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  1. #1
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    What do I need to know before I get into personal training.

    Hello BBians,

    I have been studying plenty of books lately and have been feeding my hunger for knowledge in bodybuilding. With the knowledge i gained from reading these books I trained my self really hard and in a disciplined manner. The results were amazing. The results were better than the results I had in last 1 year of training and I understood how wrong my trainers were and how much they lack in terms of knowledge.

    With that said I found that there are plenty of issues in bodybuilding in my area that I can personally solve with what I'm learning. So before I even get more attached to this personal training hobby I would like to know more about it. I would really appreciate of you can tell what are the subject I would need to know before I get into this. Any book recommendation?

    Your suggestions will be highly appreciated.
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    Step one, get a trainer. Set moderately ambitious goals that'll take at least 6-12 months to achieve and involve some setbacks along the way.
    "A fox has many tricks, a porcupine has only one trick - but a very good one."

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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    Step one, get a trainer. Set moderately ambitious goals that'll take at least 6-12 months to achieve and involve some setbacks along the way.
    Hi Kyle,

    Thank you for your suggestion, I have been working out under different trainers for past 4-5 years on and off. Do you still think I would need an instructer or a certified trainer to train me on this journey?
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    Stick with one for a while. I mean a couple of sessions a week for 6-12 months. Obviously if they're sht you move on to the next one, but always have one. Just going through this process will teach you some things, plus conversation about the industry will teach you a lot. While you're doing this, observe. Observe your trainer and how they are with you, and how with others, same or different. Watch the other trainers in the gym, who's busy and who's not, how they train people and interact with them. Over 12 months you'll see some new ones come and some old ones go, and quite a few come and then go within a few months.

    It's not so much the technical stuff, but the experience of being a client ongoing, the ups and downs and what makes you think this trainer is worth your money but not that trainer, who works well with you and who with other kinds of people, and so on.

    I mean, we can tell you things. "A 40yo with two kids and a full-time job can't be programmed as aggressively as a 20yo student living at home," and you nod and get it intellectually, but you don't really get it until you've seen the process over months and reflected on it.
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    Stick with one for a while. I mean a couple of sessions a week for 6-12 months. Obviously if they're sht you move on to the next one, but always have one. Just going through this process will teach you some things, plus conversation about the industry will teach you a lot. While you're doing this, observe. Observe your trainer and how they are with you, and how with others, same or different. Watch the other trainers in the gym, who's busy and who's not, how they train people and interact with them. Over 12 months you'll see some new ones come and some old ones go, and quite a few come and then go within a few months.

    It's not so much the technical stuff, but the experience of being a client ongoing, the ups and downs and what makes you think this trainer is worth your money but not that trainer, who works well with you and who with other kinds of people, and so on.

    I mean, we can tell you things. "A 40yo with two kids and a full-time job can't be programmed as aggressively as a 20yo student living at home," and you nod and get it intellectually, but you don't really get it until you've seen the process over months and reflected on it.
    I appreciate for the suggestion Kyle. I have been working out for a trainer for past 1 and half year. I personally liked this guy because he was down to earth and didnt see me as his monthly source of income. However the downside was the limited knowledge and exercises he showed. He was quite friendly and conversations were amazing. However, he had the same old program for everyone. It wasn't tailored. Later, early 2017 I moved to KSA here I came across BB.com and started with the programs like Starting Strength and Kris Gethin's 12 week hard core and these gave me some extra gains and definition to my body.

    Now, it's kinda hard to find a trainer in my area that's one reason I started learning for my self and using the experience I gained from my previous trainers. However, I'm looking for oppurtunities where I can find better trainers I can work along with to cover those area I'm not aware of.
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    I would add that you need to know the reality of a service business such as personal training. Being successful at the business of personal training has very little to do with fitness knowledge. This is a misconception. It has everything to do with your ability to sell and recruit. If you have never before had a job were you successfully sold a product or service, there is a very high probability you will not be a successful personal trainer. The majority of fitness professionals believe their passion for fitness, thirst for knowledge and ambition is what will drive their business into something profitable. Most of these people fall short. They fall short because they have no natural talent or enjoy sales, they have no natural talent or enjoy marketing themselves and they have no natural talent or enjoy cold calling. To be good at all three, you must either possess a natural talent or enjoy doing them.

