Lessons I Learned as a Personal Trainer

Tips and tricks you can use to improve your health and fitness everyday

When I decided to become a certified personal trainer, I did it not only because I wanted to expand my own knowledge of health and fitness, but more so because I wanted a career that would allow me to help others learn how to lead healthier lives.

I studied text books, I took classes and I worked one-on-one with my own trainer to learn about everything from human anatomy to proper exercise form and sports nutrition to coaching techniques.

There was (and still is) so much for me to learn, and while the books taught me the basics, I found that the most important lessons (the ones we can all use in everyday life) were learned after I passed my test and finally began working with clients.

After a few years on the gym floor, I decided I wanted to spread my knowledge of health and fitness even further through another interest of mine—writing.

It’s been a while since I’ve worked with clients of my own, but just like all of the exercise terms I memorized when I was studying for my certification test, during the time I spent as a trainer, a few important lessons about health and fitness were embedded in my brain.

Interestingly enough, as I continue to read and write about health and fitness, the same themes seem to reappear constantly. And the best part about it all is that you can use them to improve your own health and fitness every day.

These are the most important lessons I learned while working in the gym.

The "best" workout is different for everyone.

Sometimes I feel like a broken record when I talk about this concept. But it’s important and often unrealized, so I try to emphasize it as often as possible. It basically comes down to two simple facts: everyone is different and everyone’s goals are different. It’s the reason why exercise “quick fixes” or one-size-fits-all programs are completely ineffective. Think of it this way: say for example I have two clients. One tells me her goal is to finish a 5K and the other wants to lose 10 pounds. Simply put, the best workouts for the 5K-er won’t be the same as the best workouts for the weight loss candidate. But the same would even apply to two clients who did have the same goal. Why? Because each are unique individuals with varying traits, like base fitness levels and body types.  

Goal setting is essential.

Part of being a personal trainer includes finding out what a client’s goals are; it’s one of the most important parts of the job. That’s because setting goals, both short- and long-term, creates something tangible that you can work towards and also allows you to develop an organized plan that will help you get there successfully. Instead of wandering around the gym aimlessly you have direction and focus. Plus, share your goals with friends and family and a little bit of friendly peer pressure might help to hold you accountable, making it more likely that you’ll follow through. .

Click here to see more things I learned as a personal trainer.