What is the One Thing That Can Set You Apart as an Exceptional Fitness Trainer?


3 min read

I feel the main thing that makes a trainer exceptional and better than the rest is relatability.

Education is important but if you had two fitness trainers side by side, with the same education and experience, the one with people skills and the ability to relate and connect would be more successful hands down!!!

I have seen this happen over and over again in the fitness field.

Think about it, showing up to see a fitness instructor or a trainer that you like to talk to and feel entertained by is much more exciting than showing up to workout with someone you don’t feel connected to. How many times have you chosen a class based on the fitness instructor that was teaching it?

Teaching larger groups can make it harder to build a personal connection with everyone but an instructor can certainly know everyone’s name, find out at least one thing about them, and find out how you can help motivate them.

Be more than just a trainer. Be a friend.

Be inclusive, welcome everyone to join your group on FitStation or follow your feed. Stay connected outside of class as well. You are like-minded people that like to exercise in the same way, find ways to connect outside of the gym for an extra workout.

As a personal trainer this can be a little easier but still something not every fitness trainer can master. I know about all of my clients’ kids and families. I know what they do for work and what they do for fun. I know what they struggle with whether that is eating right or getting to the gym. I know if they had a bad day or a good day. I know if they are stressed or not and how much sleep they have been getting. I know their life goals and their fitness goals. I know about past experiences with exercise and current routines. I know about events they have coming up that they want to look good for. I know about birthdays and things they want to accomplish this year!

I check in with each client every time I see them and that doesn’t mean just checking in on how their body feels, it means checking in to see how their son’s baseball game went and how they did on their work presentation. It means I connect with them about more than fitness.

I relate to them about more than working out. They show up to see me to do more than exercise or sweat, they show up to connect with me. They show up to tell me about their birthday party last weekend or how they had one glass of wine last night instead of two.

Relatability and connectedness breeds accountability.

Messaging back and forth in between sessions is very important. Clients feel thought of and important to you. They feel supported even when they aren’t with you. I have had several clients tell me they heard my voice cheering them on at times when they were working out alone, so they were able to keep going! Or they think, I don’t want to have to report that I didn’t work out today, so I am going to find the time and make it a priority. I don’t want to confess to my personal trainer I had three brownies, I will only have one.

These thoughts and motivation, I call it your jimmy cricket on your shoulder makes my clients more successful because I am with them even on the days we don’t physically see each other. I am in their ear on vacation and dinners out, or anytime they are deciding if they should work out or not.

My relationship with them holds accountability, trust and respect and creates a connectedness that extends far beyond the gym walls and far beyond our few sessions a week. Being with your clients to support them even when you aren’t face to face will make you an exceptional fitness leader no matter what realm of fitness you are in.


Being a successful trainer means caring and devoting time to your clients, bonding with them, listening, cheering and motivating them.

Be their relatable leader and become one of the main reasons they decide to leave the comfort of their couch and hit the gym!

Make connections that last and help people achieve their goals. Go that extra mile and both you and your clients will feel deeply fulfilled.

If you need an app that will help you maintain build and maintain a strong connection with your clients, try out a FitStation and start building your tribe today.

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