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What Makes a Good Personal Trainer?

A Guide to Getting Qualified and Propelling Your Career as a Personal Trainer.


According to a recent report, the Personal Training industry grew by 16.4% in 2022 making it worth £668 Million in revenue. In the UK alone, ‘personal trainer near me’ is searched for over 18,000 times every month, proving that there is a huge demand for personal trainers across the country. In other words, it’s a thriving industry!

A career as a Personal Trainer can be lucrative and highly rewarding. However, it is vital for PTs to remain competitive. You’ll need to establish yourself as a really good personal trainer if you want to stand out and achieve sustained growth.

Whether you’re thinking of becoming a personal trainer or interested in ways to enhance your offering we’re going to cover what makes a good personal trainer.

Here’s what we’ll cover: 

What is a Personal Trainer?
Why Are PTs Popular?
What Does A Career In Personal Training Look Like?
Average Personal Trainer Salary UK
What Makes A Good Personal Trainer?
Are You a Good Personal Trainer?

Before we delve into our tips on what makes a good Personal Trainer, let’s firstly take a look at what the career entails.

What makes a good personal trainer? Your guide to getting qualified and propelling your career


A personal trainer is a qualified fitness professional who provides personalised exercise guidance, motivation, and support to clients in order to help them achieve their health and fitness goals. Personal trainers typically work in gyms, health clubs, or as independent freelancers. They will have a deep understanding of exercise principles, techniques, and nutrition.

The primary role of a personal trainer is to design and implement workout programs tailored to each client’s specific needs, abilities, and objectives. By assessing their clients’ current fitness levels and what they want to achieve, they create structured plans to help clients reach goals effectively and safely.

Personal trainers guide clients through various exercises and routines. They’ll demonstrate proper form and technique to maximise results and minimise the risk of injury. They may incorporate a variety of training methods such as cardiovascular exercises, strength training, flexibility exercises, and functional movements.

In addition to designing workout programs, personal trainers often provide guidance on nutrition, lifestyle changes, and overall wellness. They may offer advice on healthy eating habits, and provide general support and motivation to help clients stay on track.

Overall, personal trainers in the UK play a vital role in helping individuals improve their physical fitness, achieve their fitness goals, and lead healthier lifestyles.

What is a personal trainer and what does it take to be a good personal trainer


A career in Personal Training can be highly satisfying and rewarding. If you enjoy supporting, and encouraging people then it can be a really fulfilling career. 

As a PT there are a few options for employment:

Working in a Gym or Fitness Centre: Gyms employ Personal Trainers to offer their customers the option of working with a PT. Clients benefit from having a personalised programme designed in line with their fitness goals. They will also demonstrate how to correctly use the gym equipment available and be on hand to offer vital support, encouragement and motivation. 

For a PT there are lots of benefits to working at a gym. As an employed member of staff you can be sure of guaranteed income and work as part of a wider team to look after your clients. Being employed by a Gym also means that they do all the customer acquisition heavy lifting (excuse the pun) for you. While you will want to continue promoting yourself as a Personal Trainer, the Gym will ultimately be responsible for bringing in a steady stream of members. It’s one less thing to worry about. You’ll also have full access to gym equipment and a place to train your clients. 

The downside is that you won’t necessarily get to dictate how much you charge for your services.

Self Employed: Self employed Personal Trainers have the ultimate freedom and flexibility. As a freelancer you can dictate the hours you work and when you provide them. You can still utilise gym facilities or provide your own space and equipment if you have the initial capital to set this up. While very rewarding, self-employed PT’s have the extra task of finding and securing clients. Until you’re well-established and getting lots of referrals from previous clients, marketing your services should be one of your primary focuses. 

Training and education for Personal Trainers at T2 Fitness. We know what it takes to be a good personal trainer


Personal trainers can expect to earn anything between £22,000 – £60,000 per year. However, this is entirely dependent on experience and skills. Arguably the biggest influence on earning potential will come down to whether you’re a good personal trainer! If you’re able to help clients achieve their goals then you’ll inevitably receive referrals which is one of the best forms of marketing. 

However, if you’re a good PT, success and security can come quite quickly. But it takes hard work and dedication! Whether you work in a gym or are self employed, you should always be striving to be the best personal trainer for your clients. It will bring success for your clients and provide you with personal and professional rewards throughout your career. 

What Makes A Good Personal Trainer?


1. A Good Personal Trainer Will Be Qualified

Personal Trainers need to be qualified! Not only can right Fitness Education make you employable and marketable, the qualifications are designed to give you essential knowledge of anatomy, training modalities, and nutrition. 

There are two essential certifications that you will need in order to qualify as a certified PT. 

The Level 2 Fitness Instructor Course gives you the foundation knowledge and skills in order to become a successful gym instructor. It’s also a great qualification to have if you work in a gym or health club. This course gives you the ability to teach classes and support clients. The Fitness Instructor Level 2 must be completed before you’re able to take the more advanced Level 3 PT qualification. 

The Level 3 Personal Trainer Course is an essential qualification for PTs. It’s required by law at many gyms and clients would expect private PTs to be certified. This course is designed to enhance your knowledge further by developing your practical and theoretical skills. At this level you’ll learn how to work with individuals from all backgrounds, and at T2 Fitness we include essential business modules to help you manage and propel your career. 

We offer both courses as online courses allowing people to get qualified as a PT while looking after other commitments. They’re really flexible, so there is no excuse! 


2. Good Personal Trainers Will Always Continue Their Professional Development

Personal Trainers who continue to top-up their knowledge outperform other PTs. Not only do clients expect a certain level of practical and theoretical knowledge, a deeper understanding of anatomy and nutrition will enable you to give exceptional advice. 

