Why Many Personal Trainers Fail and How to Learn From Their Mistakes

Dec 2, 2016

By Tim Saye

The average personal trainer earns just over half the average salary in the UK and US!

While PT Distinction tends to attract the top trainers and coaches there are some lessons to be learned from those that are not doing so well.

From what we can see there are a few main reasons that a Personal Trainer will not be successful. We want to share them with you so that you can make sure to avoid them.


In order to ‘make it’ you will need to be consistent.

Just like your clients need to be consistent with their habits, you need to show up daily in order to progress. We know how important it is for our clients to be consistent but we can forget to practise it in your business.

Think of it like this, when your clients doesn't feel like working out, what do you tell them to do? Do it! So if you don't feel like blogging, filming a video or sending an email you've got to suck it up and do it! If we only do things when we feel like it we won't achieve much!

That moves us onto our next point.


Similar to consistency but it's a little different.

If you want to be successful you have to put the work in, just like you tell your clients too. So if they're busy and have a hectic lifestyle getting up an hour earlier to achieve their goals isn't too much to ask.

If you want to succeed at the laptop lifestyle you will have to put the work in that most won't. This might mean getting up early, having some late nights and missing some socialising.


This is a biggy!

Being on top of your time management will mean you get the most out of your day. Simple things like writing a to do list and sticking to it, planning out your day and having set times for all of your social media and email answering can help a lot. This can ensure you have time to get the productive work that moves your business forward, done.


Don't be a yes person!

Just because you want new clients doesn't mean you should take on anyone that asks you to. Having a strict on boarding system to ensure you only work with the best clients means they will get the best results and boost your business.

You know that you can't help everyone so just work with the people that are ready to commit to your programme and that you enjoy working with. If you say yes to everything you will end up not going down your own right path. Not to be all woo woo but you have aspirations and goals of your own. Saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way can take you off course. So just think whether the client or opportunity is right before before saying yes!


We want to get results and be successful as quickly as possible. However long term results take time, just like we tell our clients that there are no short cuts and to avoid fad diets, there are no magic pills for your business.

So you can either bust your butt putting the time in or if you don't have time you'll need money to invest.

Either way results rarely happen overnight, slow and steady wins the race!


If you want people to invest in you and work with you they will need to be confident in your abilities. They will not feel that way if you are always doubting yourself.

When running your own business there will always be ups and downs. You just have to make sure you don't take things personally. Even if it might feel that way it usually isn't down to you. Be mindful of that and learn from your clients.

Build a network of positive people so that they can lift you up in these times of self doubt.


In order to avoid making these mistakes you can put things in place as quickly as possible in your business:

Have set structure and routine as much as possible and create systems in your business to make the best use of your time.

- Have set rules for working with you and have boundaries otherwise you will be working from dusk til dawn answering client questions.

- Be in it for the long game, be picky about who you work with and you'll be on the right path.