    Interestingly, most enjoy sales BECAUSE it comes so natural to them, hence making it relativity effortless for them to continue selling and self-promoting. Those possessing no natural talent typically find selling uncomfortable and difficult to do.
    Last edited by Ronin4help; 02-06-2018 at 11:37 AM.
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    I read an interesting article a while back that was placing former military people in work. They said that former infantry made good salespeople because they were extroverted and talked a lot. It'd never occurred to me, but it's true - if you're sitting in a hole with 6 other guys about 50 miles from anyone else, you do have to have the gift of the gab, somewhat - of course this includes knowing when to shut up, too.

    On the other hand, Susan Cain in Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that won't stop talking notes that the introvert becomes an extrovert when talking of something they're passionate about.

    Ronin calls it "sales" and decries "passion for fitness" as a motivator, but I would say that really it's just talking to people persuasively and interestingly about something you love. The true salesman can sell something he hates and thinks is worthless, but as a trainer you sell something you love and think is worthwhile. Thus, less sales skill is required; in sales as in sex, enthusiasm can make up for lack of skill.
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    Originally Posted by Ronin4help View Post
    Being successful at the business of personal training has very little to do with fitness knowledge.
    That made me laugh. There's no doubt that there's often more involved in becoming successful in any field outside of the fundamentals, but the fundamentals are still important. And success is a relative term...the rest of the world does not adhere to your own personal appraisal of life.

    OP, don't be scared if you don't possess the 'optimal' traits or talent that some people will tell you that you must have, as passion and enthusiasm can make up for this, as Kyle has so keenly pointed out.
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    Originally Posted by Ronin4help View Post
    Being successful at the business of personal training has very little to do with fitness knowledge.
    That made me laugh. There's no doubt that there's often more involved in becoming successful in any field outside of the fundamentals, but the fundamentals are still important. And success is a relative term...the rest of the world does not adhere to your own personal appraisal of life.

    OP, don't be scared if you don't possess the 'optimal' traits or talent that some people will tell you that you must have, as passion and enthusiasm can make up for this, as Kyle has so keenly pointed out.

    Start out by going to this site and reading all of it...

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    Originally Posted by 401Delta View Post
    And success is a relative term...
    Only unsuccessful people say this. It makes them feel better about failing.
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    Originally Posted by Ronin4help View Post
    Only unsuccessful people say this. It makes them feel better about failing.
    According to your limited mindset, I am very successful, so you just proved yourself wrong..again. I'd be happy to compare credentials with you anytime .
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    I read an interesting article a while back that was placing former military people in work. They said that former infantry made good salespeople because they were extroverted and talked a lot. It'd never occurred to me, but it's true - if you're sitting in a hole with 6 other guys about 50 miles from anyone else, you do have to have the gift of the gab, somewhat - of course this includes knowing when to shut up, too.

    On the other hand, Susan Cain in Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that won't stop talking notes that the introvert becomes an extrovert when talking of something they're passionate about.

    Ronin calls it "sales" and decries "passion for fitness" as a motivator, but I would say that really it's just talking to people persuasively and interestingly about something you love. The true salesman can sell something he hates and thinks is worthless, but as a trainer you sell something you love and think is worthwhile. Thus, less sales skill is required; in sales as in sex, enthusiasm can make up for lack of skill.
    The art of sales is not limited to the ability to extract money from someone. It also includes the ability to approach strangers, the ability to counter negative feedback, the ability to interject oneself into unrelated conversations and so on. Being able to talk to an interested party about something you love and then converting that conversation into a sale is easy and most people can do that. The question then becomes, what are they able to do after they run out of interested people?
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    Originally Posted by Ronin4help View Post
    Being able to talk to an interested party about something you love and then converting that conversation into a sale is easy and most people can do that. The question then becomes, what are they able to do after they run out of interested people?
    That'd be why I said,

    "talking to people persuasively and interestingly about something you love"

    The persuasive person makes you interested; if you speak interestingly, even a person with no interest in the subject will be interested.

    Not everyone, of course, but enough to build a business on. 10-15% of the population go to gyms, around the same proportion have been to one at some point in the past. That's around a quarter the population. So there are actually quite a lot of people interested in their health and fitness. Obviously some more than others, and obviously however persuasive, enthusiastic and skilled you are, not everyone will love you. But enough to get a business going, given time.

    Recall too that my advice is for new trainers to start at a globogym. The average membership of these in Australia (and other countries are comparable) is 2,400, and 12 month retention is 40%; so 960 people stick around, and 1,440 new ones come annually. Those new people are all interested in health and fitness, or they wouldn't have signed up. That's 120 a month, 4 a day. That's a lot of newbie gym members to talk to, a lot of people who are interested - and this doesn't count the long-term members who are usually ignored. More than one globogym client told me, "I've been coming here for years, and you're the first trainer who spoke to me."

