How Should A Personal Trainer Dress

Making a good first impression on potential clients or employers is vital, which is why “how should a personal trainer dress?” is an important question.

Our one-stop guide into personal trainer dress codes will provide you with expert advice, so you can see first hand how you should be dressing for these sessions. 

The following personal trainer clothing topics will be discussed:

But before we move on, it’s not just about looking the part but also having the qualifications too! With our Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course, you can combine workout programmes with nutrition advice and help clients see results much faster.

Alternatively, download our latest prospectus to view the selection of health and fitness courses we offer.

How Should a Personal Trainer Dress? 

If you have found yourself questioning ‘what should a personal trainer wear?’, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. You may believe that simply wearing your regular gym attire will suffice, but that unfortunately isn’t the case.

Of course, dressing for comfort is important when you work in a gym environment, however, personal trainers who are employed by a chain or large corporate gyms will most likely have a personal trainer uniform or strict dress code that must be adhered to when working with clients.

Whereas, trainers working under a freelance structure or working in smaller/private gyms, these regulations aren’t typically in place, leaving many to feel lost in a grey area of uncertainty. 

If you currently don’t have a set uniform or dress code, OriGym would strongly recommend having two separate workout wardrobes. Compile a selection of clothing which you can wear when you personally workout, and another for when you’re working with a client. 

Whatsmore, please keep in mind that just because a certain item of clothing is a regularly occurring feature in your workout wardrobe does not mean it’s suitable for training. Remember, these sessions are your working hours, and like any other job you must abide by some form of dress code in order to maintain a level of professionalism. This will go a long way when it comes to making money as a personal trainer.

We understand that it may be hard to differentiate between what is and what isn’t appropriate to wear in the presence of clients, which makes answering ‘how should a personal trainer dress?’ rather difficult. At OriGym we believe that our insider knowledge will provide you with detailed insight into how you should arrange your wardrobe. 

These topics will hone in on specific elements, all of which will provide a better understanding of how you should be dressing as a personal trainer. 

Key Tips for Dressing as a Personal Trainer 

Before we delve into topics such as how a personal trainer should dress for professionalism, at OriGym we felt it best to impart some key tips to take into consideration when putting together a workout wear wardrobe. 

#1 – Dress for Functionality 

Let’s face it, when we go to work we all want to look the part and dress in a smart manner, regardless of what we do, or whether there is a workplace dress code. However, dressing well can only get you so far, as a personal trainer you should also be dressed in a manner which allows you to easily demonstrate workouts.

When faced with the question ‘what should a personal trainer wear?’, there is a rather straightforward answer, which is that whenever you’re in the gym with a client you should always be in workout attire. 

Just because you’re not the one exercising does not mean you have an excuse to come in your everyday clothes. In the event that you have to demonstrate how to perform certain exercises or showcase proper form, you want to ensure that you are prepared by wearing suitable clothing.

If you’re looking for functionality, personal trainers should ideally wear clothing that is both comfortable and flexible. For a general workout session we would recommend trainers wear any of the following basic clothing items:

  • Exercise Shorts
  • Exercise Leggings or Tights 
  • Comfortable Joggers 
  • Well Fitted T-Shirt
  • Compression Gear 
  • Comfortable Workout Shoes

#2 – Be Prepared to Adapt Your Wardrobe to a Client’s Training

However, if you’re a specialised personal trainer in areas such as strength and conditioning, you may have to alter your clothing in order to remain functional for certain clients’ sessions.

For example, if you know you’re going to be lifting weights with a client during their session, you will want to dress with that in mind. In this instance you may want to adapt your clothing accordingly, to include items such as:

  • Bar Grip T-Shirt
  • Squat Shorts or Compression Pants
  • Wrist Straps 
  • Knee Sleeves 
  • Shoes with a Flat Sole 

By adapting to the functionality of your clients workout, you will be able successfully offer demonstrations without the fear of wardrobe related malfunctions or injuries. 

The last thing you want when engaging with a client for the first time is to be prohibited by your workout gear. Whilst many industry professionals may have a different response to topics surrounding how should a personal trainer dress, they all recommend adhering to this advice and dressing practically during training sessions. 

