How To Be Your Own Personal Trainer (2022)

be your own personal trainer

When you’re in that final push for the peak of your fitness journey, it’s natural to want to be your own personal trainer. Setting yourself tailored goals, creating bespoke diet plans, and building sustainable routines are all key elements of how to be your own personal trainer at the gym.

But where do you get started with all of these things? And what milestones can you smash past as your own personal trainer?

OriGym’s comprehensive guide explains everything you’ll need to be your own PT, as well as tips and tricks from industry experts on how you can maximise your training gains.


One surefire way to truly excel as your own personal trainer, though, is to complete a personal training diploma. 

OriGym’s internationally recognised personal trainer qualifications provide everything you need, with custom-made learning resources, unlimited expert guidance and advice, 7-days-a-week support, and guaranteed interviews when you graduate.

Download our FREE prospectus to learn more about what we offer, and how it could be ideal for you. 


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What Is A Personal Trainer?

While this may seem like a redundant question, we feel it’s important to fully define the role of a personal trainer, especially as we’ll be closely examining how to be your own personal trainer.

Put simply, a personal trainer is someone who works on a 1-to-1 basis with clients, dispensing nutritional and dietary advice, creating bespoke workouts, designing sustainable and tailored routines, and ensuring they’re exercising safely and effectively.

They’ll also develop a rapport with their clients, understanding each individual’s goals and aspirations, and work in partnership with them to establish a manageable plan that can help them achieve those goals.

There’s also a multitude of other duties and responsibilities that a personal trainer needs to take into account - read more in OriGym’s full exploration of a personal trainer job description.

However, the essence of their job (and what you’ll need to be completely aware of if you’re thinking about how to be your own personal trainer at the gym) is the creation and implementation of workout routines, diet plans, and exercises.

We’ve collated a host of different tips and tricks to ensure you can thrive as your own personal trainer.

13 Top Tips On How To Become Your Own Personal Trainer

#1 - Set Yourself Goals

One of the most crucial things you’ll need to do when you decide to become your own personal trainer is to set yourself manageable, achievable goals. 

Goals serve multiple purposes, especially in fitness. They not only provide you with a target to aim for, but you’ll also be able to more accurately visualise how you can get there, and what steps you’ll need to take to facilitate that.

Our recommendation would be to utilise the SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals system, ensuring that your aspirations are always just a few steps away.

Having those simple, manageable goals can provide you with a full plan on how to get to your ultimate goals, whether that’s weight loss, muscle gain, or simply improving your overall fitness levels. 

#2 - Create A Schedule

Combining those SMART goals with a routine that fits around your lifestyle and commitments is paramount, especially when thinking about how to be your own personal trainer. 

One of the advantages of having a schedule that suits you is that you can specifically plan workouts and exercises that fit around other obligations. 

For instance, you might choose to do a tougher, more intense workout when you know you’ll have time to recuperate the following day. Or you might complete a gentler, less strenuous exercise (such as pilates or yoga) when you know you’ve got a busy day ahead of you.

This understanding contributes towards not only being your own personal trainer, but to establishing healthy and sustainable habits that are bespoke to you. 

#3 - Take Regular Measurements

As your own personal trainer, you unfortunately won’t have someone to take responsibility for noting down measurements (whether that’s related to your weight or muscle mass)

However, writing down these figures is a hugely important part of what you’ll do when you decide to be your own personal trainer. Measurements not only provide a fantastic indication of how well you’re doing, but it allows you to keep track of how far you’ve come, which can be a huge motivator. 

This motivation can often be what makes the difference in that last push or the last set, and making a note of it (whether that’s on a spreadsheet or in a dedicated fitness journal) allows you to always have that at the forefront of your mind.

#4 - Track Your Workouts

It may seem self-explanatory, but as your own personal trainer, it’s vital to ensure you make a note of the exercises you’re completing, and when you’re completing, as well as for how long or how many reps.

