Do you ever feel like a fraud or an imposter? Imposter syndrome is a common experience, often amplified by not understanding its origins. For many fitness professionals, especially those just starting out, feelings of inadequacy, doubt, fear, and anxiety can be overwhelming. It can affect client acquisition, closing of sales and lacking results.

Imposter syndrome can express itself differently for every trainer such as worry about not being able to work with certain issues or client goals, lacking confidence or appearing confident, or not being able to showcase their skills.

Understanding Feelings of Inadequacy

Why do we feel inadequate? That can be hard to answer due to the complexity of interacting factors. Sometimes, these feelings can stem from life experiences, past interactions, and/or learned behaviors. Despite continuous learning, studying, and taking more courses, these feelings can persist. Practical experience and application of knowledge are crucial for overcoming these doubts by developing self-confidence.

Experience refers to the execution and implementation of the skills and knowledge you have acquired. For a personal trainer, it doesn’t matter how fit or smart you are if you cannot help your clients achieve their results. Effective client management is essential.

Building Experience

Gaining valuable experience can be straightforward or challenging. It’s important to assess what kind of experience you need more of and identify your strengths and weaknesses. Self-reflection helps guide your professional development. Here are a few ways to build practical experience and improve your success as a personal trainer:

Mentorship and Coaching

Nothing improves knowledge and confidence more than hands-on experience. Personal trainers can gain valuable opportunities by learning from others in the field. Identify colleagues or fitness professionals willing to mentor or coach you, whether voluntarily or for a fee.

Some may question the need for a trainer if they are already a trainer. However, the better question is, how does this make you a better trainer? Many fitness professionals are happy to support others in the field, and there is plenty of room for everyone to be successful.

Personal Fitness and Training

Developing your personal fitness is another way to gain meaningful experience. Not all personal trainers look like stereotypical fitness professionals, especially considering the variety of fitness goals and training methods. Understanding and executing personal training concepts on yourself teaches valuable skills to support your clients.

If you have never worked towards hypertrophy, strength, power, or aesthetic goals, how can you guide your clients effectively? Knowledge is important, but so is experience in helping others reach their goals and troubleshooting any obstacles they face.

Understanding the psychology of your clients and their struggles, whether mental or physical, is crucial. If you haven’t learned, practiced, or accomplished something, you shouldn’t attempt to “fake it till you make it.” Miscommunication and poor reception of information can result from teaching concepts you don’t fully understand.

In-Person Courses and Certifications

Taking courses that involve both learning and executing material is more beneficial than just reading or online learning. Group environments offer opportunities for practice, networking, and distinguishing between average and outstanding trainers. Simply taking a course won’t make you a better trainer; an open mind and practical application of what you learn are key.

Credible certifications provide varied learning opportunities, including practice and coaching with peers to demonstrate mastery. Completing a certification doesn’t automatically qualify you; only through practice can you truly become qualified. Having a certification proves you passed a test or course, but interacting and executing the material is where real learning happens.

In-person courses and certifications can be even more valuable for those who did not get as much in-person support or experience. Many personal trainers are able to complete their certification entirely online without ever interacting with anyone. They may be very intelligent and pass the exam but struggle talking to people or client management within or outside of the personal training session.

Striving for Success as a Personal Trainer

Becoming a personal trainer is easy; achieving success is harder. New trainers often find the job’s demands surprising. Passion for fitness draws people into the industry, but strong work ethic, drive, and a passion for helping others are crucial for success.

Avoid believing that becoming a personal trainer is all you need to do. Seek learning opportunities from those around you, especially those you aspire to emulate. Engage with colleagues, shadow experienced trainers, and seek coaching or mentorship. No matter how knowledgeable, fit, or experienced you are, these attributes alone won’t help if you cannot connect with clients.

Identify the areas you lack confidence or knowledge in and take steps towards changing that. While we all have a niche or style of training we prefer, having more skills and knowledge about different modalities increases your reach as a personal trainer.

Earn the right to help others through your service and scientific knowledge, and success will follow.

Looking to get certified as a personal trainer in BC?

Here at the British Columbia Personal Training Institute, we provide the option of in-person learning, online only, and hybrid learning. BCPTI teaches the NASM Personal Trainer curriculum and is one of the best options to get your personal training certification in BC. This assists our prospective students by offering greater choice and flexibility. Our program teaches students to gain, train and retain their clients through integration of the NASM CPT with industry relevant coaching and support. Learn our system of service, science and sales.

Our program is 8 weeks long with a 1 week reading break to give students the additional time to catch up on content. There are 2 intakes, day and night to provide more options. Full time within our program is 3 lectures per week.

Day Intake: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am-3:30pm
Night Intake: Tuesday & Thursday from 5-9pm AND Saturday 9-4pm

BCPTI also integrates a practicum experience with our partners at Fitness World Canada to provide our students the opportunity to shadow and learn from current personal trainers. The practicum experience assists students with exposure to additional facilities, networking with fitness professionals and receiving additional coaching and learning opportunities.

Moreover, by completing our program requirements, we offer job placement at Fitness World by facilitating the hiring process (note: this does not guarantee a job).

Interested in becoming a personal trainer? Look no further and reach out below to get more information.