Becoming A Master Trainer: The 6 Key Points to Becoming a Master Trainer

What is a Master Trainer?

When I think of a master trainer, I think of an old Kung Fu Master sitting atop a mountain with long gray dreads, a long beard, and many weights around him. This is probably because my favorite movie is "The Last Dragon" (look it up if you don't know what it is.)

Now, in reality, a Master trainer varies from company to company. At 24 Hour Fitness, its sessions are serviced. For most fitness certification providers, such as NASM and N.C.C.P.T., there is a long selection process filled with hours of workshops. This book will go over what a real master trainer is according to the fitness world. These statements are subjective, but they were the basis behind the ideals taught in this book.

The 6 Key Points to Becoming a Master Trainer

There are six key points to becoming a master trainer. The key points all have six sub-points to support the main point. All of these points are methods to set you on the path to becoming a Master Trainer.
Before we begin, let's break down the word "master." The word master is defined as "having or showing very great skill or proficiency." To be a master trainer in the fitness world, you must have great skill in all four areas of fitness training:

  • Personal Training (one on one)
    • Partner Training (2 people)
    • Small Group (3-5 people)
    • Group Exercise (fitness classes)

Once you have mastered all of these training elements, you will be a master trainer, but you will be ready to take your career to the next level. If you don't want to master all four areas, that's ok, you can be very successful as a specialist in one of the regions, but to become a master, you should master all the areas, in my opinion.

Master is an acronym;

M= Master the Mindset
A= Accommodate the Ages
S= Strengthen the World
T= Teach The Teachers
E= Expand Yourself
R= Respect the Process

This book will go over each key point in the word Master and break it down.

Let’s get started.

Key Point#1: Master the Mindset

A master trainer's mindset is to use the people's emotions to get them to their goals and keep them excited every step of the way as they strive towards their goals. These are the six key concepts to Mastering the mindset of a master trainer.








Be Motivational: Make sure your clients have that fire burning in them to keep going. As a master trainer, you must be the gasoline and the match; your clients have to be the wood.

Be Aspirational: Give them a goal. Be the stick that holds the carrot in front of the horse to make it run faster. Most clients want to lose weight or gain muscle; realistically, people just want to change to be a better version of themselves. As a master trainer, you must paint that picture for them and give your clients a way to see it.

Be Stern: Don't let anyone walk over you. You are the master. Be that. Don't let people quit, and don't let them slack off. As a master trainer, your job is to ensure that your client's goal is met. Tough love is sometimes necessary for success.

Be Tantalizing: Show your clients goals they never thought they could reach. Perform a one arm push up in front of them, do a backflip. Show them your athleticism. You must wow your clients and show them what you can do to motivate them to do things they never thought they could do.

Be Energetic: Stay pumped! A client needs to feel good when they're in a session with you. Let your energy spread to them.

Be Reassuring: Ensure that your client can get to their goals. You are their guide. Sometimes they may not be able to see the Light at the end of the tunnel. It's your job to show them the way.

Key Point #2: Accommodate the Ages

As a trainer, you will encounter fitness clients of all ages. Make sure you have a workout ready for them all. Continue learning new ways to train so that you are prepared for every age group.


Age Assuring

Separate the Crowd

Tailor the routine

Ensure completion

Re-inspire the generations


Be Mindful: understand that your older clients may not be able to do a lot, but they aren't dead. Push them, but not past their limits. On the other hand, younger clients challenge them to reach heights they never thought they could. Make sure you are doing things safely, though. You don't want someone to die on you so that you can give a hard work out.

Be Age assuring: Make sure your advanced age clients understand they can do more than they think, and they can start to turn back the clock a bit. With your younger clients, stress the importance of patience on the journey. Don't let them hurt themselves, trying to move too fast.

Separate the crowd: Don't do the same workout with all age groups. Make sure you are creating routines that can be applied to everyone but have levels to accommodate everyone. For example, if you will do a squat test and push-up test, make sure you have modifications. There is nothing worse than a trainer telling an 80-year-old lady to get out her walker and drop to the ground for push-ups.

Tailor the routine: After you separate the crowd. Tailor the workouts to fit the needs of your demographic. Just because you love burpees and the bench press doesn't mean your clients will. Tailor your routines to suit each client's needs.

Ensure completion: Make sure your clients finish their program. Now you can't control everything, but for the most part, you can control how and when a client's plan will end. Make sure they get to their goals. If a person wanted to lose 20lbs, but is only on track for 10lbs, help them push through to those 10lbs. Never let your clients quit if you can help it.

Re-inspire the generations: We are in an age where technology is taking over. As master fitness trainers, we need to re-inspire the new generation to get out to the gym or just be active. This is more than only social media promotion or asking people to train with you. Brand yourself at all times. Where shirts that say master trainer, or something similar. Make yourself a walking billboard for fitness, so you can be a constant reminder to get in the gym.


Key Point #3: Strengthen the World

Our goal as personal trainers is the make the weak strong. Since we are in an uphill battle against obesity, we must make strengthening the world our goal.

