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5 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers

What makes a great personal trainer? As the industry grows, finding qualified trainers becomes more and more important. Experts agree there are key traits that spell success in the fitness training world.

Andrew Wyatt, president of NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and 2014 Ernst and Young winner of Entrepreneur of the Year award, believes a strong sense of entrepreneurship is key. And the keys to that are staying focused, aligning with a network, learning from mistakes and investing in continual learning. Visit his blog at

Pat Rigsby of credits a combination of education, integrity, experience, teaching and communication skills, passion, organization, ability to motivate, work ethic and enjoying helping others.

“Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals,” is the trend in the industry, WebMD recently reported. Personal training jobs are expected to continue their growth with a projected increase of 24% from 2010 to 2020, making those with certification even more desirable.

“A trainer cannot become proficient by taking a home-study or weekend crash courses. If you lack a degree in a related field, consider taking a human anatomy course to better understand the human body. You can become a good personal trainer with only a certification, but education will help you develop into a great personal trainer,” notes Kate Kenworthy and Stephen Rodrigues in their series, ”Becoming a Personal Trainer,” on

Bryan University Personal Fitness Program Director Nick Keeling adds empathy, passion for the craft, knowledge, especially concerning prevention of injury, reliability and patience.

CNN Health agrees. “As the field increases, clients will need to do more research to find the perfect fitness coach. It’s important to consider everything from what your trainer wears to how they talk.”

So what traits make the list?

  1. Communication
  2. Education
  3. Professionalism
  4. Leadership/Patience
  5. Passion

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