trainers enter the industry with all the enthusiasm in the world, only for it to drop off a cliff after a few months when they realise how much effort is required to be successful. Being a PT is tough; it’s a competitive market and requires a lot of work and hard graft to stay ahead of the competition.
To stand the best chance of being a success you’ll have to make sacrifices. Ask yourself - is it necessary to go on another night out when you could be using that time to study, blog and use social media to speak to your community? Are you prepared to get up at 4am to make it to a 6am session with a new client? Are you going to take that new group class in the middle of nowhere to raise interest and awareness in you? You might upset friends and family when you say no to a social, but these sacrifices and your hard work can make an enormous difference to your business.
Work harder than the rest, work hard on yourself, build your brand, pay attention to your clients and in time you could be presiding over a successful business.
How to become a personal trainer
How to market myself as a Personal Trainer
6 things you should know about fitness qualifications