#3 – Essential Items to Keep in Your Gym Bag/Locker

Discussing what personal trainers wear is incredibly beneficial, but once you have acquired this information you can focus on the smaller details that will help to further sell you as a well-organised professional. 

We would recommend keeping the three following items in your gym bag/work locker at all times, in order to keep yourself looking presentable and professional.  

  • Breath Freshener – Whether you prefer chewing gum or mints, a simple breath freshener will keep your breath fresh for when engaging with clients.
  • A Brush – Let’s face it we’ve all had bad hair days, keep a brush on hand to tidy yourself up before your session begins.
  • Deodorant – Aftershave and Perfume are an added bonus, however no client is going to want to be greeted by a bad smell. If you’re working multiple sessions in a day be sure to keep your deodorant topped up, in order to keep body odor at bay.

This may sound like rather basic information, however, it is the little things that can make a difference. By keeping a small cosmetics bag with you during your sessions, you will be able to quickly fix any minor issue that may arise.

How should a personal trainer dress may be a subjective topic to some, but the key tips we have provided above are things that we believe should be universally followed. By dressing with practicality in mind, whilst also keeping your appearance in prime form, you will be able to take on anything that the session throws at you, whether that be a gruelling workout or demanding client. 

How to Dress Professionally 

Now that you have a few basic tips on what to wear during sessions with clients, we can now impart more specific advice specifically on how should a personal trainer dress in order to convey a sense of professionalism. 

Large chain and corporate gyms ensure that the personal trainers they hire look immaculate whilst they’re at work, after all they are brand ambassadors representing a large recognisable company. Freelance personal trainers and those working in smaller gyms should also have this mindset, arguably even more so, as you are representing your own business. Turning up to your clients session looking disheveled and messy will only negatively impact you and your potential profits.

Remember, your clients are looking to you for guidance and advice, they’re less likely to look to someone who doesn’t look like they care for their job or their environment, it’s surprising how the way we present ourselves can make or break our approachability.

You should be a beacon of inspiration to your clients, so be sure to tidy yourself up before every session.

This may lead some of you to question ‘what do personal trainers wear in order to look professional?’. OriGym is here to answer this question for you by providing some basic tips that you can follow in order to ensure that you stand out as a professional.

#1 – Consider Investing in Branded Clothing 

Whilst conducting independent research online into ‘how should a personal trainer dress?’. you will see that many personal trainers recommend always wearing branded sporting gear.

At OriGym, we agree with this statement to a certain degree, as wearing respected fitness brands, such as Adidas and Nike, conveys that you are dedicated to your craft and that you put your money back into your profession’s industry. 

In addition to this, name branding exercise gear looks presentable, chic and fashionable. Even if you only wear these items of clothing to your clients training sessions, they are sure to make you stand out in a positive way.

However, with this being said we must stress that designer gear shouldn’t be viewed as a vital necessity, but merely a nice bonus. There are plenty of other brands out there that will provide the same quality of support, and will have you looking just as professional for a cheaper price point.

#2 –  Replace Damaged Gear

When it comes to clothing as a personal trainer you should also be wary of brands you have no previous experience wearing. The reasoning behind this is that you don’t know how well these items are made, they could rip or fall apart under the continuous pressure of your workouts.

Instead, we would recommend sticking to brands that you know and trust, whenever you’re in doubt always trust your gut. 

While it probably goes without saying, we must emphasise that your clothing should always be held to a presentable standard. In the event that your clothing becomes damaged or ripped, we would strongly advise not wearing said item in front of your clients. 

Of course, on the occasion if this was to happen during a session that is easily excusable as mistakes happen. However, turning up to teach your client in gear that is damaged will convey a sense of unprofessionalism. 

If something becomes damaged during your training sessions you should immediately take it out of your professional wardrobe rotation, and replace it at your earliest convenience. 

#3 – Ensure That Your Gear is Clean and Presentable

While for most having clean and presentable workwear as a personal trainer is self explanatory, some readers may still need to read it. At OriGym we strongly advise to always make sure your gear meets a professional standard prior to meeting with a client, which means you should always ensure it is washed and smells fresh.

