Are you responsible for personal trainer development in your role? Or looking for ways to develop your own PT abilities?


Whether you’re a fitness manager, training director, or self-employed freelancer, professional development is important. It helps people become more successful in their roles, give better service to clients, and reduces the likelihood of career boredom.


But how do you know where to start? What qualities or skills should you be developing? And how do you actually do that?


In this article – we look at valuable strengths that personal trainers should aim to develop for career success.


Why Is Professional Development Important?

Spending time on development might seem like a ‘nice to do’ rather than a priority. It’s often disregarded as an admin task – a chore that’s required for CPD points. It’s time that could be spent training clients or generating leads, so why invest it in self-development? But in reality, there are three key reasons why personal trainer development is important…


  1. Helps people become more successful in their roles – by developing their training abilities and business skills
  2. Enables PT to give better service to clients – by expanding their coaching knowledge and exercise repertoire 
  3. Reduces the likelihood of career boredom – by enabling them to grow and learn new training techniques


The fitness industry has a high turnover of staff. People join and leave it in very quick successions which can be both frustrating and time-consuming for employers. By investing in professional development for your staff, you demonstrate that you’re committed to their long-term career growth. And if you’re worried about them leaving straight after you’ve invested, then add a repayment clause to their contract. This way you can recoup some of the costs if they leave within two years.

Fitness Business Templates


How To Approach Personal Trainer Development

An important part of personal trainer development is setting professional goals. If you’re a PT manager, then you’ll usually have a template document to use when conducting staff reviews. But if you work for yourself, then you can create your own personal training goal sheet that outlines your development objectives. It’s a good idea to address at least two areas…


  • Strengths – build on what you or your team member is good at.
  • Improvement areas – develop areas of weakness or opportunity.


This will ensure a balanced approach to development so that you continually grow into a better PT. It will also help you to increase your salary on a consistent basis and develop your career long-term. In this article, we’ll focus on how to identify and build on your strengths…


Personal Trainer Strengths

Here are some valuable strengths that personal trainers should look to grow and cultivate into superpowers…


Empathising with clients

This is all about relating to clients. Do you understand their challenges and fears? Maybe you’ve been where they are now and completed a similar fitness journey. Perhaps you used to be unhealthy, overweight, or unable to run for more than 2 minutes. Clients like this because you truly understand how they feel and can relate to their concerns. Even if you haven’t been through the same thing, putting yourself in their shoes can help you to deliver a more personal service.


⇒ Leverage this strength by…

Telling clients about your experiences if they’re similar. Write down your journey so that your story flows easily and you can communicate it clearly to potential clients. This can help you win more clients as they’ll see you as someone who really relates to them.


  • What was your starting point?  Describe the problem.
  • What made you take action? Describe the trigger for change.
  • What did you do?  What, where, how, how long.
  • What was the outcome?  Describe the results and how you felt afterward.


People skills

Are you able to put others at ease and build relationships quickly? It’s no easy thing but some PTs are great at making people feel comfortable. Even in a potentially foreign or daunting setting like the gym. Strong people skills are an essential element of personal trainer development so make sure you use it to your advantage.


⇒ Leverage this strength by…

Taking every opportunity to interact with people. This will help you grow your network and put those relationship-building skills to good use.  Search Google or to find networking events in your area. Then join one where your potential clients are likely to be – whether that’s working mothers, rock climbers, or yogis. Choose a group that’s aligned with your target audience and put those people skills to good use.


Motivating people

Are you able to get people to take action? Do you inspire them to achieve their goals? If you know how to get the best out of clients then you’re much more likely to get them results. Making them believe that they can achieve their aspirations is a unique strength so never underestimate its power.


⇒ Leverage this strength by…

Using it in your initial meeting. Don’t wait for the first training sessions – demonstrate your motivational skills before they even sign up. As people are making a buying decision, they will naturally have doubts about whether they’ll get results. But if you motivate them from the outset, then they’ll believe that you can help (which makes them much more likely to buy). Don’t forget to share their success stories as testimonials too.


Experience training niche groups

Do you have experience of training specific groups of people? Maybe you’ve worked with sporting athletes, older adults, or postnatal mothers. If so, you’ll have gained specialist knowledge that other trainers don’t have. This is a valuable aspect of personal trainer development so be sure to put it to good use…


⇒ Leverage this strength by…

Asking for testimonials from your previous clients and then targeting similar types of people. Upload their success stories to your personal trainer website and reference them during conversations with prospects. You can use the same bullet point content for this as the ones from the empathy section.


  • What was your starting point?  Describe the problem.
  • What made you take action? Describe the trigger for change.
  • What did you do?  What, where, how, how long.
  • What was the outcome?  Describe the results and how you felt afterward.


Specialist training skills

Are you a specialist in certain types of training? Maybe you focus on HIIT, boxing, or strength and conditioning. Perhaps you like training clients using plyometrics or circuits. If you’ve developed a specialism, then this is something that you can use to differentiate yourself. Standing out in a crowded fitness industry can be tough but this is a great way to do it.


⇒ Leverage this strength by…

Making a list of the ways that your training skill can benefit different types of client. A working mum may not immediately think that circuits are for her, but the time-saving element and variety which alleviates boredom could well be appealing. Focus on the benefits rather than the features so that people understand exactly how you can help them. Using this format can often be helpful…


‘The benefits of (insert specialist training) to (insert client type) are (insert two benefits).’


Implementing Personal Trainer Development Programs

Taking a proactive approach to personal trainer development is essential for your career. Whether it’s for yourself or your team, it’ll boost success, client satisfaction, and moral. If you’re a personal trainer mentor or career coach, then encouraging others to play to their strengths is an easy way to help them.


Start by identifying what you’re good at, then how you can leverage it for greater success. If you build on your natural abilities, you’ll find it much easier to develop and grow your PT superpowers.


Time-Saving PT Business Templates

Our ready-made templates make it quicker, cheaper, and easier to promote your fitness business. They can improve the effectiveness of your sales and marketing campaigns. If you aren’t an experienced marketer, then templates also provide a useful guide for you to follow.


Whether you’re a newly qualified PT or seasoned industry pro, these templates will save you time and effort. They’ll help you to plan and organize your promotional activities so that you generate more revenue. You’ll get 40+ templates covering sales, marketing, and business start-up resources.

Fitness Business Templates


Personal Trainer Strengths Professional Development