The Top Five Key Attributes for Training Success

Over the years of personal training you begin to see patterns as the most successful clients tend to share the same behaviors. Those characteristics elicit more successful outcomes. If you are seeking a personal trainer, or if you are working out on your own, here is a list of the top 5 attributes that will likely lead you to the results that you desire.

Listen and Change

As a trainer, it is my job to monitor the clients progress. If progression is limited, or non-existent that may mean we need to tweak a few things. It may be diet, intensity, training volume/frequency. When dealing with a persons biomechanics, I will give suggestions on what exercises or stretches will be good for that individual person. These are recommendations not from a friend or magazine, but a health professional that has researched and experience to spare. Anyone can listen, but the most successful clients are the ones that change their behavior based on these recommendations. It will not be easy, a lot of people struggle with change, and in a sense, refuse to do so, despite saying they will. But the key concept to remember is to listen to these critiques, and change your behavior, it will take you much closer to your goals. Excuses are just a sign that you are opting out of change.


Diet and Training is a balancing act. If you become inconsistent, there is a chance that you will fall off. The more consistent you are, the more likely you will steadily strive towards your goals without taking any steps back. The fittest people are the ones that have been consistent over the years. That means you can’t take weeks/months off.


Dedicating yourself to your Diet and Training is very important. I often meet people that will greatly limit how much dedication they want to put into achieving their goals. In doing so, you only lengthen the amount of time before you reach your goal. The longer the goal, the greater risk for failure. The more time and energy you put into this, the better off you will be.

Example: If you want to lose 10 lbs, we may estimate that it will take you 5 weeks with a reasonable diet and exercise program. But if you state that you will not cut out alcohol, pizza, and going out to eat, and will only dedicate yourself to 1 hour of exercise per week, your goal of losing 10lbs may be elongated from 5 week to a year.

Also, make sure that you stay dedicated to a program if you are following one. I often see people trying out a program for 2 weeks, then switching over to something else, and then to something completely different. Give these programs the respect that is due and give them at least 6-8 weeks.


One of the hardest virtues to teach is patience. Partly due to our want it fast-want it now culture, there is little room for all this work and time requirements. But you have to be patient. When correctly done, weight loss, strength gains, muscle hypertrophy, all take time, a really long time. Health professional work in weeks, months, and years. While Infomercials, Fitness Fads, and the Supplement Industry might work in hours and days. Don’t let marketing and advertising shape your reality. No one gets results over night.




Program Adaptability

We are flipping the switch on this one. Oftentimes as trainers we need to reflect back on ourselves and our programs. The program that you are following should be adaptable. If I write up a program and hand it to 20 people, it may work very well at achieving some group goal (general fitness), but it may not be appropriate for the athletes looking to enhance sports performance, or the client with back pain, or the client looking to lose weight but perhaps doesn’t want to incorporate the (difficult to learn, and even harder to master) Olympic lifts. If our programs are one-size fits all in design, only a small percent will succeed. The rest might get injured, or not reach their personal goals. This is a very simple concept but often ignored by trainers and coaches.

Even if you are taking a program out of a magazine, adjust it for you. If you are following a specific diet, tweak it to fit your needs. The lesson with these concepts is learning the theme and underlying construct that makes them so successful. It has little to do with following it 100%.

The most successful clients in regards to programming are the ones that have made suitable adjustments or have integrated in their specific needs or wants into the program. One size fits all offers limited success. It only exists as a simpler programming method that makes the best use of the coaches/trainers time but at the expense of the individual clients goals or needs being ignored.