Make em' work

Add resistance

Stay Aggressive

Tune out the hurt

Enter the next phase

Reap the benefits

Make em' work: Don't be afraid to get people out of their comfort zone. Your job is to get people tired. If they can't do something, your job is to make sure you show them they can.

Add resistance: To grow stronger, you must add more resistance. This isn't just a weight room concept; it's a life concept. Your clients will not get better unless you add resistance to their workouts, minds, and spirits. Challenge them to lift more weight to make them physically stronger. Challenge them to work out earlier to make them mentally stronger and challenge them to declare success over themselves to make them spiritually stronger.

Stay aggressive: Aggressive doesn't mean be mean. It just means you are the person who is working the hardest to get your clients to their goals. As a group exercise instructor with a group of people in front of you, attack the workouts as hard as possible. Remember, you're the mirror for your clients, and if they don't like what they see, they will make a change. That change usually means to replace the mirror.

Tune out the hurt: Tuning out the hurt doesn't mean ignoring an ailment or apparent injury. Tuning out the hurt means to get your clients to overcome what is hurting their progress. This “hurt” could be an unsupportive spouse, an early timeslot, or any excuse that comes in the way of them finishing their fitness journey with you. There is a lot of noise in the world; as a master trainer, you must be the one to cancel it all out for your clients.

Enter the next phase: Training has phases. If your clients never progress from phase to phase, you will have a tough time becoming a master trainer. Your job is to get your clients to their goals, so if a client isn't progressing, it's time to adjust. If you have been a trainer, you have overheard people discredit trainers as long as I have overheard trainers because their clients never make a change. You do not want to be that trainer. Even if the change is not physical, it should be mental or spiritual. Every client who trains with you should feel like they have progressed from one phase to the next. Your job as a master trainer is to ensure this progression happens.

Reap the benefits: Once you have successfully strengthened your clients, reap the benefit of your hard work. Remember, you aren't gloating; you are celebrating someone else's success. Your success as a master trainer is based on your ability to help people reach their goals physically. Reaping your hard work benefits involves getting paid for your craft, so don't sell yourself cheap.

Key Point #4: Teach the Teachers
As a Master trainer, you learn better by teaching. As you grow in your craft, you should always share your knowledge with younger trainers. This method allows you to learn better because you are continually refreshing your knowledge.

Master the arts

Acknowledge your faults


Teach to others

Engage with people better than you

Re-educate yourself on the basics

Master the arts: I chose to learn group exercise, small group training, and one on one training. As a master trainer, you will have to train any and everyone to be successful. Ensure you are more than just certified. Master the art of fitness and learn as many skills as you can. Once you have learned them, you can now create the training style that sets you apart from everyone else. This can only be done by mastering the arts. What are the arts of fitness? Yoga, H.I.I.T (high-intensity interval training), bodybuilding, functional training, and sports specific training.

Acknowledge your faults: You can't be good at something without being bad at something first. Simply put, you have to know what your good at and what you need to work on to be a master trainer. For example, I was very inflexible, so I chose to study yoga. This would allow me to strengthen myself so that I was once weak, and it would give me a brand-new skillset to help my clients. Once you acknowledge your faults, you can fix them.

Study: This is easy. Study your craft. Break out your old personal training books and refresh your mind on the subject matter. Remember, a master archer doesn't stop shooting arrows just because they have hit tons of bullseyes.

Teach to others: Continue to teach what you know to others, not just trainers or clients. Give fitness advice to everyone who asks. It doesn't matter who it is, help them. The more you get in the habit of teaching, the better you become at it.

Engage with people better than you: A master becomes a master in the company of other masters. Ensure you keep a team of smarter trainers around you at all times. You must be able to pull knowledge from them whenever you need it.

Re-educate yourself on the basics: Like the archer analogy, you don't want to lose sight of the basics. As a master trainer, getting someone in shape doesn't always take the most intricate workout ever created. The simple stuff such as push-ups and squats work just fine. A master trainer doesn't need tricks, only knowledge, and if you have extensive experience of the basics, you will always succeed. Re-educating yourself on the basics is just practice. Try to design a routine with no weights, proper body weight. What can you come up with? This exercise allows you to break down the body's basic movements before you start to add weights or any other type of equipment to a fitness routine.

Key Point #5: Expand yourself

A master trainer knows multiple ways to train. They also are open to new ways to teach. Expanding yourself as a master trainer simply means to expand your mind to new lessons that will make you more skilled at your craft of physical fitness training

Music is the key

Add more variations

Stop, listen and learn

Turn off the lights

Enter the "Struggle Zone"

Rest and recover

Music is the key: the music controls group exercise. From Body Pump to yoga, music is the key to be a great group exercise instructor. To master group exercise, you must understand music. The best way to understand music is to listen to various types of music. Step out of your comfort zone and focus on music to lead a class to their fitness goals and what sounds good.

