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5 Highly Successful Personal Trainer Dieting & Training Habits You Need

train like a professional

Fitness professionals have reached their status for a number of different reasons. However, many of their techniques include hard work and, of course, consistency.

Unfortunately, many people have a misinformed view of how these professionals have attained the physique they desired.

In this article, I breakdown 5 of the most popular habits of fitness pros that you can begin to incorporate into your daily routine on your own path to attaining a physique worthy of the label professional.

Having Goals & Staying Consistent

For fitness professionals, having clearly defined goals and remaining consistent are two of the most important factors in their success.

Unfortunately, many people see fitness models and don’t recognize the years of consistent work that they have invested to build the physiques that most of us desire. Day in and day out, these models we admire exercise consistently and eat appropriately for their goals.

Additionally, most, if not all of them, have both long- and short-term goals that are attainable. From here, these professionals map out a blueprint to ensure that they’re taking the necessary steps to actually achieve what they are hoping for.

Fortunately for the rest of us, this simple habit is one of the key pillars of fitness success. Just keep in mind that remaining consistent for a week or two simply won’t cut it. If you want the physique of a fitness model, you’ll need to remain consistent for years to come.

While doing so is obviously attainable, many underestimate just how much effort is required to reach these goals.

Tracking & Weighing Foods

One of the most important factors for success, even if you aren’t a fitness professional, is monitoring and adjusting your food intake appropriately and effectively.

That’s why many fitness professionals both track and weigh their foods. Doing so allows for pinpoint accuracy of macronutrients and of course, total calorie intake.

While some fitness professionals are able to consume food without tracking, this is not the norm. Some individuals have simply been graced with great genetics, allowing for consumption of just about any food, while unfortunately, the rest of us are not so lucky.

I suggest using a tracking application such as MyFitnessPal, to track all of your calories and macronutrient ratios. Additionally, consider weighing foods since doing so will allow you to know exactly how many calories you’re consuming.

Unfortunately, other non-weight based measuring tools are not as accurate as weighing. Using other methods of measurement may suffice, but, if you’re looking for a physique worthy of being a professional, I suggest weighing your foods for accurate calorie amounts.

Focusing On Energy Balance First

In other articles, we’ve discussed the importance of energy balance and how it pertains to favorably changing your body composition.

However, it’s very important to point out that even though you often see fitness professionals “eating clean” their success is not directly attributed to just those foods but rather, the energy deficit that those foods provide.

The important point here is that traditional “clean foods”, such as vegetables and lean protein, have unique properties, which allow them to have a high volume, yet low calorie count. Essentially, this leads to feelings of fullness, even though you’re consuming fewer calories.

So, while you may see fitness professionals consuming bland, clean foods most of the time, they’re doing so because these foods allow for a high volume of food, with little caloric impact.

If you’re hoping to have the physique of a fitness pro, you’ll need to manipulate your energy balance according to your goal. Just keep in mind that much of the time for a very defined physique, many of your food choices may need to consist of what we  know as “clean foods.” 

Take Diet Breaks On Occasion 

A bad habit that many of us have acquired over the years is a habit of chronically restricting calories for too long a period. At first, this makes sense as energy balance is the number one factor in weight loss. However, when restricting for months or more, you could seriously be hampering your weight loss attempts.

This idea of taking breaks from dieting is one concept that has only just come to the notice of the general public, but it certainly is one that is revolutionizing how many of us view and execute dieting phases.

At first when you begin dieting, weight loss comes with relative ease. However, after a period of several weeks, your metabolism begins to adapt to this lower amount of calories. This is unfortunately a survival mechanism to ensure that you don’t starve yourself.

When your metabolism adapts, this requires either a further reduction of calories or a break from dieting all together.

Fortunately, there is actually research on this topic that indicates taking a break every 2-3 weeks is optimal for allowing your metabolism to recuperate, avoiding adaptation (1, 2, 3, 4).

I suggest taking a break from restriction and eating normally every 2-3 weeks for a period of a few days, all the way to 2 weeks, to avoid adaptation. After some time of eating normally, return to your previous calorie intake and adjust as needed. 

Train Efficiently And Effectively    

It’s important to keep in mind that, while many professionals do train often for long durations, they’re still ensuring their workouts are both effective and efficient.

Rather than spending hours in the gym just working out, you should have a clear set of exercises, with a specific purpose in mind, then ensure that your workouts actually provide you with the result you’re working towards.

To do this, you’ll want to pick specific muscle groups and decide on a specific purpose. Are you working on strength, hypertrophy or both? Deciding on these factors first, will allow you to choose exercises, sets, and rep ranges ahead of time, making the process efficient.

From here, you’ll want to pick the exercises which are most effective. This includes using compound movements first, and then choosing isolation movements, which are effective at building the target muscle group.

When it comes to training, fitness professionals choose exercises that are effective for the target muscle group and intended outcome. I suggest building workouts ahead of time or seeking help from a professional. 

training like a professional

5 Highly Successful Personal Trainer Dieting & Training Habits You Need

Fitness professionals have their status on account of opportunity, great genetics or simply just hard work and consistency.

Throughout my years in the industry, I’ve had a chance to work with many fitness professionals and most of them follow a few, if not all, of the above habits.

If you’re looking to truly take your fitness and health to a level attained by professionals, then a great place to start your journey is to incorporate these habits into your own routine.


  • Arguin, Hélene, et al. “Short-and long-term effects of continuous versus intermittent restrictive diet approaches on body composition and the metabolic profile in overweight and obese postmenopausal women: a pilot study.” Menopause 19.8 (2012): 870-876.
  • Byrne, et al. “Intermittent energy restriction improves weight loss efficiency in obese men: the MATADOR study.” Int J Obes (Lond). Aug 17 (2017) [Epub ahead of print].
  • Keogh, Jennifer Beatrice, et al. “Effects of intermittent compared to continuous energy restriction on short‐term weight loss and long‐term weight loss maintenance.” Clinical obesity 4.3 (2014): 150-156.
  • Varady, K. A. (2011). Intermittent versus daily calorie restriction: which diet regimen is more effective for weight loss?. Obesity reviews, 12(7).

About the author

Rudy Mawer, MSc, CISSN

Rudy has a 1st class BSc in Exercise, Nutrition & Health and a Masters in Exercise & Nutrition Science from the University of Tampa. Rudy currently works as a Human Performance Researcher, Sports Nutritionist and Physique Coach. Over 7 years he has helped over 500 people around the world achieve long last physique transformations.

He now works closely with a variety of professional athletes and teams, including the NBA, USA Athletics, World Triathlon Gold Medalists, Hollywood Celebrities and IFBB Pro Bodybuilders. If you would like to get in contact or work with Rudy please contact him on social media.

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