Theses Doctoral

Characteristics of Successful Personal Trainers

Abbott, Melinda

Personal trainers are paid fitness professionals who curate exercise programs for their clients, bridging the gaps between health, commerce, and fitness. This study seeks to identify specific attributes of personal trainers associated with success, using a crosssectional design. An online survey was used to evaluate career success and levels of emotional intelligence using a convenience sample of certified, working personal trainers (N = 225). Two instruments were developed to capture the concepts of emotional intelligence and career success. Characteristics thought to be most pertinent in the field of personal training are those associated with Emotional Intelligence, as measured by the Emotional Intelligence in Personal Trainers [EIPT] instrument, developed as part of the study. Career success is measured by evaluating career satisfaction, professional progression and professional development using the Success as a Personal Training [SAAPT] instrument, also developed as part of the study. Demographic and work-related items measured variables like weekly productivity, location of training session, type of education, and certification to capture additional characteristics of the sample. The validated Career Success Survey [CSS] was used alongside the EIPT and the SAAPT. It was hypothesized that there would be a positive relationship between emotional intelligence and success. In addition, it was hypothesized that weekly productivity and years of experience would be related to success. Regression analysis findings show that although work-related variables are significant predictors of success, accounting for 19% of the variance in success, Emotional Intelligence accounts for variance in success above and beyond work-related variables, accounting for nearly 49% of additional variance in total success scores (p < .001). This result supports the hypothesis that EI is a significant predictor of success in addition to those work related factors like how many sessions are performed and years of employment.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Health and Behavior Studies
Thesis Advisors
O'Connell, Kathleen
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 5, 2018