Thursday, August 18, 2016

What to do with a personal training certificate

OK, so you have a personal training certificate.

Big Deal.


You can now walk around a gym being condescending to fat people.

Or worse, you can be like all those out-of-shape trainers with beer bellies that think they can just work off their binging weekends while longing for the glory days when they were on the second string high school football team.

Not a man slob? Good.

And women, don't think I'm not talking about you. If you are an ex-volleyball player, swimmer, or cheerleader and you're stuck on wearing designer yoga pants to hide the fact that you are 25 pounds overweight and wanting to just focus on training others, you have another thing coming.

Just because you aren't 16 years old anymore and as rail-thin as a runway model while still eating Cheetos doesn't mean you are too old to be in shape.

Quit making up excuses because you are "retired" from athletics like someone set you out to pasture.

I can hear you now:

..But Jesse, you sound like a jerk! Why are you talking to me like this?

Because you need to hear the awful truth.

You might have the best personal training certificate on the planet. Maybe you have 7 of them and a 4 year degree in exercise science.

But if you think that is going to get you any success at all in a fitness career without a business plan, some focused strategy, and being able to attract the right kind of customers, you are a big fat zero before you even begin.

Here's the deal.

You HAVE to start with YOU.

You need people to want to train with you in order to train them.

And you need clients who are willing to pay you so you can make enough money to survive, much less thrive.

I don't care how many certifications you have, and neither do your clients.

If you look like Jabba the Hut blowing smoke rings of powdered sugar off your lips, then you ain't going to impress no one.

I have seen trainers walking around a gym literally complaining that no one wants to train with them, even though they are the most "educated" (more like edumacated, or maybe medicated) trainer there.

I got news for you buddy, NO ONE CARES about your degrees. They only care about results...

...And if you don't look the part, NO right-minded person on planet earth is going to take you seriously.

How can you get them any results if you can't get yourself results?

By being in lousy shape you are literally planting huge fat seeds of doubt in the mind of the potential client about your ability to help them.

They are sitting there listening to the silly tripe coming out of your mouth as you tell them how to get results and in their head they are thinking, "Yeah, this guy is full of crap. He doesn't even do what he is preaching to me."

I bet you weren't expecting this article to be about this subject.

I know, I know, it is not politically correct, and maybe downright mean for me to talk about physical appearance and it "shouldn't matter" what we look like and that everyone should just hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

...But the reality is that we live in a judgmental society and people are making snap decisions about whether they want to train with you the first mili-second they meet you.

When they see you, do they see a trainer?

Or do they see the Pillsbury Dough Boy?

If they see a trainer, they will feel a sense of hope and dread all that the same time as they ponder the prospect of finally getting off the couch and throwing out the stale doughnuts.

If they see the Dough Boy they might get hungry instead...

...and then their thoughts turn to PIZZA.

And you wonder why they don't sign up to train with you! They are HUNGRY DARN IT!


Yet I digress...

Here's why this matters:

If you want to know what to do with a personal training certificate because you want to work in the fitness industry and live an awesome successful lifestyle making lots of money, while helping people get in shape and live their dreams, then the first thing you need to do is get in amazing shape so you can attract people to want what you have.

Now I am sure there is someone reading this that is thinking:

"But, Jesse, I'm not into sales. I don't need to find clients. The gym should do that for me."

Ok, well first off, if you are new, you get a pass on this one.

However, if you have read any of my stuff and are still thinking this, I should reach out of your digital device right now and slap your chipmunk cheek face.

You should be thinking like an entrepreneur and be a self-starter from day one, even if you work for someone else. We call that mindset and ownership mentality. Another way of describing the attitude is "employee-preneur".

Being an employee-preneur is taking ownership of your future by looking for ways to think like a boss from day one and looking for opportunity to help your company win.

By being of huge value to your company, you become indispensable, and therefore worthy of a raise or promotion or getting more clients.

NOW, if what i just told you is way over your head right now, at least hear me out on this one:

If you work for someone else, and they set you up with appointments (or even sell the training and you just administer it), then you STILL need to convince the client to stay with you beyond just the initial trial or introductory period, right?

If not, you are living on another planet.

Because even if everyone does all the selling for you and you only administer sessions, if you aren't pumped out of your mind around the success of that client and have a great attitude and look like you care (which includes looking healthy and fit yourself), then the client is going to eventually stray, if they don't do it right away.

Now with all of this being said, let me give you...

5 Things To Do With A Personal Training Certificate

  1. First, you can roll it up and smoke it, since it does nothing for you in terms of your immediate success with attracting and keeping quality high-paying clients, if you haven't established your believability.


    Again, because I have an affinity for broken records, I will repeat myself and say it again and again:


    How do you do that if you aren't working with them yet?

    You have to convince them beyond a reasonable doubt that YOU can provide value to their lives in the form of getting them to their desired fitness result.

    And you can't do that by waiving a piece of paper in their face.

    They want to see proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

    That proof starts with your personal results, testimonials from other clients (if you have them), showing them you have a plan (and you can only take someone where you have been), your excitement and enthusiasm for helping them, and then way, way, down the list is quieting their fears and worries with a guarantee (a good idea), and then lastly with proof like a personal training certificate (which they probably will NEVER care about seeing.)