    If a new trainer goes to work in a globogym, they'll never run out of interested people. Once they move out of there things become more difficult, of course. But again: speak persuasively and interestingly to people, and some will be interested and come and give money to your business.

    Now, whether the business keeps those people, there are a lot of factors and that's a different discussion. Suffice to say that our OP may be under the impression he has to become like a pushy used car salesman. There are many people in the industry (Ronin isn't one) who think this. It's wrong.
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    @Kyle- I agree with this, as I am sure I have many times before (because your view and mine have been expressed multiple times on this subject). However, I believe that to be successful (and success in business is not a relative term as 401 suggests. Profit motivation will vary, but people go into business for one reason only and that is to be successful. What they decide to do with the profits will vary but no business can remain solvent unless it is financially successful) And to be successful, you have to be able to sell. This is true in every industry, every product and every service.There is no way around this. Now, that said, some people sell their services effortlessly. This can be because they have a natural draw to them, or they offer a great service that people find out about or because they put forth a marketing strategy that attracts new business. Other people have to work at it but in all cases sales volume is the key to success.
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    Ronin I agree with you when you say SALES, yes sales is one of the main factors to sell your product to your customers in every industry. For some, it comes naturally(consersing with people and educating them or attracting them towards your services) also known as talking persuasively like kyle already mentioned.

    I belive that to even talk persuasively and become good at selling the fundamentals needs to be strong and one must possess the knowledge and they must know what they are talking about otherwise for sure people will be laughing at such person later. So, such skills are necessary. I have seen and met trainers who were really good at talking but they never cared for the game, they wanted to earn money and their knowledge was limited. On the other hand there was one trainer who had good knowledge and he trained people for the sake of passion and the iron game. Both were really good at marketing and sales but what really differentiated them was the first one had 2 to 3 customers who had great physique out of 10 and the latter than 10 out of 10 with amazing physiques.

    So people who just wanted to workout and listen to nice words went the first trainer who only knew how to talk but people who were really serious about their physique and nutrition went to the second trainer.

    Lastly when it comes to success for some it's like how many products they sell but for some how well did the consumer benefit from their product. Success varies from person to person.
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    There seems to be some confusion as to the term 'success'. There are no variations. Success is success. The key is the context in which the word is applied. There is only one way to be a successful personal trainer. That is to have clients who have achieved results. This is not to say that you own a successful personal training business. There is only one way to have a successful personal training business and that is to sell a lot of personal training packages. There is a linear difference and this line often gets blurred into one context.
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    Originally Posted by Ronin4help View Post
    There seems to be some confusion as to the term 'success'. There are no variations. Success is success. The key is the context in which the word is applied. There is only one way to be a successful personal trainer. That is to have clients who have achieved results. This is not to say that you own a successful personal training business. There is only one way to have a successful personal training business and that is to sell a lot of personal training packages. There is a linear difference and this line often gets blurred into one context.
    The only confusion is your own head. If success in business is only based on money, then how much profit equals success? One dollar? 20% net profit? 40% net profit? One million dollars? Also, if that were the case then why don't all company mission statements just say 'to maximize profits'?

    My point is...success, even in business is...relative.
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    Originally Posted by 401Delta View Post
    The only confusion is your own head. If success in business is only based on money, then how much profit equals success? One dollar? 20% net profit? 40% net profit? One million dollars? Also, if that were the case then why don't all company mission statements just say 'to maximize profits'?

    My point is...success, even in business is...relative.
    Do the meaning of words mean absolutely nothing to you? This is about the third time you bring to a discussion your own meaning of terms and words. Do you even understand what the term 'business' means? PLEASE look it up.

    The term 'success is relative' in business makes no sense. Let me put it this way.... answer this (and good luck)

    Success is relative to what?
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    Originally Posted by 401Delta View Post
    The only confusion is your own head. If success in business is only based on money, then how much profit equals success? One dollar? 20% net profit? 40% net profit? One million dollars? Also, if that were the case then why don't all company mission statements just say 'to maximize profits'?

    My point is...success, even in business is...relative.
    Again you are stating the obvious. You are trying to explain that profits are relative to profit margins and therefore relative to success. That is to say that making $100 at a lemonade stand would be considered successful to an 8 year old, but a $100 profit would be considered unsuccessful to a tire manufacture, as the kid is in the black whereas the manufacture would be in the red.