Good personal trainers understand the importance of building a wide variety of exercises into an individual’s training programme so it may be essential to take additional courses in individual specialisms. This can include Strength and Conditioning, ANKORR Instructor or Kettlebell training. These courses are known as CPD courses – or Continuing Professional Development. 

Alternatively, you might want to specialise in a particular area or exercise. Establishing yourself as a specialist, like a Spin Class Instructor, bootcamp instructor, or ViPR Instructor are great ways to enhance your career. You’ll attract clients because you have specialist knowledge and a unique understanding of the advantages and correct ways to execute the programme for maximum results. 


3. A good personal trainer will provide accountability and motivation

Many people struggle to stay consistent and motivated when it comes to exercise. Personal trainers provide accountability by scheduling sessions and tracking progress. They offer continuous motivation, support, and encouragement, pushing clients to achieve their goals even when motivation wanes.


4. A good personal trainer will take a customised approach

Personal trainers create tailored workout plans based on clients’ specific needs, goals, and fitness levels. They consider factors such as age, health conditions, and preferences to design programs that are effective and enjoyable. This individualised approach increases the likelihood of success and reduces the chance of burnout or boredom.

PTs should also have effective ways of tracking and measuring progress. Being able to present this back to the client will keep them motivated and it will allow you to refine exercises and any nutritional plans to maximise results. 


5. A good personal trainer will build efficient, effective and personalised Workouts

Personal trainers should be able to optimise workout time by focusing on exercises that yield the best results for their clients. They ensure clients engage in proper form, intensity, and progression to maximise efficiency and effectiveness. This saves time and eliminates guesswork for individuals who may not be familiar with the most efficient exercise strategies.


6. A good personal trainer will educate and empower their clients

Being able to empower your clients is a really important aspect. By giving clients the correct guidance about various aspects of fitness, exercise principles, nutrition, and lifestyle changes you’ll empower your client to make better decisions and proactive steps. 

We often see the best results with clients who are empowered through knowledge. Because they are able to make informed decisions about their health it leads to higher rates of success and, more importantly, long-term sustainable changes. Who doesn’t want a better understanding of their bodies?


7. A good personal trainer will know how to prevent injury and support rehabilitation

Personal trainers should prioritise safety at all times. To do this they need to have a thorough understanding of previous injuries or weaknesses, tailor exercise and promote strength building. 

Proper support and assessment should be carried out at all times during workouts, minimising the risk of injuries. They can also assist in rehabilitation and recovery from injuries, working closely with physiotherapists or medical professionals to develop appropriate exercise programs. If you really want to specialise in this area a good personal trainer will invest in doing a Sports Massage course, exercise referral course or a special populations course. 

Our Level 3 Sports Massage course is a great course for injury prevention and recovery. It teaches you how to treat a variety of soft tissue issues and muscular sports injuries. It’ll also help you to offer post-treatment advice for continued pain-free function. 

We also offer a Level 3 Diploma course in Exercise Referral. This is an essential qualification for those looking to effectively tailor fitness programmes to support clients living with chronic conditions or those returning from injury. By developing enhanced skills and knowledge, you’ll be able to help improve or manage their condition, which is the ultimate fulfilment for all good personal trainers. 

Our Special Population courses enable you to enhance your personal trainer knowledge to adapt and deliver fully-inclusive exercise programmes for special populations.  This will allow you to work with an increasingly diverse population from those living with on-going conditions, pregnant women and clients with lower back pain. 


8. A good Personal Trainer will adopt these characteristics

The ultimate goal of the Personal Trainer is to support and empower your clients to achieve their goals. To be instrumental in their success Personal Trainers need to be able to:


  • Show compassion: clients who don’t feel cared for will give up or go to someone else. You have to always remember that training with a PT can be a big step for some people especially if they are gym shy or body conscious. They may lack self belief, so it’ll be your job to have compassion and believe in them. 
  • Be patient: You may be eager for your client to start achieving some decent results but getting into shape is about slow and consistent progress. This will be more motivating for your client and get better long-term results. This means that you’ll need to have patience. Take time to explain things, demonstrate equipment and be supportive as they perfect their own techniques. 
  • Be punctual: Never leave your clients waiting. Being punctual shows respect and discipline. Clients will struggle to take you seriously if you don’t have discipline and good time management. 


9. Good Personal Trainers are awesome communicators

Being able to communicate effectively is a vital skill for PTs. Good interpersonal skills will help you to forge close relationships with clients, built around respect and trust. Building a good relationship will help you to quickly establish what motivates them, and uncover what their strengths and weaknesses are. You’ll be able to use this to build effective programmes for your clients while encouraging them to stay on the right path. 

Good communication also helps to keep your clients safe. Not only will you want to be able to educate them about nutrition and fitness, you should be able to effectively demonstrate how to use equipment and explain why it’s important.


10. Good Personal Trainers lead by example

If you’re in the business of promoting fitness and adopting a healthier lifestyle, you’ll definitely want to lead by example. The best trainers will live by their own advice. This means eating and sleeping well and taking regular exercise. Remember, being a personal trainer is not about looking ripped, but rather living by a set of disciplines that help you and your clients reach their full potential.


The fitness industry has a wide range of Personal Trainers. But there are Personal Trainers and there are good personal trainers and you should always strive to be the best Personal Trainer for your clients. Being the best isn’t about how big your muscles are, it’s about having a range of skills and experience and education so that you can provide support, motivation, guidance and encouragement. 

Specialising in a new area or adding more strings to your bow is a really good way of enhancing your own knowledge and distinguishing yourself from others. It will help you to attract and retain more clients as you build a successful career. 

What changes will you make to your offering or approach as a personal trainer? Feel free to share your tips about what makes a good personal trainer with us.


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