  2. Second, you can show it to a gym owner.

    These are some of the ONLY people on God's Green Earth that care about your certificate. The reason they do this is that they need some objective criteria to hire someone and they also want it for insurance purposes (not that it helps much, but that is another story).

    In fact, I would gamble to say that if hard-pressed, most gym owners would even admit that when you compare someone's charisma, ability to attract clients, attitude, hard work ethic, and other "soft" personal qualities, to their personal training certificate, the cert falls abysmally low on the list of desired attributes.

    In other words, even gym owners prefer a trainer that can make money for them, and at the end of the day the training certificate is just a formality.

    After all, how many gym owners are bubbling with enthusiasm to hire some over-qualified uber-educated personal trainer that can't keep a client to save his or her's life?

    Still, you can at least show that you have the piece of paper so that you can get a job. But you didn't need me to write a long blog article about that common sense nonsense did you?

    Yeah, just show them you have one, while keeping the emphasis on your OTHER great qualities as a potential employee.

    Remember, gym owners want a good employee who is going to make them money and be dependable, not a well-educated snobby brat who will be a little whiney diva.
  3. Third, you can put it up on the wall to assist with generating more credibility and subtly remind the clients that you are the expert and they are not.

    ...And we're back to condescending again! The personal trainer's number one skill set!

    Just kidding. Kind of.

    This might sound like a contradiction with all the ranting I have done about how little personal training certificates matter.

    ...But it's not!

    Here's why:

    When you consider the importance of your physical shape, vision, a plan, purpose, enthusiasm, your natural ability (which I am sure you at least have some or you would have never considered getting into this), and your ability to communicate and connect with others, the personal training certificate just becomes another layer of credibility to help you in the minds of the client.

    However, this is AFTER you have a good personal success plan and business plan, along with the other factors we have already covered.

    So YES, the cert "matters", but only in the context of the other priorities. Don't put the cart before the horse!

    ...Or maybe don't put the cert before the flab?
    ...Or maybe the cert can't cover up your muffin top?

    You get the point.

    The other part of this is that clients nowadays often think they know everything and begin to test your leadership confidence. If they sense you aren't the alpha-dog, they might start thinking they can push you around or get their way and not do what you say.

    The minute they smell fear (or smell your protein shake farts), and no longer think you really know what you are talking about, they start to doubt you can help them and then question the entire situation.

    The first thing that happens when they doubt you is they STOP PAYING YOU, and you are through as a trainer.
  4. You can celebrate it by posting a picture on your website, social media, print materials, and in your email campaigns.
    For those of you that are really humble, this might make you cringe
    Get over it. You need to promote yourself.

    If you have the thing, you might as well squeeze as much shameless marketing out of it as you can, especially since you are probably really proud when you first pass that test.

    When this is particularly useful is if the cert is in a specific or modality that is new, different, or otherwise addressing a specific niche.

    For example, if your cert is for a specific demographic, like seniors, you should use this in your marketing to attract your desired target market.

    Another example is if your cert is in a specific type of exercise.

    You would obviously want to brag about that to attract people that are interested in your new Underwater Basket Weaving Fit Barre Dance CrossFit TRX Pilates Yoga Class. Or whatever is hot this week. <Sigh>

  5. You can make it pay you, or you can just keep paying for it year after year.

    The certification companies are out to make money.

    It's not evil, it's just what they do.

    They want to make a profit "letting" you train people. If you train people, they don't have to! They can just sit back and collect fees for allowing you to train people year after year. Sounds like a pretty good gig, huh?

    So you can count on that cert charging you yearly fees, educational fees, membership fees, and then up-sell you every 5 minutes to get additional certifications that allow you to train other parts of your clients body.

    So you have a choice to make:

    Are you going to get that cert to pay you, or are you going to just keep paying them?

    How do you do that?

    You start by thinking about education differently:

    Don't get the education because it feeds your ego. How many professors do you know that are just addicted to the acknowledgement of their IQ?

    Instead, use it for what it is: A highly-flammable piece of paper and digital logo that helps you get your foot in the door, along with great knowledge that will help you in your career.

    So yes, you should learn, but then more importantly...

    ...Apply that knowledge as often and as fast as you can!

    After all, the best way to learn is by doing. And when you do the stuff you learned, you will be that much closer to getting clients to take note of you so that you can get them to pay you money to train them.

Hey, if you liked this article and found some value here, I think you will find even more value in my free books and video courses.

You will not only find out all the many ways you can use a personal training certificate that you probably never thought of, but you will also develop that personal success plan and business plan that I mentioned in this article as being the most important piece of the puzzle.

I am happy to give you THREE resources that are valued at $125. All you have to do is fill out the little form and tell me where to send them.

I don't send you a billion emails and sell your information EVER.

I'll just send you stuff and then you can let me know how it helps you transform your personal training career.

So click here right now and get these books and video lessons worth $125.

They are my gift to you for being a reader!


Jesse Stoddard

P.S. Yes, I am still the type of fitness "guru" that adds P.S.'s in my articles and emails. I just can't stop it! I love it! Post Script!

Anyway, if you really do want to know what to do with that pesky personal training certificate, you need click here and get it over with and quit skipping all the way to the bottom before you read the rest of the article you sneaky person you.

Questions? Comments? Let Me Hear From You Below :-)

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