You may choose to wear your personal workout gear a few times before throwing it in the wash, however, we would generally advise against this when it comes to activewear in your professional wardrobe. The last thing you want to do is offend a client with an unpleasant smell, so adhere to this simple advice and be sure to wash your clothes thoroughly and regularly.

We would also recommend ironing your clothes before the session too, this may sound somewhat minor and an overall time consuming hindrance, but small details can really impress certain customers.

You have spent time and effort earning qualifications such as a qualification to become a Level 4 Personal Trainer! Don’t sell yourself short now that you have entered the field professionally. Take time and pride in your appearance, convey yourself as someone who is an expert in your industry and we promise you people will pay attention.  

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What Should I Wear for a Personal Trainer Interview?

Regardless of whether you’re a newly qualified personal trainer or an expert in a niche subsection of the industry with a Level 4 qualification in Obesity and Weight management, we can all agree on one thing: dressing for an interview is a highly pressure consideration. 

Getting an interview to be a personal trainer at any gym, regardless of its size, is something to be proud of, your hard work and dedication to your craft has shone through within the application process.

But if you now find yourself stressing over the thought of  ‘what should I wear for a personal trainer interview?’, have no fear, OriGym is here to offer clarity into the matter. 

Before we begin, it’s important to note that in some cases the interview process may be split into two occasions: a face to face interview and one in which you’re asked to display practical demonstrations – this element may depend solely on your performance in the former part.

These interviews may be on the same or separate days, the employer should inform you when each one will take place. 

Face to Face Interview

During the face to face portion of a personal trainer interview you should dress as you would for any other job interview. Typically, companies prefer applicants to attend in business casual, however, if you’re interviewing for an upscale gym it may be best to opt for formal clothing.

If the employer has given no prior indication as to how you should dress for said interview, there are other ways to determine what to wear. For example, you could take a tour of the facility prior to your interview in order to see how the other staff members dress, this will provide insight into the culture and dress code of the gym.

Additionally, we would strongly advise against wearing an outfit with too many accessories. Not only can necklaces and bracelets be noisy and distracting, but they may slow you down if you’re asked to immediately change for the physical assessment. 

Remember the interviewers will likely have a number of people to see on that day, don’t create a bad first impression by having them wait around too long for you.

Physical Assessment

When deciding what should I wear for a personal trainer interview?, the choice is naturally going to be stressful, but the worst thing you can do is work yourself into a panic. Take a deep breath, because OriGym is here to provide you with some helpful dress code tips for your physical assessment. 

Much like with the face to face section of the interview it’s always best to wear a conseravtive outfit for this interview element. Your challenge within this stage of the interview is to show off your skills, by wearing something too distracting or revealing the interviewers will pay more attention to your outfit than you. 

With our expert knowledge of the fitness industry, OriGym recommends the following advice for both men and women when it comes to the practical assessment of your personal trainer interview.

#1 – Form Fitting Over Bagginess 

When selecting an outfit to wear for this section of your job interview, always choose form fitting clothing over baggines. Whilst you want to be comfortable during this process, you also don’t want anything falling loose and distracting you from the task at hand. 

Instead, we recommend choosing form fitting clothing such as compression gear which will offer skin tight protection without restricting or hindering your movements. 

In addition to this, wearing clothes that don’t conceal your body will allow interviews to see and analyse your workout form. Your excellent posture or leg work may be hidden under baggy clothes, but with form fitting items, it could make the difference between you being hired over somebody else. 

#2 – Appropriate Length

When you have worked hard for your physique, it’s understandable that you’re proud to show it off, however, something that is typically advised against during any job interview no matter the industry is exposing a considerable amount of skin to your interviewer. 

A general rule of thumb is to avoid shorts and tops which reveal too much, and instead opt for more conservative options. 

Whilst this may sound like a somewhat dated mindset, unfortunately you don’t know the views and opinions of your interviewer and sadly this could be the deciding factor of whether you land the job or not.

#3 – Appropriate Footwear

This should go without saying but you should avoid inappropriate footwear when attending your practical interview. Examples of what would be considered as such are flip-flops, boats or anything that can slide off.

