The art of building and keeping a strong PT team

Rob Johnson is the managing director and founder of Future Fit Training, the ukactive Training Provider of the Year, 2016. He built the business out of a desire to deliver better qualified personal trainers and fitness instructors to the industry and has never lost sight of the need to continuously produce top quality graduates with skills that meet the needs of the industry.

We spoke to Rob about the seven secrets to building – and keeping – a strong PT team.


Look beyond the certificate

Not all Level 3 PTs are created equal: don’t assume PTs with the same level qualification have had the same level of training. Some courses are very light on the theory, have no real life assessments, speed-train and don’t prepare people for the real world of personal training. While we await CIMSPA’s implementation of a minimum assessment strategy, look more closely at your prospective PT’s training and assessment:
– Have they trained for weeks or months?
– Have they worked with real-life case studies?
– Do they understand Behaviour Change and other soft skills?
– Watch their practical skills – shadow them on the gym floor, see how they interact with members and colleagues
– Ask them to prepare a programme for one of your members or colleagues.


Great PTs are created not recruited

Don’t expect the finished article to walk through your door. Look for potential and accept it’s your responsibility to ensure they engage in CPD training and are supported as they evolve and develop.


Change your culture, not your staff

High rates of churn are disruptive and damaging. PTs who are valued, trained, supported and respected will fulfil their potential, take pride in their work and add value to their employer. Create a culture of learning, support, CPD and conversation and watch your churn rates and recruitment costs fall.


View CPD training as an investment

Continuing Professional Development is an investment, not a cost: the better qualified your staff, the better job they’ll do. Find out which CPD training your PTs want: they’ll engage better in what interests them. If you find ‘off the shelf’ training doesn’t meet your needs but bespoke training is too pricey, try our new Pro Zone – the industry’s only accredited online community for PTs. It gives access to independent, expert trainers, webinars that carry CPD points, masterclasses, discounted courses and 24/7 Q&A support.


Learn to spot winning characteristics

Look for these characteristics in your PTs. Any skills they lack can be taught but character is harder to shape.
– A natural communicator
– Postive and upbeat
– Emotionally intelligent
– Empathetic
– Self-motivated
– A great problem solver
– Open-minded
– Client-focused


Remember that people buy from people

There’s no business more about people than personal training. People buy from people, and clients and members will ‘buy’ from your PTs – provided they know how to ‘sell’. Successful PTs master effective communication, empathy, trust-building and create intuitive programmes to keep the results coming and the members coming back.


Hold onto your ‘super PT’

Having recruited and created your ‘super PT’, you need to protect your investment. A PT who combines training ability with soft skills and instinctive empathy with commercial awareness is an asset. To hold onto them you must value their work, invite their input to your gym’s development and support their CPD and career progression.


Posted in Gyms & Clubs, Interviews, Personal Trainers, The Fitness Network.