The benefits of this are numerous, but the main reason is to ensure that you’re achieving the goals you want to achieve, as well as continuing to progress with the workouts you’re choosing to undertake.

It’ll also mean that you’re achieving a diverse range of exercises (which we’ll look at in more detail in our next tip), and targeting different muscle groups and areas of the body. For instance, you might alternate between leg and arm workouts, or intersperse more intense exercise with cardiovascular workouts. 

Ultimately, though, by tracking the exercises you’re completing, you’ll be able to find what works for you, and how you can build a successful routine around that exercise.

#5 - Diversify Your Exercises

Diversifying your workouts is a key element that can really take your workouts to the next level if you’re looking to be your own personal trainer. 

This can be a trick skill to master, but its effects are wide-reaching, and can ensure that your routine doesn’t start to get boring or repetitive, which can often lead to demotivation or a lack of progress.

Including exercises that you might be new to, or building up a bank of alternatives such as cross training exercises, ensures that there’ll always be new challenges and fresh workouts to attempt.

Opening yourself up to new experiences may also mean you discover a new passion, and decide to pursue it on a much more focused level, leading to new goals, new ambitions, and new ideas for your future in fitness.

However, diversification can be a difficult skill to learn - completing more formal qualifications and accreditations (such as OriGym’s Level 4 personal training diploma) can provide you with the grounding you need to mix up your workouts effectively.

#6 - Keep A Fitness Diary

You may already be keeping track of your measurements and PBs in your journal, but writing down your thoughts about fitness and your exercise journey in a more personal way can allow you to really reflect on how it’s going.

A great PT will always practice self-reflection and, when you’re looking to be your own personal trainer, it’s important to emulate that trait, especially as it’s one of the characteristics that makes a personal trainer really excel.

By writing down your thoughts and feelings, you can truly see how much being your own personal trainer is affecting you, and whether it can continue to have the same profound effects. 

You’ll also have a visual representation of how your mindset and ideas have changed over the course of your training, and what you can do to maintain those new ideals, especially as these can be lifestyle changes that have a huge positive impact.

#7 - Eat Like A Personal Trainer

As you might already be aware, exercise can only take you so far alone. It’s crucial to create healthy habits, and make healthy nutritional choices, in order to see bigger changes to fitness and ability levels. 

That’s where the personal trainer diet comes in.

Essentially, this diet plan will provide you with all the nutrition you need, as well as incorporating the correct measures of macronutrients, in order to give you the most energy while avoiding unhealthy options that will often contain “bad” fats, sugars, and excessive amounts of carbohydrates.

Understanding nutrition itself is much more specialised than planning your own meals, but having a good basis to build on (especially when thinking of how to be your own personal trainer) is ideal, and can mean the difference between success and failure in your exercise routines. 

#8 - Plan For Rest Days

Rest days are arguably just as important as the days where we work out. They provide time for our muscles and joints to recover and recuperate, as well as ensuring that we don’t experience “burnout” with our exercise.

That’s part of the reason why it’s hugely important to factor in rest days - they perform an essential function, and when you’re thinking about how to become your own personal trainer, they’re a key area you’ll need to consider.

Rest days will also allow you to schedule time for other commitments, such as hobbies, family time, and just generally relaxing and resting, all of which are hugely important for a healthy lifestyle that’s not only good for you, but that’s sustainable, too.

#9 - Have The Right Equipment

It goes without saying, but having the right equipment is pivotal in being as successful as you can be as your own fitness trainer, regardless of what regime or schedule you’ve constructed for yourself.

The likelihood is you will need some form of equipment, and it’s important to find the right apparatus for you and your workouts. Whether you’re enjoying the benefits of calisthenics training (or bodyweight training), or you’re utilising weights or cardio equipment, it’s vital to be aware of what you need. 

Setting out a list of what you’ll need to be your own personal trainer is an excellent idea, especially as it means you can keep track of what you already have, and what you’ll need to progress.

