For those with a dream to become a Personal Trainer, they idealise the joys of working for themselves, getting paid to do what they love and ditching the dull nine to five in favour of something more rewarding.
Sure, you’ll get all of the above, though once you become a fully qualified PT, you might notice a few additional shifts in your life. They’re not all pretty, though it’s always good to be prepared for what’s to come…
You’ll Get Used To Running On Empty
A great Personal Trainer is usually a busy one. Because they know their stuff and don’t tend to find themselves twirling their fingers waiting for clients to come along. They go out and get them!
Many Personal Trainers begin their careers as Gym Instructors, enjoying the cosiness of an eight hour shift, lunch breaks and wind down time. Once you make the move to become a personal trainer, your days will be spent conducting sessions, writing programmes, assessing performance, sending feedback, planning your own marketing activity and making time to get your own fitness regime in too.
Time suddenly becomes much more valuable. So prepare to sleep less, eat on the run and feel the heat as you find your feet.
Caffeine Becomes Your Friend
Many Personal Training clients will start their day with a session before heading to work. Which means you’re up early and in the gym well before the majority of people start their day. Others, will prefer to have their sessions after work (and after the hour long commute it takes to get from the office). Your day suddenly gets that much longer.
So don’t be surprised if you need a little fuel to keep those peepers awake.
You’ll Discover Your Inner Sales Savvy
As a Gym Instructor, you can rely on the comfort of a stable salary from the gym or health club that employs you. As a self-employed Personal Trainer, suddenly you’re aware that what you earn is down to you. Your internal sales radar will kick in and see everything as an opportunity.
Gym newbies in need of a little education, the unmotivated slogging it out and getting nowhere, or older adults on a quest for a healthier retirement… the opportunities are everywhere, and suddenly you start to spot them.
You Become The Go-To Fitness Friend
After a long day, you’ll retreat to the bar for a light refreshment with friends, only to be met with ‘can I just ask…’ or ‘I need some advice’. Friends will tap into your training talents for fitness tips, training advice and opinions on the latest trends. (We’ve got you… here)
Be flattered, after all, they value your advice. Though you may decide to put a ban on shop talk during wind down time.
Your Washing Machine Will Take A Beating
Training clients all day, back-to-back, in the same gym clothes makes for a hot, sweaty mess. Throw in gym towels, extra gear festering in your gym bag and whatever you wear to get your own training done… that’s a lot of washing.
Tip: Buy your washing powder in bulk. God knows you wouldn’t want to run out.
You’ll Become A Master Timekeeper
Not only will you be juggling several client sessions in a day, you’ll be constantly counting. Laps, reps, minutes, macros… You’ll naturally acquire a skill for accurately counting without the need for a stopwatch You know what a minute looks like… down to the last second.
You’ll also know precisely how long it takes to drive to the nearest lunch spot, order your usual and get back to the gym in time for your next client. Whether you factor in toilet breaks, we’ll, that’s up to you.
You’ll Be Propositioned
We all know it, Personal Trainers are on many people’s hit list for more than diet plans and fitness coaching. Sometimes you may be on the receiving end of a spot of gym-floor flirting, or build up your own following of fitness fans.
It’s natural to become fond of someone you see frequently, and who helps you in achieving your goals. Hey, you’re a fitness hero. Just don’t let it go to your head. Professionalism at all times.
You’ll Find Your Big Voice
Loud, busy gyms are hard to be heard in, so you’ll naturally start to speak a little louder to be heard over the racket. Though you’ll also find the voice that says, ‘I’m not messing about, we’re not here to have a good time or take selfies… give me ten burpees.”
In your lovely, calm and ultra supportive manner.
You’ll Have A Frustration With Fakers
The gym is teeming with fitness ‘gurus’ freely giving out their top tips and unqualified opinions. They have no professional training or qualifications, but if the cast of I’m A Celebrity are doing it then it must be effective, right?
You’ll develop an internal radar for spotting the untrained trainers on the gym floor, and an itch that goes off every time you hear them spilling out their latest pearls of wisdom.
You’ll Become An Agony Aunt
The close nature of your working relationship means that clients may decide to open up their deepest thoughts, problems, opinions and general life issues with you.
Consider it endearing that a client feels they can confide in you, though remember your job is to advise on fitness… not relationships, career dramas or what on earth they should wear to the Christmas do.
Be a friend, a coach, a mentor… but keep your opinions to yourself. Nobody wants to offend a client by doling out the wrong dress code tips!