"Making It"... 19 Jul 17
Experienced Coach Adam Hayley from "RNT FITNESS" shares his views on "Making it" as a Personal Trainer...
5 rules on ‘Making It’ as a Personal Trainer
- Practice what you preach: This doesn’t mean that you have to walk around looking like a Greek god, or compete in physique competitions.
But, if you want your potential clients to aspire to you (and this is key) then you simply must
look like you at least train.
How that look is defined can and should be dictated by your target avatar. In my case as an example, my target clientele are ‘intermediate/advanced’ trainees and often physique/bikini competitors. This means that my physique needs to show that it too, can be competitive on-stage.
Your target market may be beginner clients that simply want to improve health markers or feel more confident. In this instance, my type of physique may actually be counter-productive and come across intimidating. Instead you simply having a physique that looks ‘healthy’ may well be what that potential client is going to gravitate toward as they can relate.
Whichever route you decide to take yourself in terms of your own physique, let me sum it up in a nutshell: Look the part.
- Be your own transformation: One tool that is incredibly powerful for a PT in terms of marketing is to simply record your own transformation. This is more for those with body composition based clients, which when you look at the reason most clients join the gym – will actually end up being the vast majority of a trainers client base.
As a trainer, if you can’t either 1) Add a significant amount of muscle or 2) Get very lean at least once – how can you empathise and relate to what your clients are going through? How do you know what to adjust when you hit a plateau?
Clients pick up on this. If you simply look ‘slim’ due to good genetics that haven’t required any planning or execution to look that way, how do you know what to do when a client wants to get from 15% bodyfat down to sub-10%?
Having spent 11 years working in gyms, and the last 4 of which as a senior trainer for one of the leading personal training companies globally I’ve noticed a huge correlation: Those that have made drastic improvements to their own physique are (more often than not) the better trainers on that particular gym floor.
Remember that you’re in a results based business. You need to do everything in your power to hone your craft at delivering those results with your clients time and again.
- Don’t be a Jack of all trades and master of none: If you take a look at my website for example, it’s very clear that I purely work with clients on body composition.
That means I do two things with clients:
- I add muscle to them
- I get them lean
I don’t advertise; injury rehab, core conditioning, sports specific, postural correction etc etc as I simply couldn’t excel at all of that.
In fact I’ve even turned down clients wanting me to work on their marathon training nutrition, off-season work for their sports and what not. Because it’s not what I’m known for, or passionate about. Instead I refer out to another trainer that does
specialise within that field.
Pick your passion/skill and own it. Make that your
niche. While every other trainer in the gym is taking on every client and delivering sub-par results, be picky. Only take on those clients that suit you.
Not only will you build an aura of exclusivity and respect for staying true to yourself, but your energy in those sessions with clients will be highly visible in front of the other potential clients on that gym floor. If you’re training clients for a goal that you don’t feel passionate about or don’t resonate with – people will see through it. You’ll coast through your sessions.
Ultimately, if you’re as excited (if not more) as your client to be there and you deliver each session with energy and passion – that will take care of the results!
- Never stop learning: While your PT courses are becoming more and more in-depth recently, which is great, don’t think that your learning stops there.
Experiment continuously on yourself. Attend seminars from those that are in the top of your field and that you look up to. Book Skype consults in with other trainers that you respect, and get their take on things. Study textbooks on areas that you’re passionate in, or areas that you know are a weakness of yours.
As examples of these:
- I either compete or diet down to single digit bodyfat every year without fail – to test new diet and supplement protocols on myself before rolling out to clients
- I’ve attended courses and seminars ranging from contest preparation to myofascial release to anthropometrics
- I’ve paid money to Skype with other coaches through the US that I wouldn’t have face-to-face access to
- I continually read textbooks on physiology, nutrition etc
- Be prepared to graft: If you’re expecting to be earning the big bucks and picking your own hours from day one – you’re in for a bit of a shock.
That’s like expecting a six figure income on a minimal wage work ethic.
To get the point of being able to pick my own hours took me years of grinding away building a name for myself and receiving transformation after transformation with clients.
When I left my local gym to go work for the firm in London, most around me thought that this what it ‘Adam had made it’ – when it fact, that was the start
. Getting to that point would have been enough for most, but for me it was a stepping stone.
Once I’d started there, I was on a 4.55am train into London 6 days per week, and often not getting home until 11pm. My one day ‘off’ from traveling into London for clients was a Sunday, but that was the day that I would work with my online clients and promote that side of the business. So, it was long ass days pretty much 7 days per week.
Was it worth it? Absolutely.
I rose to the top of that business within 3-4 years. This resulted in me finishing in the top 2 for the most transformations out of 126 trainers across the business, teaching seminars across the UK and Hong Kong to other trainers, doing contest prep and eventually giving me the opportunity to launch my own online coaching business in May of this year, RNT Fitness.
It’s only now that I’m able to choose my own hours. Although don’t mistake that for working ‘less’ hours. I still have to put the work in – it’s just that it’s now on my