100 Rules

By: Jonathan FitPro
In this article, I am going to go over the 100 rules of being a successful personal trainer. Newbie personal trainers I think you’ll find this helpful, experienced personal trainers I think you’ll agree. I'm sure there are some things I left out. If you have some suggestions, add the in them comments section below. If it makes sense, I'll add it to the list.
So let’s get started.
1) Be a fitness professional because you love fitness, not because you think it is easy money;
2) Always be on time;
3) Never show up to work hungover;
4) Always confirm an appointment the night before;
5) Always have more energy than your client;
6) Always leave your personal problems at home;
7) Unless you discuss a possible emergency with your client before the training session starts, never ever answer your phone mid session;
8) Ignore all distractions while training your client, including and especially your friends;
9) If your client is standing, you should never be sitting;
10) Occasionally people are late, so if your client is late once in a while acknowledge it, but forgive them, because eventually you’re going to be late one day
11) You preach fitness, practice what you preach;
12) Clients have a skewed view about fitness, they think they need to be perfect 100% of the time, if you’re the type of person that has a cheat meal every once so often, let your client know about it, let them know how you recover, how you get back on track, so that they can do the same thing and not feel discouraged when they slip up;
13) Do follow up measurements to keep your clients informed and motivated;
14) Never allow a client to disrespect you;
15) If you’re relatively new to personal training, and working in the gym, keep your clients on the machines until you feel comfortable with instruction, afterwards you can take them out into an open area for more complex exercises, safety over fancy;
16) If your client is emotionally uncomfortable with an exercise or a specific environment, move them away from it, or discontinue the exercise. They have a personal reason for it, don’t argue;
17) Systemize everything, successful businesses run off of plans and programs, not chaos and aimlessness;
18) Spend at least as much time correcting nutritional habits as you do correct form. Use MyFitnessPal to monitor your clients.
19) Be always positive;
20) Don't use your position to inappropriately touch, look at, or talk to a gym patron;
21) Try to educate yourself continually;
22) In the personal training industry, you only get paid when you train. So always save money to the side, because when you need a vacation you’ll have money to live off of;
23) Take advantage of the tax benefits for self employed personal trainers, such as: purchasing equipment, exercise apparel and sneakers;
24) Be so verbally thorough and descriptive in explaining your exercises that even a blind person can grasp the concept of what you expect them to do;
25) Stay away from complicated trainer jargon. Clients don’t study it, clients don’t understand it, it’s not going to help them;
26) Don't push supplements onto your clients if you don't believe in them.
27) Stay within the scope of your knowledge;
28) Keep exercise logs. Clients like to see that they are progressing;
29) Take fitness beyond the gym, into 5K’s, mud runs; and sports outings
30) Never make promises that you can’t keep;
31) Never show desperation for a sale;
32) Speak slowly when going over contract terms with your client;
33) If you know that your gym has slightly underhanded ways of selling personal training, always let your client know exactly what to ask for and exactly what they’re getting, because if they’re unhappy with their contract, you’re going to be the one stuck with an unhappy client;
34) Always assume the sale;
35) Box Gym Trainers: Get cool with the sale staff, front desk staff, and group fitness trainers they are going to be the ones that can feed you clients when you can’t get them on your own;
36) Although I suggest that you give people your time, don’t give all of your time away for free;
37) No trainer is too good to clean up weights to make sure the gym is clean on their down time;
38) Rejection happens a lot in personal training. Don’t let it get to you, and don’t let it deter your from your next sale;
39) Learn to talk to anyone, read Dale Carnegie's "How to win friends and influence people"
40) Be open to helping somebody with improper form, even if you don’t think that they want to sign up for personal training. They may surprise you and sign up;
41) Remember when approaching somebody that you don’t know to help them with their form, don’t say “You’re doing that wrong.” Always start off with “Can I offer you some advice.”;
42) Be willing to lend a helping hand to the gym, even if it’s for free
43) Never make a paying client wait because you’re trying to close a sale on a possible new client;
44) Personality matters, always let your personality shine through in your training;
45) A genuine compliment goes a very long way;
46) Make a plan for your client. Clients like to know that they’re not just doing random workouts, and they’re actually working toward a specific goal;
47) Don't punish poor eating habits with hard workouts, instead take the time to educate your client on how they can make better decisions
48) If your client refuses to adhere to the demands of your training regiment, don’t be afraid to suspend them for a while, perhaps a week so that they know that you mean business;
49) Presentation is everything, make sure your workout space is in order;
50) You should make every effort possible to look the part of the personal trainer;


