To make a real difference in the world and love what you do, you have to have a healthy relationship with yourself and the competitive business you’re in. Here are six traits that people look for in a great trainer – and tips on how to achieve them if you feel like you don't meet the criteria.
1. Show your passion
As a fitness professional you are passionate about being fit and living a healthy lifestyle and helping others. You should show this whenever and wherever possible. Not just with those #abs photos in your Instagram feed, but in the way you communicate with people, how you operate your business, how you contribute to the world in various ways, in other words: how you live, sleep, breathe and eat – literally and figuratively.
2. Get the basics right but don’t stop there
As an EREPS member, you have shown that you are worthy of the title EREPS professional you’re your diploma of a fitness training of good quality. But a truly great fitness professional will never stop learning. The fitness industry is an ever-changing world, and as demands of costumers change, we need to change too - both professionally and personally. An aerobics teacher from the 80’s would be lousy at his job in 2019, with its wearables, online assistance, apps and modern training equipment.
3. Be open to the world
At EREPS we emphasize the importance of Lifelong Learning, which is not just about attending courses, visiting industry events or taking e-classes, and not even about reading books, blogs and articles. It’s also about the practices you carry out daily in order to continue to increase your knowledge. This means asking for help when something is not understood, observing and talking to more experienced employees at the gym, personally trying out new ways of doing things, to name a few.
4. Invest in yourself, in different ways
As you are the person people rely on to become a better version of themselves, we encourage you to also embrace a culture of “investing in yourself”. To check out the courses, trainings and online articles, but to also think beyond those options. To expose yourself to new things daily. Have different hobbies outside of fitness and exercise. Don’t push yourself beyond limits you’d never set for your clients or the people in your exercise classes. Stay in shape mentally too.
As you continue your career, you’ll find that you are most likely drawn to work with a certain group of people. Female young adults perhaps, or seniors. Perhaps you feel like aqua fitness is something you could do all day. Consider following a specialty course, this way you have more to offer to your clients. If you’re self-employed, this will allow you to charge a bit more for your services as well.
6. Practise your communication
This may sound like a weird point as we talk to people daily: colleagues, friends, our significant other, family members. But how often do you think about the way you communicate and how it comes across? Having good communication skills in the fitness field is all about being able to convey information to people clearly and simply, in a way that means things are understood and that your audience knows what to do. It’s also about being able to ‘read’ your audience. Practise and try out.
Be an empathetic person when you communicate. Empathy means you are able to imagine to be in the other person’s shoes. It will help you to understands what she/he needs from you as a professional. As a fitness trainer you must be able to understand the limitations of the person/persons you are working with – whilst also understanding and keeping in mind the goal they are trying to achieve.
Don't forget - you are already doing a great job, making the world a happier and healthier place!