4 Mistakes That New Trainers Make


Here at the Axiom Fitness Academy, we have a lot of conversations with a lot of trainers. Between turning out over 100 new students every year and having countless interactions with hundreds of other new or aspiring trainers, it’s safe to say that we know a thing or two about helping trainers get into the fitness industry.

Being a personal trainer is not always easy, especially in the beginning. That’s because there’s no formal playbook of what to do.

Or, more importantly, what not to do.

However, there are common mistakes that many new personal trainers make and below you’ll find the 4 that we see most often.

Mistake #1 - Giving Everyone The Same Workout

Let’s be honest, there’s a lot to learn to become a certified personal trainer, and frankly, most trainers don’t get much hands-on training before they take their first client. This often leads to anxiety and a lack of confidence when it comes to running someone through their first couple of workouts.

So, it’s no surprise that when a new trainer finds something that works or that they feel comfortable with, they end up repeating it. More often than not, this means training everyone else just like they train themselves. Sometimes this isn’t so bad, but it sets many clients up for sub-par results and could even lead to potential injuries in extreme cases.

While the principles of training are universal, they should be individualized for each client. Just because you love to barbell deadlift, doesn’t mean someone who’s never worked out before is ready for it.

By performing a movement assessment to pick the right exercises and appropriate type of challenge, a new trainer can create and deliver engaging workouts that deliver results and strengthen their relationship with clients.

Mistake #2 - Thinking It’s All About Exercises

Most people think that personal trainers only need to know about exercise and nutrition. While that is certainly a large part of it, personal trainers deal with people and that means there’s a heavy psychological aspect to the profession. You have to be able to help clients stay motivated and sometimes get out of their own way so they can succeed. That means being great at connecting with and understanding people.

Often, new trainers think that all they have to do is create some workouts and guide their clients through them. However, they soon realize that’s not the case at all and it requires a lot of time and strategy outside of training sessions.

Most people hire a trainer because what they really need is a coach – someone to not only develop and teach them the plan, but also hold them accountable when necessary.

That requires a skillset much greater than just knowing exercises, and unfortunately it’s not something you’ll read about in a personal training textbook.

Mistake #3 – Not Treating Training Like A Business

The thought of working in a gym and wearing workout clothes is pretty appealing for many, but it’s not all fun and games. Fact is, there is a lot of non-exercise work that needs to be done in order to build a solid client base and career.

Marketing, sales, and customer service are areas that many newer trainers shy away from or ignore completely and can lead to dissatisfaction and resentment. While many trainers would gladly do the job for free, without selling training to clients or getting new people interested in working together, there’s no paycheck to be had.

Instead of avoiding this aspect of the business like the plague, it’s important to embrace these activities and simply look at selling as an opportunity to solve peoples’ problems and give them a better life.

Mistake #4 - Not Investing In Continuing Education

Getting certified is a great start to getting a career in personal training off the ground, but too many trainers stop there. There’s a lot to learn in fitness and certification is just the minimal point of entry. If you don’t continually invest in your education, you’ll eventually be left behind.

Part of helping more people and creating a long-lasting and lucrative career is becoming an expert in a specific area of fitness. That might be working with clients that have a specific goal, medical condition, or other unique characteristics.

Trainers that continue learning make more money, get their clients better results, and have more confidence in their abilities.

We Help New and Aspiring Trainers Avoid These Mistakes

Our goal at The Axiom Fitness Academy is to shorten the learning curve for new and aspiring trainers to create lucrative and long-lasting careers. Through a multitude of hands-on courses, continual mentorship, and community networking we are helping to shape the next wave of fitness professionals.

If you’d like to learn more about us, you can click here to find out about our courses.

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a personal trainer, you can download our free personal training career guide.

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