“The fitness industry has witnessed a massive growth in recent years, especially after the Covid19 pandemic, becoming more diverse in terms of services and facilities it offers. Job opportunities in the field have also increased greatly as more and more people have become concerned about following a healthy lifestyle and working with a good gym trainer to remain healthy and fit,” says Shweta Pal, Fit India Ambassador and most fit vlogger of 2020.
A fitness instructor is someone who trains, leads and motivates people or a group of individuals in exercising activities. If you aim to become a fitness trainer then you have to accept the fact that your physique will be viewed as your business card in the professional field. But beyond image, what matters is what you can offer those you train.
Today’s personal training industry is filled with inexperienced trainers hinging on their own gyming experiences to train others. Even the ones who may have some knowledge of fitness aren't exactly great teachers. One wonders, what sets great fitness trainers from the rest in this very competitive space? Here’s taking a look at 5 top qualities that all good fitness instructors must have:
-Ability to simplify: Often we find gym instructors who are so engrossed in showing off what they know that they lose out on the connect with their clients. While “knowledge is important”, as a gym coach your job is to teach someone the exercises and the importance of a healthy diet. The last thing you would want to do is make things too structured and complex. A good fitness instructor is one who moulds instructions in a language his clients can easily understand.
-Maintains a pragmatic tone: In the contemporary world people want things done quickly. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work in fitness. However, marketing strategies followed by the industry in the present time has created unrealistic expectations for people to follow. Trainers that care more about payments will often market quick solutions rather than creating realistic goals. A good fitness instructor is someone who doesn't fabricate expectations just to keep the client hooked and happy. They will communicate clearly and convey realistic goals to help clients continue their training in the correct direction.
-Easy to approach: Imagine those professors in college who you were scared to approach even though they have numerous doctoral degrees. The same is true of many fitness instructors - they may know a lot but their clients are either awkward around them or intimidated by them. A good gym trainer has the capability to understand the client’s personality and become like a close friend or someone who they can openly talk to. Above all, there must be a line of professionalism but the more comfortable your client is with you, the easier it will be for both of you to work together.
-Attentive and supportive: The key to success for most fitness trainers boils down to their ability to pay attention to their clients. True, a gym coach gets paid to educate their clients on how to reach their goals. But then the only way a trainer could develop a focused goal plan is by listening and paying minute attention to the client’s requirement. This includes understanding certain diet preferences, knowing about physiological conditions an individual is dealing with or their strengths and weaknesses. So follow the strategy of being a trainer who is more ears and less mouth.
Shweta Pal following her daily routine Source: Shweta Pal
“A Fitness trainer needs to teach proper form of exercise to their clients so that they can remain injury free, while also guiding their clients on what to eat in order to meet their health-oriented goals. When a client trains under a fitness trainer, the trainer also helps in motivating them when they are not in the mood to workout. Thus a good bond between a fitness trainer and their clients becomes more like a friendship which helps both of them to improve in various aspects of their lives”, adds Shweta Pal.
-Honesty: A good fitness trainer is someone who is willing to admit that they don’t know certain things. Now, here the question may arise: how can someone be good at something if they ‘don't know’ all the solutions. But then again the health and fitness industry is filled with so many different issues and treatments that it is actually impossible for one person to master them all. A good fitness instructor is someone who is honest with their client and most importantly honest with themselves. In stead of giving out information that they are not sure about, they should endeavour to point their clients in the right direction where they may be able to get more reliable answers and solutions to their health problems.
Sonali Swami is a popular personal coach and fitness enthusiast who challenges herself more each day to reach her fitness goals Source: Sonali Swami
To put it in the words of Sonali Swami, An Asian Bronze Medalist, Tedx Speaker, and Personal coach, “To be successful in the long run, a fitness trainer needs to be in the habit of lifelong learning. We should always keep ourselves up to date with the latest findings and research in the field of health and fitness. Sometimes, it also becomes necessary to unlearn a few things as this field continues to grow and evolve”.
To conclude there’s never a stage when a fitness instructor can stop learning. Great gym trainers are the ones who keep their ego aside, maintain a learning perspective and strive to excel more and more with each passing day.
Check out Shah Rukh Khan's personal trainer's views on fitness industry and more here