Principles of a Good Trainer By Mike Buss Celebrity Trainer

| 29/02/2012 | 1 Comment More

Clients will be compelled to learn and put 100% in to the training you provide for them if they are interested and have incentive and can see the reason behind the training you are putting them through.

To be a successful trainer, you must have a thorough knowledge of your subject and be aware of the following principles…

  • Aim
  • Planning & Preparation
  • Interest & Enthusiasm
  • Use of the right Senses
  • Maximum Activity
  • Simplicity
  • Human Factors
  • Progress Checks

All physical training must have a purpose, the immediate aims are progress targets by setting short term goals, and the ultimate aim is to help the client succeed in their long term goal.  The trainer must ask themselves before planning a programme for their client ‘What is the aim?’ and must know the results they expect from each exercise they give their clients during training and how they are to be obtained.


Planning & Preparation: Your training programmes that you use with your clients must be well planned and have the following factors…

  • Aim
  • Duration of the complete training period & number of training sessions
  • Exercise should be purposeful
  • Each training session should be complimentary to the rest of the programme you give your client outside of the sessions you do together.
  • Availability of equipment
  • Alternative training area in case of varying weather etc.
  • Stages of progress using fitness assessments along the way to help with short term goals.

Preparation of each session: Poor preparation will always lead to an ineffective session.  The amount of preparation required will depend largely on the knowledge and experience of the instructor, the trainer should set aside time each day to revise the days schedule and prepping clients sessions.

The trainer should consider the following points as well as whats already been mentioned…

  • Stage of training
  • Number of sessions left/time frame of ultimate goal
  • New exercises and skills that maybe taught
  • Space required during the training session
  • Equipment required
  • Weather conditions

The trainer should also ask themselves ‘WILL THIS SESSION HELP ACHIEVE THE AIM?’

Interest and Enthusiasm: The trainer must be enthusiastic in their job and in each session with the client, be the motivator and help the client to have a constant positive mental attitude.  The trainer must be interested in all aspects of their work and keen to explore more knowledge by attending workshops, courses and expos to soak up new knowledge and experience.

The trainer must be an example to others, other trainers and especially their clients.  Trainers should remember the three Es


The following suggestions are given as a guide…

Realistic: the trainer should keep the sessions progressive but be realistic about the client’s ability

Curiosity & Variety: exploit the natural inquisitiveness of your clients and encourage them to look forward to future lessons and different training methods, mixing it up with variety to stop boredom.

Competition: it is human nature to be competitive, maybe bring your clients together occasionally as a group for a fitness testing session, record regular fitness tests (each month is enough) for the client to compete against their best performance to date.

Incentives: telling the client why they are doing a certain exercise and why you are choosing the direction of their programme to follow a certain path gives them incentive to perform harder knowing the results the exercises they perform will reach their goals.  Also giving incentives such as a complimentary training session for beating their last fitness test will also help to make them work harder.

Sense of Achievement: everyone is proud of their ability to do something they couldn’t do before, like a full press up or completing a mile run without rest or walking.  The trainer should encourage the client to reach higher standards and recognise all achievements.

Enthusiasm: the trainer should be inspiring to their client and show the same interest and more.

Use of the Right Senses: all learning is achieved through the use of one or more of the 5 Senses – They are:


In fitness training, the sense of TOUCH, SIGHT & HEARING are the most important in learning and are normally in order of importance shown above.  Whenever possible, these senses should be used together and trainers should learn the most effective combination.

Maximum Activity: the following is a good guide to the proper balance of time spent during a training session.

Explanation 7.5%
Demonstration 15%
Client Working 77.5%


The above ratio is applied to a 60min session:

Explanation 4.5mins – Demonstration 9mins – Client Working 46.5mins

Simplicity: trainers should make their instructions and explanations simple.  The vital points should stand out clearly, technical words and phrases may have to be used at times but need to be explained.

Progress Checks: testing your client each month is a good way to check on progress, both for you as their trainer to adapt their future sessions and for the client to help with added enthusiasm and Interest, staying highly motivated.

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Category: For the Trainer

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  1. Graig Okeefe says:

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