As a personal trainer, keeping and updating your current knowledge is essential to your success. As time moves on, there are always new pieces of equipment and innovative methods entering the industry, and as a personal trainer you need to keep abreast of these changes.
In this feature we highlight some of the benefits continuing your education can have on you and your clients, as well as some specific sources of training that we think are great in the industry at the moment.
Benefits of continuing your education
Education can come in many forms, accredited with official certificates or awards, or through informal training sessions. It can also come from mentorship, and reading and listening to industry specific sources.
Here are our big benefits of continuing your education as a personal trainer.
Providing better service for your clients
Ultimately, if you continue to learn new methods and techniques, this will only better your services for your clients. As long as you apply what you have learnt. We find that the things that really help with your services to clients involve training on behaviour change, communication and specific training techniques and methods to keep them engaged and motivated.
Your clients will stay motivated and want to better themselves if they are seeing you, their trainer doing the same. Clients can quickly become bored and uninspired but with new innovate methods, techniques or general up-skilling in customer service can continue to improve that relationship.
Expanding your clientele
Currently you may be turning down opportunities with potential clients because you are not trained in or specialise in a specific group of the population (by the way this is the right thing to do – if you have no experience or expertise in a specific group, it’s always best to turn down this client until you are able to provide a quality service).
This means you are potentially losing out on clients and money for your business to grow. By continuing your education you have the option to study specific elements of the industry you would like to enter and train clients from. This could be through internships, mentorships or specific qualifications from a training company.
Linked to the previous point, by training and developing new skills, you can then market these as extra strings to your bow. This can attract a wider range of clients but also provide more confident in those who are considering you. If they see that you have continued to learn and have become a specialist in a specific area, they are more likely to start to trust you, which as you will know is one of the key foundations of building a loyal client base as a personal trainer.
Furthering your career
Some personal trainers want to be trainers forever, but a lot have plans to either open a facility or move into a management position, depending on their workplace. When personal trainers do transition to these types of roles there are a lot of missing gaps, especially when it comes to things like staffing and how to manage them.
Personal trainers are predominantly self employed and rarely have experience managing staff. Further education and training can ensure your transition is as smooth as it can be, by learning from those who have been there and done it, or learning general practices on project management and staff management.
Ways to continue to learn and sharpen your skills
There are a vast range of accredited and non accredited courses personal trainers can study. Below we’ve outlined 3 of our favourites, that can be applied across a range of clients.
- Behaviour change
This is still seemed as a relatively new concept for some in the industry but it has been established in the wider sense of coaching for decades. Understand how behaviour can change is key to keeping your clients reach their goals and keep them coming back to be trained by you.
“It doesn’t matter how much technical knowledge you have from other specialisations if you can’t motivate clients and keep them consistent,” Konforti says. Understanding how clients differ from each other also helps you coach them in a way that makes exercise more enjoyable, he adds. “The happier the client is, the longer they train.
- Strength and conditioning
More and more clients are training to a specific performance centred goal. Studying a specific S&C qual will really develop your knowledge of periodization and training cycles. It will also help hone in your performance based training techniques for those wanting to train towards a performance based goal.
- Nutrition based courses
Although we do study a small amount on nutrition as personal trainers, we are not qualified to provide expertise. Nutrition, though is a huge element to training clients and has a massive impact on clients achieving their goals. By completing a nutrition based course you are able to get accredited and build on the foundations you may already have to provide better tailored advice to your clients, which should help improve their habits and results.
This is something that has been growing in recent years, and many trainers who are new to the industry are often citing how beneficial having a mentor can be. A mentor can help with your business model, your strategy and general advice on how to market and train clients.
Mentors are often those who have been there and done it, and are always on hand to help. Although this does come at a cost, those who have mentors, 99% give positive feedback and note how much they have helped their business and services grow.
Internet: Reading, watching and listening
The Internet can be the best and worst place to enrich yourself. But when you find the right sources, there’s nothing more accessible than the wide web including Youtube, blogs, podcasts and memberships.
We advise seeking information from esteemed sources like experienced professionals. Don’t get caught up in the fancy bright lights of inexperienced trainers who have put together amazing videos who tell you they can burst your inbox with leads!
You can also seek some more academic based knowledge, using places like Google Scholar if you are familiar with reading journals.