Yes, like every job, there’s always something that may grind your gears! TV shows and adverts can make being a personal trainer seem like a glamorous job. This is true to a certain extent; if you’re good, you may get to train a celebrity some day! And although you get to enjoy job flexibility, changing the lives of others and working with a variety of individuals, you also have to endure the downsides of the personal-training profession.
It’s important to consider all areas of any job before you jump in with both feet, to ensure all the hard work you put into qualifying doesn’t leave you disheartened and drowning in career tears!
So, to ensure you have the big picture, we came up with a few of the less glamorous features of being a Personal Trainer, to ensure you prepare for a winning career in the industry…
Working split shifts or long hours throughout the day with short breaks in between is a common schedule for a personal trainer. Expect to see the bulk of your business just before or just after regular office hours, as clients hit the gym on the way to or from work. Although personal trainers do have more flexibility to make time for picking kids up from school or running errands than you’d find during a 9-to-5 job, you’re at your clients’ mercy when it comes to scheduling. If you can’t meet their scheduling needs, they’ll choose another personal trainer.
As a personal trainer, your business depends on your clients to ensure a steady income stream. If your clients pay by the session, a week of unexpected cancellations can leave you with a pain in the pocket! If your clients pay for a package in advance, you have to face a different budgeting hurdle: making sure the funds you’re living on don’t run out before your clients renew their packages. Though, you can bump up your budget to a certain degree by keeping a stream of regular clients or teaching group fitness classes.
Your clients depend on you to help them maintain a consistent, interesting and effective workout schedule. Whether you work as an independent trainer or a gym employee, finding another trainer with a compatible personality and training style to yours if you want a holiday can be a challenge. Finding someone to care for clients at the last minute if you’re unwell is almost impossible, so you might have to cancel or reschedule sessions. Networking with other trainers is one of the best ways to make sure you have backup ready, but you have to be willing to act as backup yourself, too.
If you’re passionate about the fitness field (and you should be if you’re reading this!) taking exams to keep your certification and knowledge base current might not seem like too much hard work, but ensuring you’re fully educated to industry standards (and client expectations!) is a necessary hurdle you must cover. Are you prepared to put the time in to keep up your own learning and development?
Although knowing you’ve helped a client change their life is massively rewarding, you may occasionally have clients who set a goal, then fall short, become demotivated or don’t bother to keep in touch. Your job is to do everything within your professional capabilities to give your client the tools they need to succeed. But the bottom line is that you can’t sweat for them, and if they decide not to do the work, it’s no failure on your part! You can’t win ’em all!
If you’re interested in becoming a Personal Trainer, speak to the team about our range of courses and where your fitness qualification could take you!