An excellent example of this is when I decided to design my cycling classes. I knew rap music didn't have the best bpm (beats per minute) to maintain a good class, so I had to open up my mind to E.D.M. (Electronic Dance Music), rock, pop, and even techno. By expanding my mind to these genres, I delivered increasingly popular classes that appealed to all audiences.

Add more variations: Every exercise needs a variation. Either to make it harder or more comfortable. To be a master trainer, you must know multiple variations for all exercises. This will separate you from the trainer who is just giving out workouts and asking for money. For example, if you know how to take a squat and advance it to fit an athlete like Lebron James or regress it to suit your grandmother, you are on your way to becoming a master trainer.

Stop, listen, and learn: This one is straightforward. Stop doing what you're doing, so you can listen to the opportunity to learn something that will make you a master trainer. This is why it's so essential to keep master trainers around you. When you stop, listen, and learn, you need someone to listen to and learn from.

Turn off the lights: Sometimes you have to shut everything off. When you close your eyes during a workout, you can feel your muscles a little bit more. Use this trick with your clients. Have them close their eyes as they work out so they can feel the areas they are training. This is an old yoga practice that should be used with light weights or just bodyweight. This practice helps you become a master trainer by giving your clients a new way to validate what you are saying by feeling the exercises you are giving them.

Enter the struggle zone: What is the struggle zone? The struggle zone is that portion of your workout where you don't know if you are physically able to complete it. Since most trainers were athletes, they understand this struggle zone and coach their clients through it. A master trainer knows how to create the struggle for a client and coach them through it.

Rest and Recover: A master trainer knows when to shut it down. To be the best, you must invest more time in recovery than training. It is a fact that you have more hours in a day to recover than train, so if you spend 1-3 hours training per day, at least 4 hours should be dedicated to recovery afterward. This is what separates a master trainer from a regular trainer. Master trainers understand when to shut it down and tell their clients to shut it down. In my years as a trainer, I would reschedule a session for a client who looked too tired to work out because their health was worth more than the cost of a session.

Key Point #6:

Respect the Process

The final key point for becoming a master trainer is to respect the process. Becoming a master trainer is a journey, and every journey has a goal to complete. If you appreciate the process as a trainer, you will be on route to becoming a master trainer. This is the process you must respect to become a master trainer.

Monitor your progress

Ask questions

Stay motivated

Take your time

Expect failure

Rise above all obstacles

Monitor your progress: Always see where your business is at. Always know where your clients are at in their fitness journey. Monitor how often people train so that you can understand how well your business is doing. Keep detailed statistics on your clients so that you can watch them at all times. If you know where you are in your fitness business at all times, you won't be surprised by the success.

Ask questions: This small tip will make it easier to learn from your peers, subordinates, and clients. Ask questions. Ask how the session went for the client. You may find out tips to help you enhance your session quality. Ask how your class members enjoyed the class; you may find the information needed to make your class better. Ask other master trainers what it takes to be where they are at, and your journey to becoming a master trainer will become a lot easier.

Stay motivated: Keep your eyes on the prize. I quit being a personal trainer twice because I lost the drive. I lost the patience and the will to be a trainer. Once I was promoted to F.M. and gave me my first 2500 session patch to symbolize that I was a master trainer, I was more motivated than ever to continue my career as a fitness professional. I had quit, but I motivated myself to start over again and prevail in the end.

Take your Time: Becoming a Master trainer is a process that can't be rushed. Take your time to educate yourself correctly to be on the right track to becoming a master trainer. Don't cut corners and work hard to become a master trainer the right way, not the fast way.

Expect failure: You will lose clients, you will have bad sessions, and you may quit being a personal trainer. Don't worry; I quit twice. These are the expected outcomes when it applies to the career of a personal trainer. Private training always looks promising, but the liability and search for a location can be a financial hindrance. In my first year as a personal trainer, I was living off Top Ramen and Kool-Aid, and I got turned down for training way more times than people paid me to train. That didn't deter me from the field; that just motivated me to train harder, learn more, and help more people.

I look forward to failure now because failure leads to growth.

Rise above all obstacles: No matter what the circumstance is, be the best trainer you can be to your clients. A master trainer is only a master to their students, and the way you become a master is by teaching your students to be the best versions of themselves. I didn't become a master trainer to boast about how good I am at personal training; I earned the title through years of helping people to reach their goals over and over again. I've had many obstacles, people quitting on me, not paying me, losing jobs, losing clients, gyms shutting down, no managers to help me, and I rose above them all. As a master trainer, you should have had to rise above all obstacles in your path to reach the rank of a master trainer. The purpose of this is to have the ability to guide your clients around, over, or through the obstacles they face in life.


What can you take away from this book?

The key takeaway from this book should be that becoming a master trainer takes time and absorbs as much knowledge as possible.

What to expect next:
Take these lessons and apply them to your career. Write the acronym for master:

M= Master the Mindset
A= Accommodate the Ages
S= Strengthen the World
T= Teach the Teachers
E= Expand Yourself
R= Respect the Process

Memorize the acronym and teach it to all the younger trainers you encounter.