A few words on becoming a master personal trainer

We hear of mastery often these days where the internet bombards us with experts vending their expertise in the form of a “workbook and 2 DVD’s”,  “Order today for your free bonus gift…!” There are sure a lot of experts out there. Or are they? Who decides if you are an expert or master or not?

The ‘decade factor’ for mastery is being recognized in athletic pursuits, in business and in pie-making (Book: E-Myth). Does it really take 10 years to become a master at something? Can some people spend years dedicated to mastering their field yet never ever become a master? While I don’t have the answers to these questions, I can tell you how I became a master personal trainer.

There is an indescribable skill set that comes with over 10,000 hours of one-on-one private instruction. I cannot think of a term or phrase to define the skills gained after hundreds of hours of observing untrained muscles sense, learn and adapt to stimulus.

There is no text book to catalogue the many variations of pulls, presses, bends and twists I have explained to strong bodies and to frail bodies. To the driven, the confident, the proud, the stubborn, the fearful and the self-loathing.  To politicians, bankers, teachers, doctors, artists and actors. To accountants and to lawyers (these two never miscount a rep). To new moms and old moms. To kiddies and to grannies. To broken bones, broken hearts, big bellies, hungry/skinny girls, crooked spines, tingly feet, crackly knees and ever-winded lungs.

And what about the endless hours of study of the muscles we never actually exercise.   They are the muscles we use to grimace, to wince, to grit our teeth, to squint, to scrunch, to exhale and to smile when it is all done. I couldn’t name a single one of those muscles yet they are the ones that actually gauge the workout.

I still can’t read minds, don’t think I’ll ever be able to but I can sure read eyes. There are the eyes that ask “how many more reps?” or “don’t you dare make me do that again”. They are the eyes that say “ I hate you but will like you again when this rep is over”. Eyes that say “ hey, I can’t believe I actually did that” or “my butt is really starting to look awesome.”

They don’t teach these things at personal trainer school. They are not learned in a university or a weekend workshop. They are the skills of a master. Attainable, but unteachable.


Talkback Questions

What was your unconventional pathway to mastery?


Hey fellow trainers…


What is your definition of a master personal trainer?

What was your pathway to  becoming a master?

What would you suggest to aspiring personal trainers?



Hey everyone…


What makes your personal trainer a master?

What makes your personal trainer far from being a master?

Leave a Reply