The Blog

4 Fundamentals I Have Learned as a Personal Trainer

I learn something new. Every. Single. Day. And that is not an exaggeration. Every person I train, every session I give, every conversation I have, it becomes part of my library of information and part of the process of forming my own fundamentals of fitness (and owning a business). I could go on and on and on… and on with this topic but I kept it to a “short” 4 things I want to share that I have learned as a Personal Trainer.


  1. Sometimes simple is better.


And by simple, I am not saying that makes it easy. I just mean there is a time and place to give clients complex movements.

It can be very frustrating to struggle with a movement and not get it right (and have a trainer try to correct it for 5 minutes). Sometimes instead of making it complicated, pull from the dozens and dozens of movements that are “easier” to do in terms of technique and still get the same desired result.

I see how this can happen often in group classes. Lots of challenging movements and complex ones will be thrown into the workout. For those who have done them before, minimal instruction is needed but for those who have not done them before, or are still learning them, there are other ways to get the same desired result without leaving someone frustrated attempting something.


I completely appreciate the art of programming for a group of people and wanting it to be scalable for different levels.  So, yes absolutely, throw in those complex crazy movements but also they should be easily modified for those who need more time to learn them.  There is no need for someone new to fitness for instance or someone who is less coordinated to struggle for 45 seconds trying to do 1 rep correctly, instead of doing a different movement proficiently and for many repetitions.


My personal philosophy is to dumb down movements almost until a client is proficient and THEN progress it to make it harder. Spend time on newer movements as skill work when they require more to master as opposed to throwing them right into a workout.


  1. Create good habits early on.


I have a client I have been training for a few months. When we started, she told me that she wants to start training twice a week now while her work load is lighter so that when it gets into her busy season, it is part of her routine. She wants to give herself assurance that she will stick with her health and fitness. (Side note, I love clients like this!)


On the other end of the spectrum, I have had clients albeit briefly, who cancel frequently from the get go and they do not last. They have not given enough time to not only create that connection with me, but they trained so infrequently that the workouts never progressed. They did not get to experience that euphoric feeling of getting stronger or noticing other changes that would keep them thriving.

Another example of a good habit is that for a lot of my clients, as we train from parks, they are
always picking up equipment from the ground as opposed to shelves or racks. I work with them to treat everything they pick up like it is 100 pounds.

For one, someone can most definitely get injured by picking up light weight. So for two, if someone does not know how to properly deadlift a dumbbell from the ground or clean to shoulder height to set for a press with light weight, as examples, they will not be able to with heavier weight. Injuries can happen and plateaus can happen. You have to be able to handle the weight when it is lighter to progress.

  1. Personal Training Is So Much More than the hour session itself.


For the majority of my clients, I am in constant contact with them in between sessions. I want to check in and see how they are feeling after a workout. They also keep me updated quite often to tell me about other workouts they did, gains they are feeling, how they are feeling in general, questions on their goals and even confessions.


Personal Training is so much more than the time spent together. It is a relationship! I want to be able to support, encourage and inspire all the time. I want them to reach out and tell me something hurts or is sore so I can suggest stretches to do to correct. I want them to feel comfortable talking to me about how programming is aligning with their goals. I want them to view me as a source of knowledge (or at least able to direct them to the right place).  I want them to know they have access to me outside of our scheduled time together.


  1. My value as Personal Trainer is me.


This is something that has been a game changing business learning for me, and I also think it really is applicable to a lot in life.


We get so caught up with technology and frills and conveniences, we sometimes lose sight of what is really important. I have always been someone who values the service I am getting from someone whether it is a trainer, a hair stylist, an esthetician, a painter, you name it. It is not always about the latest and greatest technology or the fancy cucumber infused water served up. I mean, yes , those things are lovely, but it should be to enhance an already stellar service.


If I had a bad massage for example, no amount of a floral foot soak beforehand or delicious fruit and tea is going to make the experience of the main show, the massage, any better.


As a Personal Trainer, yes, it is great to have equipment and to have space to train. But no matter where I train someone or what equipment we use, my service and the experience is equal. It really is about that connection with me as a trainer and delivering results that is my value. The other stuff, it is part of it and a means. But a kettlebell on its own or not being used correctly, well that would not be a good experience for a client.


The value is in myself, my knowledge, and the services that I bring.


And that my friends, is how I am going to end this post. Powerful stuff, eh?




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