As someone who is new to the fitness industry I understand how desirable success is for a brand-new certified personal trainer. However, it can be difficult to find the path to success. The first step is building genuine confidence as trainers. This is achieved by challenging yourself to explore areas of fitness that are not your strong suit, which will in turn build more certainty and success in your work.

Generally, most of us go into personal training or the fitness industry because there was an aspect of it that brought us joy. In addition to that, there is an area we feel especially proficient in; whether it be that we excel in all things cardio, or perhaps are fascinated by the science of building muscular strength. It is this enthusiasm, and drive towards self-improvement (or the improvement of others,) that gets us started in the industry. However, we need more than just enthusiasm to be successful trainers. We need experience and knowledge.

By the time we have become certified Personal Trainers, we have already built a decent knowledge base. But as we all know, this base should be continuously growing and deepening throughout our entire career. The same ideology applies for experiences; we can benefit from them if we pay attention as time goes on.

How can we actively improve these two components of our career? What can we do to give ourselves that initial boost of confidence to be our most successful selves in this fast-paced and competitive industry? The answer is — by exploring alternative areas and styles of fitness that you may not have initially looked into. Purposely putting yourself out of your comfort zone and continuing your education is key to developing your practice and improving indefinitely.

Alexandria Clearwater

First, why does this work?

As fitness professionals, we all know the value of a well-rounded fitness routine. We know that it is pertinent to exercise all muscles and muscle groups to avoid strength and postural imbalances. Even though we are “professionals” we still can fall to folly.

We are all guilty of favoring our strong side, or returning too often to our favorite exercises. And ultimately we have our fitness routines for our physical and mental health. We do our favorite exercises because they make us feel good in mind and body. And generally it’s because the inevitable goal is to make fitness fun, and exciting, rather than a chore.

However, as professionals we do need to step out of our normal fitness patterns to become more successful trainers. Before I began studying to be a trainer, I was all about cardio and body weight style training. It was where I felt strong and confident. Weightlifting terrified me! Before educating myself and building my confidence, a misleading belief I held was that as a woman I would look and feel silly trying. Now, that’s not a very conducive mindset for someone who primarily wants to work in the female population.

While I was in school for my degree and certification, I was required to design a strengthening plan that involved weight lifting. The unit covered all aspects from proper posture and technique to the hormonal responses in the body. By the end of it I was completely hooked on weight lifting and built a new confidence in my personal ability. In turn this led me to feel more than capable to accept a position teaching a women’s weight lifting class! A position I might have felt hesitant and unsure of if I had not already challenged myself to explore that particular area of fitness.

Don’t Just “Try” it Learn it!

Now here is the deal breaker. When I say explore other areas of fitness, I mean it! Don’t just take one class, or read one article. You have to be thorough in your exploration. As I was saying before, there was more to it than just “trying out” weight lifting that made me feel more assertive and knowledgeable. In fact, it had more to do with all the information I learned about it. Its benefits, contradictions, techniques, and safety procedures.

This isn’t me telling you that you need to enroll in a class to learn about an exercise style, it just happened to work most effectively that way for me. What I am saying is that if you want to be a successful trainer you need experience and knowledge to give to your clients.  And the best way to get that experience and knowledge is first hand.

Let’s say you are clueless about Pilates. Well, the most proactive method you could impose is to take some classes, research its background, and discover what makes it effective and how it could help your current and future clients. Even just spending a week trying classes and doing your own research could possibly give you the upper hand in your work as a trainer, thus making your chances of success that much greater. Because you have a wider base of personal experience in different styles of exercise, your clientele base will also be wider. You will be able to confidently take that client who specifically wants to stick with body weight training because you have been looking into Yoga and Pilates. Or the client that wants to increase their overall power, because you took it upon yourself to research and try plyometric training!  As our experience grows so does our resolve.

So if you are a new trainer who is unsure of how to find your way to success, explore the fitness world! There are so many different styles and avenues that can be taken, and with each one discovered your self-confidence grows bringing you closer and closer to your successful career.

Let us know your experience as a new trainer and your tactics for success on our Facebook Page.  We love to hear your stories and feedback!

If you’re an NFPT trainer, join the Facebook Community Group to become involved with your peers today.
See more ways to help build your confidence and success as a new trainer in Tanisha’s Blog, How to Gain Confidence as a Personal Trainer


Alex has her A.S in Exercise Science and is a certified Personal Trainer with NFPT and NSCF. She recently traveled to India to gain her 200 hr yoga teacher certification where she studied the ancient practice at its origins. Alex has spent time teaching yoga in Spain while volunteering at a yoga retreat and is currently working at her local college instructing two fitness courses. Alex wants to share with her clients and students the mental, physical and emotionally healing qualities of exercise and movement. She believes everyone should have a healthy relationship with their bodies and strives to thread that concept throughout her career.