UNREGULATED INDUSTRY AND THE CERTIFICATION. A wannabe personal trainer can get a basic certification that any Joe Shmoe can receive without even needing to graduate from high school. They get the certification just to say they are certified. There is no continued education. The guidance you receive as their client can be worse than worthless. It can be dangerous and life threatening. This is your body. This wannabe personal trainer can put you in dangerous situations.

I cannot stress the importance of finding a personal trainer who is committed to lifelong education and take their profession seriously. You should never work with someone that does personal training as a hobby.

On the flip side, what certifications should you look out for? Top certifications are:

  • NSCA, CPT or CSCS (CSCS requires a bachelor’s degree and is typically the only certification that carries the weight of being behind the letter PhD. All of the personal trainers at EarthFIT have this certification or are working towards it.)
  • ACSM
  • NASM

There are a few other certifications out there, but the CSCS is the creme de la creme.


FRIENDS OR COACH? A personal trainer’s job is to get the client results. It is not the personal trainer’s job to be a friend or to make the client happy. In fact, it is the opposite. Good personal trainers are supposed to push clients outside of their comfort zone to achieve specific results. Therefore, we need to work with a specific personal training mindset. When a personal trainer crosses the professional boundary and becomes friends with the client, it creates all types of complications which I have seen over and over again. The client and the personal trainer start to hang out “as friends” and then the clients won’t know when the personal trainer has his ‘training hat’ or his ‘friend hat’ on. The next thing you know the client is canceling and expecting that the personal trainer does him/her special favors. It never ends well.


THE NARCISSIST. The personal training industry is rampant with narcissists. Many narcissists are very charming and endearing in the beginning and can easily gain the trust of people. Consequently, the narcissist has many raving fans and followers. Also, narcissists love to be in control and tell people what to do and coaching and training is a perfect avenue to do just that. By default, the industry emphasizes the superficial (lots of focus on the body), which can be a magnet for insecure people.

You can identify a narcissist personal trainer by asking a few basic questions:

Are they focused more on you or are they more focused on themselves?

Are they staring at themselves in the mirror while you are exercising?

Are they trying to control you rather than guide you?

Are they using fear and manipulation to get a desired result rather than accountability, inspiration, and genuine care?

Are they talking about themselves more than focus on your needs and desires?

I have encountered my fair share of narcissists and believe me, you want to run far away from them.


THE SUPERSTAR! Most personal trainers in the industry are average or below average. What is an average personal trainer? It is a personal trainer that gets 90 percent of their clients from new business and 10 percent of their clients from referrals. These personal trainers continuously have to get new business, because the clients they get don’t stay with them. An average personal trainer doesn’t get the results for their clients and therefore, they never get referrals.

Then, there are the superstar personal trainers. This personal trainer is the only type of trainer we allow at EarthFIT. Superstar trainers get 90 percent of clients from referrals and 10 percent from new business. In the 10 years EarthFIT has been operating, we have had to do little marketing. We constantly get referrals and testimonials from clients, because we change their lives.

This is what I look for to spot a Superstar Personal Trainer:

  • They always show up on time, in uniform.
  • They are always prepared for the training session. Meaning they have the training program created beforehand.
  • They are inspiring. Inspire means “to breathe in together.” Inspiration is way more powerful than motivation because motivation is coming from an outside force. Inspiration comes from within you, and the change must begin within you!

Be warned: Superstar Personal Trainers are hard to find. They are more expensive and will typically only accept clients who are serious about achieving specific health goals. They have the right attitude. They have good energy and they are compliant.


EXERCISE VS TRAINING. Exercising is working out without a specific program to achieve a specific goal. Training is working out with a specific goal that has a deadline and the training program is the map for how to get there. So, have a goal and pick a personal trainer/coach who truly understands what you want to achieve and only focuses on training.  


 BACK PAIN! Statistics show that over 80 percent of the population will deal with back pain at some point in their life. In my experience it is 100 percent of the population. Most personal trainers are not familiar with back pain. Think of training this way: a skilled and valuable personal trainer can heal injuries, strengthen your back and other joints, and make movement fun and easy. Whereas an uneducated, semi-skilled personal trainer can cause and dramatically exacerbate, joint aches and pains. That is why at EarthFIT we have our own, in-house certification specific to back pain relief and prevention. All of our personal trainers must pass this certification. You can see the impact this program has had on people from all over the world in the link below:

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Ebook: EarthFIT 50

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