There are a number of factors that determine what is appropriate for your clothing as a personal fitness trainer. Here’s how to work out what is right for you and the gym you are in.
What Should a Personal Fitness Trainer Wear?
A personal trainer’s clothing/attire is determined by:
- The size of the gym
- Average price of the gym
- The climate (cold or hot)
- Branding – if you work for a big gym chain, you’ll be wearing their colors
- Functionality – you’ve got to be able to demonstrate every exercise
- Culture – some places show more skin, some show less
- Independent trainer or you work for the gym
- Your clientele and the gym membership – U.S. military or Wall Street
A Personal Trainer Needs To Be Able To Demonstrate Exercises
Above all, a personal trainer has to be able to move freely.
I’ve always worn clothing that allows me to demonstrate each and every exercise that I would ask my clients to do. It’s stupid to do otherwise. You’ll end up with torn pants or be looked at as a fake.
This point should be pretty obvious.
A Personal Trainer Is Not a Model
A personal trainer’s clothing should not be something that draws attention away from any training session.
By this, I mean specifically that there is no real need for a man to wear a tiny tank top or a woman to wear a bikini. Everyone can tell that you’re fit just by looking at your posture, how you carry yourself, and general muscle tone. Less is more here.
You should be seen as the person helping your clients reach your goals. Personal trainers should not be the center of attention.
This is a place for the paying members to come and be helped. They are the hero and you are the helper in their story. Put everyone’s attention in the right place and dress like someone who helps others.
Show Off the Brand
If you work for a big chain of gyms, you’ll be wearing their brand. The colors will have been worked out and that’s pretty much final.
If you’re working for a locally owned gym, you’ve got some leeway or complete freedom.
It kind of all comes down to whether or not the owner has worked out an ultimate image that he or she is going for. Sometimes it has all been worked out and other times it is just assumed that you’ll dress appropriately for the job.
I have found that it is good to issue guidelines, or just have them wear the tshirt with the gym name on it.
You don’t have to get overly complicated with it. You can have a stellar-looking team for hardly anything.
Coordinated Uniform for the Fitness Facility
It looks really, really good when you can spot a trainer from 100 feet away.
A nice, big “Personal Trainer” on the back of a shirt is a great thing to have, especially if they are there to help everyone.
This also points back to branding and marketing. It will be incorporated into the entire design of the logo, the color of the gym walls, uniforms, website design, etc.
When you get it right, and it is subtle, you’re in the zone. What do I mean by subtle? Well, the purple and yellow of Planet Fitness is NOT subtle.
That’s all I will say about that.
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Appropriate for the Locale/Climate
Maybe it would be a bit odd to have someone showing most of their legs.
Down in the Southern states, it happens all of the time because you’ll overheat. But maybe you train a very conservative group and it isn’t very fashionable to show a lot of skin.
So, look at what works and dress the part. YOU ARE THERE TO SERVE FITNESS TO YOUR PAYING CUSTOMERS. Your uniform should use that as the biggest measuring stick by which to measure propriety.
If it is freezing cold outside, then you will probably be wearing a bit more clothes – pants at least. And that’s fine. There is no reason to be freezing while you’re training people. Hell, in winter I used to wear a base layer underneath my exercise pants just so that I wouldn’t freeze.
Personal Trainer Interview Attire
Now, here’s an interesting scenario: What do you wear when you’re being interviewed for a personal training job?
This should not be exercise clothes. Think “golf attire.” Something you would wear to a country club and go golfing. Those attire standards are usually professional, but with a performance aspect.
Look, if you have to show off every curve of your body in a job interview, you really probably shouldn’t be working there. I’m old fashioned. If someone can’t tell that you look fit enough in slacks and a polo shirt – or a comparable female outfit, I’m not good at female fashion – then you don’t want to work for that person.
When I’ve ever considered hiring a trainer, I had a simple checklist:
- Not an excessive amount fat
- Decent posture
- Desire to work out
As a fitness trainer, I have the ability to get someone to lose fat and increase their posture. If I find the right person with a high communication level, I can handle the rest.
If you find yourself across the desk from someone critiquing your body, tell them to screw off and go start your own gym. This doesn’t mean you can look like a slob who doesn’t exercise, it is a comment on those in the position of hiring trainers.
Have a look at what a personal trainer should look like and just follow those standards and you’ll be fine.
People who are looking for personal trainers are mainly looking for communication skills.
Image is important. Dress for the job.
When I was in high school and working in construction, I wore jeans, a hard hat, protective eye wear and steel-toe boots. When I picked up side jobs, I always had different clothes I wore.
What you wear matters and you should dress the part of a personal trainer. If you do it right, you’ll get more clients, be more respected, and happier.
Personal fitness training is a good trade. Do what you can to make it even more prestigious.