51) If you’re going to be working out with your client, do it on your time not on their time;
52) Your fitness director’s job is harder than it looks, cut them some slack if they’re a little bit crabby;
53) Always ask for referrals;
54) Make yourself easy to find with social media and business cards ( but keep your social media connection 100% professional);
55) If you want to improve your ability to sell personal training, listen to Zig Ziglar's "5 Steps to successful selling"
56) Don’t be afraid to give a free session to your clients once in a while;
57) Always ask your clients for feedback;
58) Be available early in the morning;
59) Be opened to teaching some group exercise classes to get some notoriety in the gym;
60) Learn to do mitt work and box;
61) Remember the beginning of your career is always going to be the hardest;
62) Make your clients journal their food;
63) Don’t mix business with pleasure;
64) Do your best to cater your training environment to your clients’ likes;

65) Never go up to another personal trainer while he’s training his client and criticize the way that he’s training. If his client is in a lot of danger, pull him to the side and then tell him. If it can wait till and after the session, but if you criticize him in front of his or her client they will hate you for life, I promise you that;
66) Have a specialty in your training but be familiar with a broad span of training methods;
67) Have an alternate plan in case somebody’s using a machine that you planned on using;
68) Remember the Jillian Michaels routine does not work for many people, and not a lot of clients respond favorably to it. If that’s not your style don’t try to fake it;
69) Encourage your clients’ to get periodic blood work so they can check their risk for metabolic disease;
70) When in doubt the simpler exercise is usually your safer better option;
71) Get and maintain a nationally accredited personal training certification;
72) Remember, encouragement and enthusiasm are as important as instruction;
73) Never ever train a client without having them sign a waiver first;
74) Personal training insurance is too cheap to not have;
75) Make friends with physical therapists, they have a lot of qualified leads for you coming off of their therapy;
76) Gym trainers, if you spend more time on the floor working yourself out than making money and getting clients, you need to work on your priorities;
77) Always make sure to schedule in time for your own personal workout;
78) When discussing goals, always use the word "we" (ex. we have to clean up our eating, we have to be more discipline) ;
79) Build community among your clients, it may not be a bad idea in case you need to put two clients together and train two for one;
80) Hold fat loss contests;
81) Very important. Get a Google Voice Number, because especially if you work inside of a gym they tend to give your personal mobile number away, clients will call you at all hours of the night. So, if you have a Google Voice Number the calls can still go to your phone but you’ll be able to screen when and where you want to get your client calls;
82) Let your clients in on your goals. They can benefit from seeing how you approach a challenge for yourself;
83) Take advice from other trainers;
84) Take time to tell your clients that you appreciate them;
85) Be always honest with your clients, if you noticed a change either good or bad, let them know;
86) Learn to be organized, listen to "The 7 habits of Highly effective people" By Stephen Covey;
87) To excel in your craft don't just read books on training, read books on sales, business management and dealing with people;
88) If you’re selling a package to a client that you know you can’t train, hand them off to another trainer, it’ll come back to you;
89) Remember, they’re clients not test dummies;
90) Never walk away from client (unless you got to fart);
91) Be a trainer, not a therapist;
92) Every client should feel that you’re their top priority;
93) Never book your sessions in so tightly that you have to rush clients in and out of session. You don’t want to feel the way that you would feel if you were sitting in a doctor’s office;
94) If you’re going to blatantly plagiarize another trainer’s workout, at least give them the credit;
95) Whenever issuing criticism, always use the sandwich method, remember: compliment first, then criticism, then compliment;
96) Never smoke out a new client when they’re just starting, it’s going to discourage them;
97) Never assume that based on the kind of jewelry that a client wears, or the kind of car that they drive that a person can or cannot afford personal training;
98) It’s not the most glamorous, it’s not the most lucrative, but starting in a big box gym may give you your best experiences, in terms of the business end, as well as the training end into your personal training career;
99) Learn how to leverage your time and make more money, offer semi -private and small group training:
100) Always take time to help trainers that have less experience than you.

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I am certified by NASM, ACE, NSCA, and Crossfit Level 1and love to share informationI have been a fitness professional for over 10 yearsI have run my own boot camp business for the last 4 years that has generated $100k/year of revenue. The key to my success has been my ability to develop and implement a training system that has delivered great results without all the effort that trainers typically have to put into creating varied workouts consistently. Did I mention that I only teach three, one hour classes a day? Google search BFF Boot Camp for Proof.With my courses my goal is to teach YOU how to see the same success.