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What Makes A Successful Personal Trainer?


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You might have the qualifications to work as a personal trainer, but do you have the skill set that will skyrocket you to long-term success? We dive deep into the competitive industry and discover what separates the high fliers from the slow rollers. 

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✓ Creating Personal Trainers for 25 years

✓ You gain a globally recognised qualification

✓ Up to 12 month payment plan 0% interest

✓ Guaranteed interview

Our graduates are working in some of the biggest gyms globally

The fitness industry is full of opportunities for passionate personal trainers

While there was a decrease in the demand for personal trainers during the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s steadily recovering, and estimates suggest it will continue to grow.

According to research from Future Market Insights, the global personal trainer industry is worth $41.8 billion today and will rise to $65.5 billion by 2023.

Furthermore, Payscale estimates that most personal trainers in the UK earn between £24 to £50 per hour, making it one of the higher-paying careers.

Becoming a personal trainer gives you job satisfaction, progression opportunities, and earning potential. With the forecasted industry growth, surely anyone can be a successful personal trainer—right?

Wrong. The sheer popularity of the industry means there’s a lot of competition. If you want to be among the ranks of the elite trainers, you need to put a lot of work in and focus on developing your career.

Why do some personal trainers fail to build a successful career?

Personal training is a career requiring a lot of passion and dedication. As with all industries, you have to be willing to put the work in and develop your career, with most individuals starting in an entry-level role.

While some newly qualified trainers rise through the ranks and make a great living, others fail and leave their career for a job that requires less commitment and passion.

The common reasons why some personal trainers fail include: 

  • A lack of motivation: You must be passionate about the industry and take a proactive approach to professional development.

  • Zero commitment: Personal trainers go on a continual learning journey and must be willing to update their skills.

  • Too many expectations: That celeb personal trainer you idolise starter at the bottom too. Nobody will go straight into a top-tier position, earning £60,000 a year without experience.

  • Poor attitude: Fitness professionals must have strong customer service skills. Without them, you can’t build relationships with clients.


This comprehensive CIMSPA approved course, delivered 100% online in the UK and worldwide, teaches the key skills of the modern kids exercise instructor. Learn programming and development considerations for Children aged 5-15.

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Laying the foundations to become a successful personal trainer

As you can see, personal trainers fail mainly due to a lack of commitment and dedication to the role. So, how do you build a successful career in the fitness industry? Well, it’s all about developing the right personal trainer skills and being willing to go all in and reach your goals. Following these top tips on how to build a successful career will set you up for growth and ensure you can hold your own against the competition.


  • Get qualified

    Get qualified

    • If you're not a qualified personal trainer already, getting your certifications is the first step. However, taking a CIMSPA-accredited course is important, as these qualifications showcase your knowledge and ensure you can find employment in gyms and health clubs. If you're new to the industry, the Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification will help you find entry-level roles, but the Level 3 Personal Training certification is the gold standard for those who want more responsibility in their roles. As you progress within your career, you can take the Level 4 Personal Training course, which sets you up for senior roles with more responsibility and expertise.
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  • A positive attitude is everything

    A positive attitude is everything

    • Great personal trainers are glass-half-full people because they know a positive attitude is essential to success. You'll probably start working in a gym as an instructor, an entry-level role that could give you some valuable experience in working with others. Some trainers get disheartened when they don't go straight into a high-paying job with lots of responsibility and autonomy, but embracing every learning experience you get is essential. Working with seasoned professionals and interacting with clients will give you the necessary skills to grow your career. Be thankful for the opportunity and show your enthusiasm for the industry.
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  • Learn about exercise science

    Learn about exercise science

    • Successful personal trainers understand exercise science, including anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and nutrition. Having this vital knowledge allows you to create safe and effective training programs tailored to your client's specific needs and goals. Learning about exercise science is always a good idea because it will set you up for future career progression.
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  • Build your communication skills

    Build your communication skills

    • As a personal trainer, your success will depend on whether you're an effective communicator. Every client is different, and there's no set way to coach people. If you can't form a connection with your clients, they'll go elsewhere. Empathy and understanding are integral to the role, and you must find the right balance between being an assertive leader and a supportive coach. Keeping your clients motivated and moving them towards their goals requires excellent listening skills and the ability to form a professional connection. You can learn these skills as a gym instructor, giving you a solid foundation to build upon when you move into personal training.
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  • Learn how to inspire others 

    Learn how to inspire others 

    • In the words of Steve Maraboli, When you are living the best version of yourself, you inspire others to live the best versions of themselves. A good personal trainer will help people move towards their goals, but a great personal trainer will inspire their clients to smash through them. Successful personal trainers excel at motivating and inspiring their clients because they know how to provide positive reinforcement, set realistic milestones, and celebrate achievements. Creating a supportive and encouraging environment can help clients stay motivated even when faced with challenges.
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The Fitness Circle support team & materials

With a personal tutor on hand to help you learn with us, we ensure that you are not alone during your studies.

Tutors with industry experience

Our tutors are dedicated, knowledgeable and best of all,
have personal training experience.

