According to statistics, the employment of fitness professionals is set to increase by 27% over the next few years.
The reason for such phenomenal growth of the fitness profession isn’t hard to grasp. Spurred on by health statistics and regular news on the dangers of leading a sedentary lifestyle, the UK population is getting into shape. Not only have we seen a surge in gym memberships but millions are using personal trainers to help them in their quest for fitness.
So with so many personal trainers available to our nation’s growing demand for shrinking size, what makes a great personal trainer stand out from the crowd?
We take a look…
Anyone can claim to be a personal trainer. But experts say that the best way to judge the skills of a personal trainer, is in the type and amount of education they have under their streamlined belts.
Ideally, a successful personal trainer should have either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in exercise physiology, physical education, health and wellness, sports medicine, or anatomy. A degree like this verifies that the trainer possesses an in-depth knowledge about both exercise and the mechanics of the body, as well as the requisite training to provide safe and reliable instruction.
Many, if not most, personal trainers claim to be professionally certified. Sadly, it’s not always the case. In today’s society, potential clients are not afraid to do their homework to ensure that their prospective personal trainer is professionally qualified to work with them.
They’ll ask about the types of requirements you had to fulfil in order to become certified. The best certifying organisations require that personal trainers pass both a written and a practical exam. And the organisation will have a solid reputation for producing qualified fitness professionals.
The amount of experience that a personal trainer has is a good indication of quality.
A key factor is the ability to admit when there are gaps in knowledge – claiming to have nutritional expertise when in fact a trainer has neither the experience or the training to support such a claim might prove to be dangerous to the client.
Indeed, the mark of excellence is understanding limitations and directing the client to an appropriate source who does possess the expertise.
Excellent Observational Skills
A personal trainer should watch their clients every movement during the session, correcting their form or performance whenever necessary. They should also watch for subtle signs of dehydration and overexertion and take appropriate action. A great personal trainer should also evaluate the state of a clients’ health before the start of each session – by asking questions about sleep, emotional state, nutritional intake – and periodically monitoring the client throughout the training schedule. This will allow you to measure fitness progress and to notice any changes that could signify a potential health issue and avoid injuries or over-training.
Great Communication Skills
A quality personal trainer should be able to clearly communicate the exercise process. There should also be a mutual communication process between client and trainer, and goals should be revisited on a periodic basis.
The client must feel comfortable disclosing any physiological or psychological issues that might impact performance, including new medications. The goals of the client, provided that they are realistic, should be paramount.
Truly effective motivators use positive reinforcement, from focusing the client on their ideal image, injections of humour, challenges or other methods tailored to the psyche of the particular client. They encourage you to perform better than you believe that you can, and they share your delight when you do indeed do that exercise or last repetition that you were convinced was impossible. In short, they challenge you, by a variety of techniques, to achieve you optimal fitness goals.
A quality personal trainer often has ties to the medical community. As noted earlier, the trainer should recognise when a certain matter is outside of his or her expertise and refer the client to the proper medical professional. Personal trainers who ignore this point can seriously injure a client.
If you think you have what it takes to become a leading personal trainer, speak to our team about maximising your fitness career with our range of professional fitness courses.