Be sure to wear a comfortable and sturdy pair of shoes, you may not know what the employers will ask you to demonstrate, so wear a pair that is comfortable for all types of exercise or to simply monitor the gym floor. 

Whilst discussing interviews did you know that upon completing the OriGym 

Level 3 Personal Trainer certificate: you are guaranteed an interview at a gym? We work with the best fitness establishments around the country and will provide you with the tools needed to immediately dive into your fitness career. 

The best piece of advice we can give to those attending their first ever interview is to not get bogged down by the dreaded question of ‘what should I wear for a personal trainer interview?’ before you have even made it to the interview itself.Instead use your own judgement, and do your own research before the day of the interview. This will help you make your own decision on what you should wear, and whether you should dress more formally or casually. 

There is no harm in asking your interviewer when you are invited to the interview on whether they would like you to attend in something that allows for any practical assessments. This in itself demonstrated preparation which will be admired.

Clothing to Avoid

Now that we have provided you with our insider knowledge into topics surrounding the debate of ‘how should a personal trainer dress?’, the opposing end of this debate will be featured within this section and you will be provided with information on clothing that should be avoided. 

Before we share these tips with you, please be aware that these items of clothing should be avoided as holistically they all convey a sense of unprofessionalism. However, they do so in many different ways.

As a personal trainer with clients who are parting with their hard earned money to pay for your services, you want to avoid being unprofessional in any form. By avoiding these fashion pitfalls you will present yourself as a professional who places time and dedication into their craft.

#1 – 100% Cotton Clothes 

If you have ever questioned ‘what do personal trainers wear?’, we can assure you that the answer is never 100% cotton!

This is an easy pit-fall to slip into, many new athletes believe that cotton gym gear would be suitable as body odor is less likely to stick to it when compared to synthetic materials. However, cotton also absorbs sweat and if you have an intense workout with a client you’re going to immediately regret this decision.

Not only will this create an unprofessional appearance in front of a client, it could even put you at risk to fungal infections. This is due to the fact that when clothes are moist bacteria is more likely to grow, especially if you’re wearing it next to skin for long periods of time.

If any open areas of skin are exposed to this bacteria filled clothing, it could cause said fungal infections and leave you feeling sick. To avoid this completely, we recommend opting for sweat-wicking and breathable fabrics.

#2 – ‘Controversial’ Imagery and Language

This entry on our tip list of clothes to avoid is a little harder to generalise, as determining what is and what isn’t controversial can vary from person to person. However, we have selected a few clothing items that we believe could stir up unwanted trouble when worn within your place of work. 

Avoid wearing t-shirts or badges that show your political beliefs – we understand that everyone has their beliefs and morals, however, this could alienate you from certain clients. Likewise, if you’re wearing one of these shirts while working for a specific company, it could upset higher management as your political shirt will be indirectly associated with their brand. 

This is not to say that you have to give up your beliefs or code of ethics, if you wish to discuss politics with your clients, employers or fellow personal trainers that is entirely up to you. Remember, in order to be professional sometimes we have to separate our personal lives from our work ones.

Additionally, you should avoid clothing with any offensive language or imagery on it. Whilst this may be a harmless joke to you, it could offend others and once again reflect badly on your employers if you work for a chain or corporate gym.

To avoid this mistake, OriGym would recommend wearing a basic top in a block colour/pattern that merely has a brand logo or name. 

#3 – Get Rid of Those Worn Out Shoes

When clients wonder ‘what do personal trainers wear?’, they won’t assume that their trainer is going to turn up to sessions in worn battered gear. We understand the value of holding on to certain items of clothing for sentimental reasons, but you should not be turning up to sessions  with shoes that have been worn down. 

The general rule of thumb is that shoes should be replaced every 300 miles, however, if you’re not counting miles then look at the shoe’s soles for indication of whether it’s time to purchase new ones. If the threads/design is beginning to wear out and flatten, we would recommend immediately swapping these shoes out. 

As previously mentioned within this article, new fresh gear conveys a sense of authority, it presents you as someone who loves their industry so much that they invest their own money into it. However, turning up in trainers that are beat up and disheveled will signify to customers that you don’t care about your appearance.

