3 Key Qualities of a Professional Personal Trainer - And Why They Matter

Rob Rodriguez 0

A client invests a great deal into you as a professional personal trainer. They invest their time, energy, well-being, hopes and emotions into your service. The key to delivering a suitable return on that investment is professionalism.

Professionalism is the competence or skill expected of a professional. And a professional undertakes an activity with effectiveness, organisation, application and skill. So professionalism is both the achievement of a result and the way you achieve it. This achievement is the key to being successful in the business side of your personal training.

In this post I'm focussing on the first three elements. I'm leaving out the 'skill' part which I feel that needs its own dedicated post.


Effectiveness is the ability to get results. But, the good personal trainers I know want more than just to accomplish a result for a client. They want to do so quickly and economically. Efficiently. And the bedrock of achieving results in this way is education. Science-based information and industry-led best practises are at the heart of being an effective personal trainer. Hand in hand with education is your experience.

Professional personal trainers are usually attending courses, reading text books or joining online forums with other fitness professionals to discuss technical debates about training.

And they apply what they learn. It's very easy to come away from a course full of new knowledge, but after a few days back at work the impetus to make changes to their service is lost. Don't forget to apply what you learn.


I've often said that no one gets into personal training for the admin. But a professional personal trainer needs to be organised. Outside of having a PT session with you, your level of organisation is a key way others can judge if you are a professional or not. From your voicemail message, to your PARQ form, to your marketing messages, you're giving out signals.

Organisation means taking united action, often through following systems. For a fitness professional this can mean having a training philosophy or programming system, taking notes after a client session, a results review system, a marketing system or a sales system.

By running your day on systems - like a company does - you'll make your working day more productive. That's important for someone who usually charges for their time. Put in underlying systems like a client database, a to-do list, a calls list, or a sales funnel. Systems to help the way you fill your working day.

The result of being organised is that you get a better response from your clients, your gym, your business contacts, your leads. You don't waste anyone's time (including your own). You call back sales enquiries, you follow up emails.

One key element of being organised is timeliness. Punctuality in a session (starting and ending on time) is an obvious example. But also being aware of time; answering client questions, or sales email enquires in a timely manner. It shows you actually care that someone has come to you with a question. And you're also more in control of your time.


This means a focus on serving the client with thought, concentration and seriousness of manner. That doesn't mean with no sense of humour. But, if you take your work seriously, clients will pick up on it and probably take you more seriously too. Bring to bear your education and experience with every client. Apply yourself to each client case with intelligence and focus.

Follow these tips and you'll deliver your end of the client working relationship. And be worth your clients' investment in you.

Tags: Advice

The Author

Rob Rodriguez