This checklist is equally important if you’re wondering how to be your own personal trainer at the gym, too. Understanding what you need to succeed is of the utmost importance on your fitness journey.

#10 - Stay Focused

Now, you’ve got your goals written down in a dedicated journal, you’ve ticked everything off your custom checklist, and you’re starting to implement healthy nutritional habits. But deciding to be your own personal trainer still requires significant focus. 

It can be easy to get distracted, especially if you’re working out at the gym. With so much going on around you, and so many different people undertaking different exercises, you may lose focus and become preoccupied with something else.

Without the guidance of a PT, you’ll need to be your own personal trainer, and ensure you stay focused on the task at hand.

Wearing headphones and exercising to music or a motivational podcast can provide a soundscape that offers a way to focus in, and blocks out external distractions.

#11 - Keep Learning

Fitness is an ever-evolving and rapidly changing industry, and it’s important to keep up to date with the latest news and developments, especially when you’ve decided to be your own fitness trainer.

Our recommendation would be to keep up to date with specialist publications and blogs (such as the well-renowned OriGym fitness blog), as these will generally provide tips, tricks and ideas on how to improve, as well as the latest changes in fitness.

You can also read books, watch videos, and study academic papers and research in order to further your understanding, and nurture the passion you have for fitness.

Ultimately, though, the best way to continue to thrive and develop in the area you’re enthusiastic about is to achieve a formal accreditation, which will provide much more grounding, as well as giving you the ideal platform you can use to launch a lucrative and prosperous career in personal fitness.

OriGym’s Level 4 personal training diploma takes you from being a passionate fitness enthusiast with no prior knowledge, to a fully qualified and certified personal trainer, providing you with all the resources and information you’ll need, as well as advice from industry experts.

#12 - Invest In Fitness Technology

While it’s incredibly beneficial, fitness can, at times, be incredibly expensive. Whether that’s buying the best in cushioned running shoes, or keeping up with trends in fitness clothing, it can be a costly hobby to be a part of.

However, when it comes to learning how to be your own personal trainer in the gym, we would strongly advise investing in a small piece of technology in order to let you easily track your progress, measure vital signs like your heart rate and movement, and monitor important elements such as your sleeping patterns.

There are a variety of options on the market, and it’s important to find one that both suits your budget, and helps you track the data you’re looking to track.

These devices will also often come with a smartphone app that will mean you can always have your data with you, and be able to plan goals and aspirations, even when you’re not at home.

#13 - Be The PT You Would Want

Our last tip on how to be your own personal trainer is to take all the characteristics and traits you’d want in a PT, and apply them to your own training regime.

What we mean by this is that you shouldn’t be too harsh on yourself if you don’t achieve what you’ve set out to achieve on your first attempt, but that you’ll also need to motivate and push yourself when you feel a lack of desire, or your passion fades a little.

Finding out what works for you, and the best ways to go about achieving that, is incredibly important in fitness, and especially when you’re looking at how to be your own personal trainer at the gym, at home, and in your daily life.

Having this outlook, and tailoring your personal training style to include the things you respond well to, is the ideal grounding for establishing a sustainable but enjoyable schedule.

What Are The Benefits Of Being Your Own Personal Trainer?

Now that we’ve fully explored the question of “how to be my own personal trainer”, let’s explore some of the benefits of doing it, and the skills it’ll help you to achieve.


#1 - Much Cheaper

The likelihood is, if you’re exploring how to be your own personal trainer, you’re aware that PT services can be expensive. Of course, there’s lots of good reasons for this high price tag but, for some, it understandably just isn’t affordable. 

That’s one of the key benefits of being your own personal trainer - you completely mitigate against those costs, and avoid having to pay potentially costly PT prices. 

Of course, you’ll still have expenses (such as any gym membership fees, equipment, and the right clothing), but with the money you save from not having a personal trainer, you’ll be able to afford the equipment that best suits your routine, and the exercises you’ll be completing.