Whatsmore, having worn down shoes can even increase the likelihood of injuries. Running is a high impact sport and causes serious injuries and strains to your ankles without the right shoes to cushion their blow. 

This is especially important if you’re a trainer with a Level 3 Sports Massage certification or someone who specialises in injury prevention and treatment. Wearing incorrect shoes could contradict your entire teaching philosophy, so be sure to set a good example to clients and wear new supportive shoes.  

#4 – Take off Your Jewelry 

Whilst discussing ways in which you can set an example for your clients, you can also stress the importance of not wearing jewellery whilst exercising. Small earrings are fine, as they won’t prohibit your performance, however, necklaces and rings have the potential to cause serious harm and discomfort.

Heavy necklaces for example will beat against your chest whilst you’re running, get tangled in your gear or hair, and will just be an overall unwanted distraction. During these sessions it’s so important to establish yourself as someone who knows what they’re doing, and if you have to halt a demonstration because your necklace is tangled, your clients will regard you as unprofessional and under prepared.

Likewise, rings can prevent you from securing a proper grip when lifting, which could result in dropping the weight putting yourself and your client in an unsafe environment. Additionally, the added pressure on your hands could result in an indentation in your finger, where the weight has pressed against your ring.

On a more sentimental note, weights can also scratch and dent rings, so if you want to keep yours safe and in good condition we recommend taking these off before lifting.

If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your valuables within a gym locker, leave them at home and encourage your clients to follow suit. Alternatively, you can provide your own storing methods for when working alongside your trainees, in order to ensure both of your valuables are safe. 

#5 – Clothing Which is Too Tight

Wearing clothing that is too tight will negatively impact upon your clients training session, so what do personal trainers wear in order to gain the sense of support tight gear provides, without negatively impacting their performance? The answer is simple, they wear compression gear that is skin tight and designed for flexibility and free movement.

This is an example of the type of tight clothing that is acceptable to wear during working hours, whereas regular workout clothing that is merely too small is not appropriate. Gear which is too small/tight will restrict your movement and hinder your overall performance.

For example, if you’re wearing pants or leggings that are so tight you can’t accurately demonstrate a squat in them, then that needs to change immediately. Not only does this hinder your performance but it can also affect the clients learning.

Additionally, clothing which is too tight can also affect blood circulation, resulting in cramps and strains throughout the body. Avoid this fashion pitfall entirely, by ensuring that you wear clothes that fit your body.

#6 – Remove All Makeup 

There is a time and a place to look fabulous in makeup, however, in the gym during a client’s training session is not one of them. When you begin to sweat your makeup is naturally going to run, resulting in a disheveled and unprofessional appearance.

Whatsmore, wearing makeup during exercise routines can seriously damage your skin. When sweat, oil, and dirt combine on your face it can cause severe acne and other blemishes to  break out, which in turn could trigger a dangerous cycle of wearing more makeup to cover said breakouts. 

Have confidence in yourself and your skin, wash your face thoroughly before your training session and go in there feeling refreshed and ready to teach.

#7 – Don’t Wear Anything That Could Intimidate Your Clients 

This is perhaps the most important piece of advice we can impart within this section, as a personal trainer you should be doing everything you can to make your clients feel safe and confident. They are looking to you for guidance and support, the last thing you want to do is intimidate them, or make them feel uncomfortable in any way. 

We understand that as trainers you worked hard to achieve qualifications such as a Level 3 Exercise Referral certificate, you have also undoubtedly worked hard on your body and want to show it off. However, this can make some clients feel intimidated, and could result in you losing their business or not being approached entirely.

There is a time and place for wearing gear that shows off every inch of your muscles, however when you’re with a client try to dress moderately. 

This comes back to the idea of having a personal and professional workout wardrobe, your personal one can feature your favourite tank tops and other items which highlight your physique. Whereas your professional one should be more toned down and professional in aesthetic.  

Prepare a Clothing Budget 

If you’re a personal trainer who doesn’t have a set uniform, then setting your own budget for clothing will be incredibly beneficial to both your practice and your wallet. 

When initially starting your career in fitness you will need to invest in high-quality gear. Some of these outfits may be a little pricey, however, they will make you look professional and they are less likely to rip and become damaged. 

