The road to becoming a trainer is not designed to be easy and isn’t as simple as taking a test. Becoming a quality trainer takes years of education and hands-on experience—you’ll have to dig deep for this career. On top of completing your certification program of choice, you need to act the part and have the social skills to draw people in.

Once you’re certified, the following traits will take you far in the world of personal training.

1. Friendliness and Approachability

The No. 1 thing Francis Neric of ACSM says is key to great trainers is your ability to motivate others. If you’re not open with your clients, even though you can plan a great program, your clients’ success rates may suffer. So turn on your charm storm, because it looks great on you anyway, and start changing lives!

2. Foresight Into Upcoming Trends
This requires you to stay abreast of current trends in training so that you’ll know what clients will be curious about and what will (or won’t) work for them. The key is to continually educate yourself either through your certifying organization or elsewhere. The more you know, the better service you’ll provide to clients.
3. Nutrition Knowledge

Since abs—and overall health—are made in the kitchen, you should have a general interest in how this fits into your clients’ fitness picture. You’re not trained as a nutritionist, however, so refer your clients to a nutritionist you trust for the heavy lifting of diet planning. A base of knowledge helps plant seeds and hold clients accountable.