Comprehensive learning materials

  • Premium learner manuals
  • Dedicated support tutor
  • Detailed study guide breaking down the course
  • Vast range of mock theory exams
  • Simplified templates for case-study assessments
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Experience Class

  • Way 2 Fitness Work

    ”The support and the knowledge given allowed me to start working in the industry straight way. I have and will continue to recommend their services to anyone looking to get qualified.”

    Way 2 Work 

    Basketball Coach & PT

  • Nuna’s Nutritionist

    “I chose the The Fitness Circle because I could study the whole course online, in my own timeframe, which worked well with my schedule. It was a great experience.”

    Nuna’s Nutrition


  • Helle Hammonds Celebrity Personal Trainer

    “I qualified as a PT with The Fitness Circle over 10 years ago and will still recommend them to this day.”

    Helle Hammonds

    Celebrity Personal Trainer

  • Tom ‘Kong’ Watson Personal Trainer

    “The Fitness Circle will teach you everything you need to know to get you started in a career in Personal Training”

    Tom ‘Kong’ Watson

    Former MMA Champion



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Developing your personal training career

So, now you know how to lay the foundations to become a successful personal trainer – but how do you become one of the top personal training professionals? Well, it takes a lot of dedication and work, but the results far outweigh the time and effort you put into building your career.

Here are our top tips for becoming a top-tier health and fitness professional.

Consider finding a niche

One of the ways to set you apart from other trainers is to become an expert in a particular fitness field. For example, you could work with certain groups or specialise in strength training.

Niche trainers have many opportunities to develop a loyal client base and set themselves apart from other professionals. Popular niches include:

  • Training and coaching professional athletes
  • Working with seniors
  • Running fitness classes for pre and post-natal women
  • Training bodybuilders
  • Working with individuals with disabilities
  • Training obese people

As you can see, these niches allow you to become an expert in your field, which can open doors to higher earning potential.

Learn how to create effective training programmes 

Every client is different and successful trainers understand the importance of tailoring workouts to suit their needs. For example, certain health conditions such as heart disease or arthritis might limit a person’s ability to do specific movements.

As a trainer, you’ll assess each client’s situation and ensure the exercise selection pushes their limits but doesn’t compromise their health.

When you can help individuals find ways to improve their health and make a real difference in their lives, you’ll attract more clients and be able to move up the career ladder.

Adopt a results-orientated mindset

Nobody wants to hit the gym floor every week and see no progress, so focusing on delivering measurable results for your clients is essential. Whether it’s teaching new skills, achieving weight loss goals or changing habits, being able to track progress makes you a better personal trainer.

By celebrating achievements and helping clients overcome setbacks, trainers create a positive and results-oriented mindset that fosters success.

Focus on professional development

The fitness industry is so exciting because it constantly evolves. New research emerges regularly, so trainers must adopt new techniques and build their skills to continue offering a client-focused service.

If you want to succeed and become one of the top earners, ongoing learning and professional development are necessary.

The best way to do this is by updating your skills and gaining new certifications. For example, many clients now expect a full-service solution, so a PT with nutrition qualifications can provide a more comprehensive service.

Marketing savviness

One of the best ways to skyrocket your earning potential is by starting your own business. Many personal fitness trainers go this route once they have some experience, as it allows for more freedom and flexibility.

If your personal training business succeeds, you could earn up to £100,000 annually – but it does take work.

Business and marketing skills are essential to thrive as a personal trainer because potential clients want to know that you can help them meet their health and fitness goals.

Understanding basic business principles and having a strategic marketing plan can make a significant difference in building a booming personal training career.

The ability to run a business

Lastly, learning how to manage your business effectively is also beneficial. Successful personal trainers have busy schedules and juggle multiple clients daily. Being adept at time management and organisation is crucial to ensure the smooth running of your business.

Successful trainers efficiently schedule sessions, prepare each training session in advance and maintain accurate client records.

If you can implement technology into your business, you’ll also provide a better user experience which means more clients.

Ensuring you’re always on time and giving people the right attention builds positive relationships and ensures you can retain clients instead of losing them.

Are you ready to join the ranks of the best personal trainers?

The great thing about becoming a personal trainer is that you don’t need a degree or any advanced qualifications. Anyone can enjoy a fulfilling career by obtaining a personal trainer certification and finding employment.

Whether you’re a school leaver passionate about fitness or want to change career, there’s never been a better time to become a fitness professional.

Studying with The Fitness Circle gives you access to CIMSPA-accredited courses and an expert team of tutors with real experience in the industry.

Better still, you can study at your own pace with our online courses, giving you absolute flexibility. We also have a range of specialist courses for qualified personal trainers to build their skills, including Children’s Fitness and Group Training certifications.

With flexible payment options, nothing will hold you back from this exciting and rewarding career.

The bottom line

As with all professional careers, becoming a personal trainer requires qualifications and dedication—but it’s absolutely worth the hard work. Once you gain some experience, you can plan effective training sessions and work with clients from all backgrounds, helping them reach their health and fitness goals.

Remember, the personal trainers that fail do so because they don’t put the work in, so focus on studying, and you’ll soon reap the rewards of your efforts.

If you’d like to speak to a specialist about course options, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team. We work hard to make all of our courses as engaging and interactive as possible and offer ongoing support and advice so you can achieve your goals.

Take the first step towards your brand new career.


Our Course Advisors are eager to walk through your options and answer any questions you have

0800 677 1175