A fitness career can be very rewarding (and often comes with great perks like a free gym membership), but there's much more to becoming a successful trainer than most people know. To help you decide if you should get certified, we asked top experts what they wish they'd known as a budding trainer or group fitness instructor.
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You Must Be a Master Motivator
You may love a good sweat session, but (surprise!) there are a lot of people who don’t—which is why inspiration is a huge part of a trainer's or instructor's role. “You may be knowledgeable, skilled, and/or physically fit, but can you get into the lives of other people and challenge them consistently enough to be the best version of themselves?” Bell asks. Getting your client to finish those last few reps of a tough exercise, or simply motivating your students just to come back to the gym is no easy feat. Not everyone responds well to a drill sergeant training style, while others hate to be coddled, so finding a balance of motivational skills that are unique to you, your message, and your clients is going to be vital to your success in this field.
"It takes months, if not years to acquire the skills necessary to be a top trainer. Help yourself first by being fit, healthy, and presentable in a professional way, and then cultivate that message into a deliverable set of skills or a training system that you can replicate over and over again," Bell says. "This creates exclusiveness by truly being unique and also builds in sustainability to the business because you're just doing what you love and it becomes totally natural for you."