#2 - Completely Tailored Experience

When you become your own personal trainer, you’re instantly in charge of every element of your fitness journey, including diet, exercises, schedules, and tracking the measurements that are important to you.

This is arguably one of the most important factors when it comes to learning how to become your own personal trainer - your total control means you can tailor each aspect to better suit you and your lifestyle.

For instance, if you’re vegan, you’ll be able to compare plant protein and animal protein sources to ensure you’re getting the right nutrition, and that you understand how proteins play a role in exercise. 

Or, if you’ve got a particularly busy work schedule, you can set custom times that work best for you (9:00pm or 5:00am, for example), which you may not be able to with a personal trainer.

#3 - Vast Amount of Learning Opportunities

We’ve already touched upon how exercise is constantly changing and evolving to incorporate new technologies, new techniques, and new trends that shape the field we’re passionate about.

That’s one of the beauties of discovering how to become your own personal trainer - you open yourself up to a world of development and learning opportunities that you might never have previously imagined.

With so many areas of fitness to learn about, and so many sources that provide in-depth information (like the well-recognised OriGym blog), there’s always something new to learn and work on including in your own personal trainer routines and schedules.

But where can all this learning take you? Let’s look at the development opportunities you’ll be able to take advantage of when you’re learning how to be your own personal trainer at the gym.

Where Can Being Your Own Personal Trainer Take You?

When you feel as though you’ve learnt all you need to know about how to be your own personal trainer, it can be difficult to visualise where you can go next. While we’ve already learnt that there’s a vast array of learning materials available online, there’s only so far that this can take you.

The main avenue, and the one that opens you up to a more diverse range of further development options, is to achieve formal accreditation as a personal trainer. 

Completing a Level 4 personal training qualification gives you absolutely everything you need to be able to work on a 1-to-1 basis with clients, imparting everything you’ll have learnt by being your own personal trainer. 

OriGym’s personal trainer diploma gives you absolutely everything to go from no qualifications to a fully licensed personal trainer, as well as providing unlimited expert guidance and an extensive library of bespoke resources.

However, while this is the main (and most recommended) choice, this is not your only option for development. When learning how to be your own personal trainer, you’ll often touch on ideas for nutrition, such as the best foods for energy, and the right times to eat the right meals.

That can often lead onto a course in more specialised dietary training, such as a qualification in sports nutrition with OriGym

With this, you’ll not only develop a mastery of macronutrients, but you’ll learn about how food and exercise have a deep bond, and how our foods are labelled to meet governmental legislation. Once completed, you’ll be fully qualified to dispense nutritional advice, either as part of, or entirely separate from, your role as a personal trainer. 

Before You Go!

All of these tips and tricks come together to create a complete picture of how to be your own personal trainer, and how you can excel at creating your own workout plans, diets, and schedules to push you onwards to your goals.

Whether you were wondering how to be your own fitness trainer, or just looking for advice on where to take your passions next, our guide aimed to answer all those questions and more.

But there’s one natural destination for your enthusiasm to go next - a career in fitness.

OriGym’s industry-leading personal training qualifications represent the ultimate in PT certification, offering 7-days-a-week expert support, unlimited support and guidance long into the future, guaranteed post-course interviews, and internationally recognised accreditation.

Interested? Download our FREE complete prospectus, and explore more of what we offer, and how it could be ideal for you.


Written by Chris Allsobrook

Senior Content Editor

Chris is a former English teacher, turned content editor. He holds a first-class honours degree in English Language and Creative Writing from the University of Central Lancashire, before going on to complete his teacher training, and obtain a PGCE at Liverpool John Moore’s.

Chris is a keen runner and is currently undertaking both his fitness instructing and personal training qualifications here at OriGym. 

Outside of fitness, you’ll often find him gaming, watching the football, cooking, or spending time with his family.