A Master Class On Being A GOOD Personal Trainer With Phil Learney!



I’ve been a trainer now for close to 18 years. I did my time in the trenches scrubbing changing rooms, handing out towels, doing program design sessions till I got bored of giving out the generic and expected ‘This is how this machine works’. I’ve made mistake after mistake in both my training and the management of what has always essentially been MY business. At times I’ve hung myself out there to be dismissed and proven wrong, I’ve taken risks and for the most part each one paid off. I’ve lost money, lost clients, gained money and gained clients. In a highly competitive industry I’m going to share with you some things that have helped me, hindered me, confused me and some that have gained me a lot of respect along the way.


I will ALWAYS listen to what you want from your session or program and act accordingly on that.

If YOU give me 100%…guess what, you get that back. Anything below 90% I’m not interested in training you and I WILL get rid of you (Even when I struggled for clients I still did this, I enjoy training people who give everything).

I don’t care how famous anyone is they will wait for an appointment like anyone else.

If you don’t follow your nutrition plan or adapt your current nutrition I wont train you! YOU become my billboard and if you don’t change what you eat, guess what, nothing changes and I am the one to blame.

I WILL GET results. Don’t worry about that…. just follow what I tell you.

I don’t care if you cry, puke, fake an injury whatever, excuses don’t rub.

Once you step through that door you may be a famous movie star, a £50,000 a week athlete, a CEO of a large corporate brand you will be treated as equals. You try to tell me what you ‘think’ you should do or ‘want’ to do that day I will firstly make that a VERY nasty session then politely tell you ‘I think we have other trainers here more appropriate for you’.

If you cancel within 24hrs YOU will be charged. When my Dr and Dentist start changing their policy I’ll review this.

If you don’t eat your planned meal before your session I WILL send you home and charge you… that way you wont do it again right. Let you off…. you will do it again and we can’t have that!

Don’t forget your Post workout…. if you do on occasions I WILL provide you with it…but not too often.

If your workout structure allows for rest periods I may give you some of my wonderful chat… most of the time you will hear what’s coming next, how many reps you’ve done or have left, your time etc. etc.

If I cant help you with my skillset I’ll find someone better suited who can.

If I don’t know I’ll tell you I don’t know and find out from someone who does!

I DO expect you to change your life… that’s what this is all about.

I promise you at times its NOT going to be easy!

DON’T be late. I wont be so I expect you not to be.

I may at times change my opinion on something but that’s the nature of the industry, new research and new education.]


NB. I don’t perceive I’ve ‘made’ it but I’m making a living out of something I enjoy and that’s pretty sweet to say you NEVER feel like you’re doing a days work.

Don’t BS people. Be honest and loyal and they will be.

Be a professional and people will treat you that way.

YOU do not know it all, no one does.

Read, read and read some more, process, process and figure it out for yourself based on what you learnt.

Don’t copy other trainers, take what you learn and use it but DON’T write it off as your own.

Don’t pretend you’re something you’re not.

Train as many people as you possibly can. You’ll get paid toffee when you first start out so it’s a good way to make money and learn in the process.

Listen! There are tonnes of people out there with loads of knowledge. Ask the right questions and they’ll give you some good answers.

Invest in education. What it will cost you provided you learn you WILL make back if you apply what you learned.

Set up your own set of ethics and rules and stick by them.

Don’t let your ego or pride get in the way of picking someone’s brain that works alongside you.

Train yourself… you’ll learn so much. If you want to know more about a sport, play it or watch it or both. If you want to know more about a training method try it!

Look after your appearance.

Be professional and courteous at all times.


Am sure I could think of loads more but it gives you an idea…

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