    For goodness sakes, can you once state something that is not obvious?
    Last edited by Ronin4help; 02-07-2018 at 09:20 PM.
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    Tone it down, guys, we're here to help the OP. Our scrapping doesn't help him.

    In short, OP, you do need sales ability, whether you call it that or "passion" or whatever, you have to be able to talk to people. Like anything else, this is learnable and improvable with practice.
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    Tone it down, guys, we're here to help the OP. Our scrapping doesn't help him.

    In short, OP, you do need sales ability, whether you call it that or "passion" or whatever, you have to be able to talk to people. Like anything else, this is learnable and improvable with practice.
    Haha thank you kyle for clearing the air. Im not boasting but i'm good at sales naturally with my own PRs in other industries such as event management etc., now I already have a handful of clients who are really happy with my training but I've just started. There is soo much to learn. I would really appreciate if you guys could provide me some books that I could read to expand my knowledge.

    I have been reading The New Encyclopedia for Modern Body Building by Arnold but I came across plenty of negative reviews for this particular book and anorld.
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    Originally Posted by SyedZeeshan View Post
    Haha thank you kyle for clearing the air. Im not boasting but i'm good at sales naturally with my own PRs in other industries such as event management etc., now I already have a handful of clients who are really happy with my training but I've just started. There is soo much to learn. I would really appreciate if you guys could provide me some books that I could read to expand my knowledge.

    I have been reading The New Encyclopedia for Modern Body Building by Arnold but I came across plenty of negative reviews for this particular book and anorld.
    Kill two birds with one stone. Acquiring knowledge is important (of course) but in business, how you acquired it is equally as important. Otherwise, you end up with your own personal meaning of what was read. This is why you can't go to any company and proclaim 'Trust me, I understand how to do the job. I read a series of books on it.'
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    Tone it down, guys, we're here to help the OP. Our scrapping doesn't help him.

    In short, OP, you do need sales ability, whether you call it that or "passion" or whatever, you have to be able to talk to people. Like anything else, this is learnable and improvable with practice.
    Drama Kyle...drama. 401 and I are keeping this forum topic interesting. Check out the views we get when we bring it. Yes, we should talk seriously but we need to entertain too. It's all good.
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    Originally Posted by Ronin4help View Post
    Kill two birds with one stone. Acquiring knowledge is important (of course) but in business, how you acquired it is equally as important. Otherwise, you end up with your own personal meaning of what was read. This is why you can't go to any company and proclaim 'Trust me, I understand how to do the job. I read a series of books on it.'
    Haha, I agree with what you said but I need to acquire knowledge so that I could learn my self first. It would really be stupid if I just claim without any hands on experience on the subject.
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    Yes, that is all true. But what I am suggesting is instead of purchasing books to read (from which you do not know the validity), enroll in a fitness or exercise program, purchase the required books (which have been vetted) and obtain the knowledge from a recognized or accepted source. This way you acquire an understanding that is shared by your peers and not derived from your own interpretation.
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    Originally Posted by Ronin4help View Post
    Yes, that is all true. But what I am suggesting is instead of purchasing books to read (from which you do not know the validity), enroll in a fitness or exercise program, purchase the required books (which have been vetted) and obtain the knowledge from a recognized or accepted source. This way you acquire an understanding that is shared by your peers and not derived from your own interpretation.
    Thanks, but are you reffering to certification courses or just saying that I need to find a mentor and learn things from him?
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    Yes. The mentor idea is good. I think Kyle likes that one. But certainly some type of formal education, be it a cert program or collegiate.

    I'm not certain you have to choose between one or the other. I think you should do all of the above... if you are able.
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    Thanks bro, earlier I was mentored for like 18 months really helped me develop my basic lifts, and nutrition etc. I will see what else I can learn from him because I believe he taught me almost that he knew or should I say that im not going to get anything more from him. I think I should find a better mentor now.
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    Choose a mentor that will bring value and credibility. You need to be able to say.."I trained under..." and get a reaction from the person you say this to. This individual does not need to be famous, he/she just needs to possess something noteworthy...e.g. "I trained under John Smith who heads the exercise physiology department at the University of Miami.'
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    SyedZeeshan is offline
    Originally Posted by Ronin4help View Post
    Choose a mentor that will bring value and credibility. You need to be able to say.."I trained under..." and get a reaction from the person you say this to. This individual does not need to be famous, he/she just needs to possess something noteworthy...e.g. "I trained under John Smith who heads the exercise physiology department at the University of Miami.'
    Thanks buddy i got your point.
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