Personal Trainer Professionalism



Most trainers have the basics covered. The certification test has been passed with room to spare. The social media pages stay active to get the word out. Maybe business cards find their way into the hands of prospective clients. A business plan sits drafted in a Word doc. That’s important groundwork.

But something can still be missing. Look no further than the latest airline gaffes to find out what that something is. Agree or not with the airlines’ decisions and protocol, it wasn’t a good look when word (video) got out.

Did it make you eager to purchase your next ticket from these companies? Perhaps yes…if you have a gazillion frequent flyer miles accumulated. But it’s doubtful those airlines have won much new loyalty in the immediate aftermath.

Extreme example, sure. But it takes much less of a debacle for personal trainers to lose good word-of-mouth and to ultimately have that certain something missing.

I’m talking about professionalism.

I’ve heard fitness instructors grumble and verbally run down the gym during class. At another location, no one even looks up when people enter the gym.

But when an acquaintance recently told me of the colorful language endured by staff fielding customer service calls at her personal-trainer-focused job, and that she wished for someone to address the issue, I felt compelled to write about it.

The good news is we can take another route and perhaps get more business by offering top-notch service. We can choose to focus on professionalism in two simple steps.

Relentlessly Pursue Knowledge

The point of becoming certified is to learn about fitness, health, and wellness. It’s something tangible to show clients. It proves knowledge. It also lets people know you are committed to personal training. It marks you as a professional.

But the certification itself isn’t the end of education. You certainly have enough to get business up and running. You have the know-how to craft effective workout plans and keep your clientele from injury. But there are still things to learn. Enter CECs.

NFPT has made it relatively easy to earn those continuing education credits. You can choose from free or paid courses. You can also participate in learning activities for credit. Check out NFPT’s page on CEC’s for all the ways you can earn credit for learning and indulging your passion for fitness.

Keep a Good Attitude

The right attitude goes a long way. And it’s not just important when dealing with clients. A good attitude should be used when dealing with anything that has to do with business. That could mean dealing with clients, the people who design your website, employees, and the professional organizations you affiliate yourself with.

You never know when you’re around a potential client or someone that can help you reach your goals.

Standing out from the pack can be that simple!

What are some examples of good customer service and professionalism you’ve recently experienced in the fitness world? How do you stand out from the pack?

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Tanisha Rule has a BA in English and is a former Mad Dogg-certified Spinning instructor. She taught indoor cycle and boot camp and has now combined her passions as a full-time writer for the health and fitness industries, check out her site at If she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found happily training for an endurance event, likely after having said, “This is my last one for a while,” because there is no finish line; there is only progress.