23 September, 2016

A big part of being a Personal Trainer is connecting with your clients, and believe it or not, each and every client has their own unique personality. It is up to you, the PT, to adapt your approach to get the most out of your clients and to develop the PT/client relationship.

Here is a look at a few of the more common personality types and how to train them:

Type A

These types of clients can be troublesome if not handled correctly, they can be hostile and impatient, however they also make for great clients as they are prone to competitiveness, perfectionism and have a high drive. It is a common personality type in competitive sports, so if you’re training an athlete you can expect they may fit in here.

How to train

This type of client often comes with an ego and will think they know best. They may begin each session with the goal of setting a personal best. They’ll want to bench their maximum weight every time. Persuading them to leave their ego at the door and focus on technique is the first real challenge to training a Type A personality. Tapping into the perfectionism part of their personality can help sway them from pumping out PBs to perfecting their squat technique. It’s important to gain the client’s trust so that when they drop the weight they still see gains.

Type B

The absolute opposite of a Type A. These clients have training fairly low on their list of priorities, and any homework you may give them is less than likely to be completed. However, they’ve probably hired you hoping you can motivate them. If you’re unsuccessful, they tend not to stick around for very long.

How to train

The trick is to find the root of the issue, to find out why they aren’t all that engaged with their program and training. It can often be a simple as not having the time to train as much as they’d like, which is fine, you just need to adapt their training so that it is manageable and not overwhelming in the slightest.

Having an honest conversation with what is stopping them from really committing to their program can make all the difference and help you find ways to improve their work ethic.

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The Number Cruncher

This type of client is fixated on numbers. Numbers mean everything. They want to measure their improvements with tangible results. It’s not just the number of reps and sets they do, but the calories burnt, their calorie intake, arm diameter, chest size, weight, protein intake and anything else. They can be great clients to train, if you’re good with the numbers too, as they are highly invested in measuring growth, which in turn gives them motivation.

How to train

You need to get an idea of what they are looking to improve and straighten up any misconceptions. For example, a common goal for clients can be to get into “better shape,” which many people believe is associated with weight loss. Yet weight loss may have little to do with it. The weighing scales may remain the same as fat is lost and muscle mass is gained, but the body is shaping up perfectly. Measuring waist diameter or any other area they wish to improve will be a much better measurement. Give them the right things to measure and look at, and you’ll see their motivation levels spike.

The Perfect Client

They respond well to feedback and trust you wholeheartedly. What you say to them will be taken on board, processed and executed. If you have set a plan, they will stick to it without faltering. If you told them to drink concrete, they would.

How to train

It’s easy to train a client like this. You can set the workouts and they will follow them. You can be sure that they will even follow their plan when you’re not present. They sought your advice and they want to follow it to get the most out of their training.

The main problem with this client is that they will continue to work out even when they shouldn’t. If they suffer small injuries or are sick, they will continue to hit the gym and do their prescribed session. You’ll need to be on top of them about these small injuries and adapt their plans accordingly.


There are many more personality type, and all types of people can be trained if you can find the right motivators. They have come to you for a purpose and therefore the will is there, so you need to take into account the type of person they are and work with that to get them to train.

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