Much like with any other recurring bill or purchase in your life, you’ll want to separate a small amount of money aside for purchasing clothes for your professional career. OriGym would recommend having five training outfits throughout the week, that you can wash if required for weekend training.

However, we would also like to stress that you shouldn’t be paying above and beyond your means. Everyone’s budget will be different, don’t feel the need to conform to some unwritten designer dress code and spend money that you need for other necessities.

Whilst this article is centered around the question of ‘how should a personal trainer dress?’ you should instead ask yourself how you want to dress as a personal trainer. You are an entirely unique and independent person, and what you choose to wear will be the right decision for you.

Another added benefit of qualifying with OriGym is that you will gain life long access to our Affiliate Deals & Discount schemes. This scheme provides you with discounted products from thousands of retailers and distributors, all of which will be vital for growing your training business. 

If this interests you check out our entire prospectus and choose one which is right for you


I Operate My Own Gym, Should I Make The Personal Trainers Wear a Uniform?

If you’re an employer who finds themselves questioning ‘what should a personal trainer wear?’, you should be made aware that having a uniform for your employees can actually benefit your business.

By requesting that your employees dress in a distinct uniform, customers will know who they should approach for guidance and assistance. This could lead to customers signing up for one-to-one training sessions, bringing in more revenue to your business. 

Workplace uniforms also provide employees with a sense of identity within the company, as well as creating a sense of belonging. By making employees wear the same attire, it can promote a feeling of team spirit and allow employees to feel inclusive and part of the company. 

You don’t have to spend too much money on this, the uniform could be as simple as requesting trainers to wear specific colours. 

For more information on coming it with your own uniform, check out our article ‘23 Ideas For Personal Trainer Uniforms‘.

What Are Some Brands Endorsed by Personal Trainers?

If you want a more specific answer to the question ‘what do personal trainers wear?’, we recommend checking out the following brands which have been highly endorsed by personal trainers across the world.

#1 – GymShark 

From its launch in 2012, GymShark has been a trusted brand for personal trainers thanks to their wide range of clothing at affordable prices. Their clothing range is designed to fit a vast array of body types, so rest assured that you will be able to find something perfectly suited for you.

#2 – UnderArmour 

If you’re looking for fashionable exercise clothing then UnderArmour is the secret weapon of this list. Their range is perfect for those of you who like to incorporate exercise wear into your everyday wardrobe. 

But fashion isn’t the only advantage that this company provides, as it’s clothes are highly durable and made with quality materials. We’d strongly recommend investing in a pair of their compression pants, for days you want to show off your legs but keep everything in place.

#3 – Fabletics 

Highly endorsed by the Hollywood actress Kate Hudson, Fabletics is a popular clothing brand proved to be a hit with female personal trainers. Not only are Fabletics’ leggings super stylish but they are also practical with a built-in pocket to keep your valuables safe during a run. 

These are just a few examples of brands which have come highly recommended by personal trainers online. However, remember there isn’t technically one clear answer to ‘what do personal trainers wear?’, and if you have a trusted brand of your own, stick with your gut instinct.

Before You Go! 

We’d like to take this opportunity to stress that you don’t need to purchase highly expensive clothing in order to look professional. Buy what you can, and have confidence in yourself and what you’re wearing, that will sell you better to clients than any piece of clothing ever could. 

Aside from the right gear, you also needthe qualifications and knowledge to back it up. You can do just this with specialist courses, starting with our Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course. Combine tailored fitness programmes with plenty of nutrition advice to help clients smash their goals!

Download our latest prospectus to view our fantastic selection of courses in order to find one which best suits your career goals.

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About the Author: James Bickerstaff

james bickerstaff origym authour
James holds a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing and Film Studies and has recently gained a MA degree in Film, both of which he attained from Liverpool John Moores University. After taking up the couch to 5K challenge on a whim, James found a new passion for running, which he combines with his love for healthy cooking and writing. All of this led him to becoming a copywriter for OriGym.   When he is not writing content for the site, James can be found researching new recipes, writing music reviews, reading and watching latest film releases.  

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