5 Cornerstones of Personal Training

In a small, eclectic Mom & pop gym in San Fransisco I became a Certified Personal Trainer. The owners, Scott and Diana took me under their wings and through them, I came to understand, appreciate and respect the responsibility that came with being a personal trainer. I call it my Five Cornerstones of Personal Training.


Know your craft and get certified. Know how to design exercise programs for a variety of demographics. Realize that one size does not fit all. Or specialize in certain populations and excel in those areas. When trainers have a strong educational foundation backed by a qualified certification, it raises the entire industry up. Thereby, making it better for everyone: clients and fitness professionals alike.


Now stay up to date on all things fitness/wellness. Read, research, inquire. Keep up with your ECU’s. There’s lots of information available and your clients will have questions. If you don’t have an answer, no worries…do some research. Don’t lie and don’t give them b.s. Also, asking medical personnel, a physical therapist or another fitness professional for advice does not make you an inferior trainer. It makes you a better one. However, having said that, please…


You are a Certified Personal Trainer. We create exercise prescriptions addressing individual or group needs. And unless you have a legit degree in any of the following, you are not…a doctor, a nutritionist, a physical therapist, a psychiatrist, or a psychologist. I strongly caution against attempting to diagnose, analyze or prescribe a remedy for any medical or mental issue. If advice is requested, it’s okay to respond from your personal experience, but then direct them to a professional.


Care enough about training to: Be on Time; Look Presentable, Always be Prepared and Listen to your Clients and Address Their Needs. Lastly, showing up means modeling positive behaviors for your clients: Stay in shape; Eat right; and Get plenty of rest. (Ok, I was actually talking to myself on the last one!)


Keep your edge by learning new things. At that Mom & Pop shop, I discovered my love of rock climbing, cycling and Pilates. Remember those ECU’s? It was obtaining those credits that led to me specializing in Pre-natal Fitness. Expand your knowledge . Be relentless in your pursuit of knowledge and fearless in your willingness to try new things.


tony sanders (yes, he actually spells his name with no caps!) is a Certified Personal Trainer (privates, pre-natal and group), the creator of FIIT, cycling coach, and the owner of HomeBody Fitness (www.hobofit.com). Additionally, he has worked and toured extensively as a professional actor (Equity, SAG & AFTRA); is the founder and Artistic Director of the award-winning company, Shine! Youth Theatre (www.shinetheatre.com) and is currently the Performing Arts Director for Valley Arts and Science Academy in Fresno, CA. A native son of Philadelphia, tony and his wife Dorie (and their three beautiful kids) now call Central California home, where he enjoys endurance rides and camping.

5 Cornerstones of Personal Training

By Tony Sanders, Certified Personal Trainer