Knowledge To Become a Great Personal Trainer

I remember a job interview I had for a position as a trainer when I was fresh out of undergrad.

In the interview, I was asked: “How would you rank your fitness knowledge on a scale of 1-10.” 

I think I was supposed to shoot for somewhere in the middle so I could humbly brag about how much I knew but that I was still an active learner. 

Instead, I went straight to the top with a 9.

My logic was that even if it wasn’t in my brain, I knew where to find the knowledge and apply it, but the buff guy on the other side of the desk wasn’t happy with my answer, and I got grilled with fitness trivia.

I still believe my answer was closer to being right because the bulk of being a great trainer starts with emotional intelligence and, most often, slow thinking, where you can pause and make plans to help people meet their goals.

Although, I also now realize that I didn’t even know what I didn’t know (see: Dunning-Kruger effect.)

This week I’ll share a few topics that should probably get more attention in exercise science curriculums and training certificates, along with some resources to get the ball rolling.

Training the Pelvic Floor

Despite a graduate degree and several certifications, this extremely common health-related issue was not brought up once as part of my training.  

The Trainer’s Guide to Pelvic Floor Dysfunction will cover the essentials.

Acute Injuries

I said earlier that most fitness and sport coaching is thinking slow, but I’ve been in the gym when people get hurt, and this is a time for thinking fast.

It pays to have the knowledge and confidence to deal with these things, even if they’re relatively uncommon.

These are my top 3:

1. Have access and know-how to use an AED.

2. Head Injuries and Concussions—the PreHab Guys have a great resource.

3. Joint Sprains— Here are articles on ankles sprains and knee sprains, which are by far the most common ligament injuries you will run into.


It doesn’t matter how smart you are if you cannot apply it to make a living. 

If you’re out there hustling, I strongly recommend checking out StoryBrand and DigitalMarketer to learn strategies to do it most effectively.  

This video from Ben Bergeron is also essential because we usually think of business as only marketing and advertising. Yet, there is something much more important than getting new people in the door.

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