Do you think you have what it takes to achieve success as a personal trainer? Lots of people seem to believe they fit the bill, given the rise in numbers of personal trainers and fitness pros. But there is a lot more to being a personal trainer than you might think. You might have the body for it, sure – but do you have the personality?

When you look at successful personal trainers, they all share some common characteristics. But what are they and why are they important? And if you want to become a personal trainer, can you start to develop those traits? Read on to find out more as we explore the common characteristics of a successful personal trainer.

An understanding of people

Psychology and understanding people is critical to your chances of success as a personal trainer. You need to know what drives people on and motivates them – and appreciate that everyone is different. You will have to learn how you can inspire some people, but have to challenge and push others to achieve more. But, you also have to be completely empathetic with your clients, too. It’s a lot of skills to get your head around – but all are nothing short of essential.

If you are not a master of psychology, that’s ok. Many of the top personal training certifications have coursework dedicated towards client motivation.

A friendly personality

People have to be able to warm to you if you want success. Sure, you might have to drive clients on during the sessions – which may involve a lot of shouting. But, ultimately, you are working closely with people on very personal issues. Don’t forget, you are there to make a difference. If they don’t like you, they will hold back – and, eventually, move on.

Excellent communication

You will also need to the ability to explain complicated information in layperson’s terms. When it comes to personal fitness, not everyone is a biological expert, and your job is to simplify all the info they need. Excellent communication will help you deliver far better results and happier, more knowledgeable clients.


Of course, being a great communicator is one thing – but being too communicative is another entirely. Discretion is essential if you want success in the personal training world. You will be working with clients who may feel embarrassed about their conditions. There could be incidents where a customer gets a little too attached to you, too. It is absolutely critical that you remain professional at all times, and keep your client’s problems a private matter.

A passion for learning

If you want to achieve success, you always have to be on the lookout for ways of improving your business. Always be asking where the next fitness course is, or how you can develop your niche. It’s a highly competitive market out there, and there is no time to stand still.  

Ability to work at all hours

Unless you are working for a medical centre or gym, you are likely to be working unusual hours. Is this a problem for you? If so, it’s something you will have to get over. The simple truth is most people are only available on evenings and weekends – and your job is to go where the work is.



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