Everyone who has an interest in personal fitness knows that there comes a point when you start to realise how rewarding it is to share that passion with someone else. We all know the satisfaction that comes from setting ourselves goals and meeting them, of facing challenges and besting them, of maintaining a great level of fitness even at a time when we have all been struggling and a lot of the facilities we would usually go to have closed their doors.
But there’s something truly unique about helping someone else feel that satisfaction, of seeing the look on someone’s face when they’ve smashed that goal, when they’ve pushed themselves through that wall to find a strength that they didn’t know they had.
It’s hardly a secret, and that’s why you’ll see so many people at the gym talking about how they’ve been thinking about becoming a personal trainer. But there’s a big difference between talking about it and committing to it. Being a personal trainer is about more than teaching someone what you know, it’s about guiding them to new heights, supporting them through the lows and helping them to be the best that they can be. Here are a few steps you should take and questions you should ask if you’re thinking about going on this journey.
Ask Yourself If It’s Right For You
Becoming a qualified personal trainer is a process that takes time, money and commitment, so before you get started it is important to ask yourself whether this is really a career path that you want to get into. In much the same way that someone might like the idea of teaching a subject they’re interested in but doesn’t actually want to stand up in front of a class and deal with the kids, being a personal trainer is a role that can be as demanding as it is rewarding. If you’re someone who struggles with patience or communication, then it might be best to look at another way to help people get fit.
Do Your Research
If you’re serious about embarking on a career as a personal trainer, you should make sure that you have done your homework when it comes to what it actually entails as a job. For starters, it’s definitely not as simple as pitching up at your local gym and offering them your services. If you choose to become a freelance personal trainer, you will have to hustle to set up and maintain a client base and building a reputation will be a big part of the job (we’ll come back to this later). If you find a job at a gym or fitness centre working as a personal trainer, it still may not be a regular 9-5 gig and you may find yourself working mornings or evenings.
If you’ve got any questions about what life as a personal trainer is actually like, make sure that you talk to people in the profession. In addition to advising you on courses and ways into the business, they will also be able to offer invaluable perspective on what it’s like to make your passion your profession.
Find The Right Course For You
Now that you’ve done your research and you’re 100% committed to this journey, it’s time to find the right personal training course. Now, as with looking for anything online, you are going to be swamped with a whole range of different options when you search for a course, and some of these programmes will be significantly better than others. There are a few key things that you are going to want to look for to make sure you find the perfect fit. For starters, you’re going to want to see that this course has some great reviews and has a proven track record of results. You’ll also want to see that there is a clear break-down both of course structure and of the costs that you will be paying.
One extra element that is particularly important to keep in mind right now is that in-person training is a lot more difficult thanks to the Coronavirus safety guidelines. The best courses have found a way to pivot to online tutoring, delivering the same high standard without sacrificing any of the insights you would gain from being at the gym. Take TRAINFITNESS, for example, which offers both part-time and full-time virtual training and has clear and concise explanations about what each of their remote learning personal training courses offers.
Their synoptic assessment approach is something else that marks TRAINFITNESS as one of the best personal training programmes out there, and it brings us to our next point.
Remember: Personal Training Is About The Person
One of the most common misconceptions about the role of a personal trainer is that you’re there to explain what the gym has to offer to a client, that you are essentially there to bring the fitness to them. However, the truth of the matter is that your success as a personal trainer will depend hugely on how well you can connect with a client and understand their needs and their abilities. For example, you wouldn’t start by telling a gym member how long they need to spend on the treadmill to lose a certain amount of weight. You’d start by talking to them about their comfort and ability levels at present, what their goals are, and working with them to find a pace that works.
Building a relationship with a member or a client and helping them to achieve those goals, seeing their fitness levels improve over time and watching them get those results, is a fantastically rewarding experience. What it also requires, as we mentioned previously, is a great deal of empathy and patience. Is this person someone who will benefit from a softly-softly approach, being gently encouraged towards their goals? Or is this someone who needs tough targets, who thrives on the need to win?
You will also have to deal with the fact that some people may book a session and never come back, or that some people will decide to give up on their fitness journey halfway through. On the other hand, the success stories will make it all worth it.
Think About Your Next Steps
As we mentioned, there are a number of different ways that you can explore a career as a personal trainer, whether you want to work in a gym or a boutique personal training studio, or whether you want to go completely freelance. Something you’ll have to bear in mind is that you will need to work on your reputation and your brand. We all remember the really great personal trainers that we have, and it’s a profession where a personal recommendation can make a huge difference.
If you’re thinking about launching yourself as a personal trainer for hire, then you will need to put some serious time and energy into your online and social media presence. If people are paying for your services, they are going to want to see that you can deliver on your promises, so start thinking about creating video content.
It’s also important to remember that a career as a personal trainer can mean that it’s easy for your own fitness levels to start to slip. You spend so much time helping other people get in better shape, working at their speed, and it’s so important that you don’t sacrifice your own goals and targets along the way.
Finally, remember to stay flexible! We’ve all had to find new ways to keep working in lockdown and personal trainers are no exception. If your clients like you, they’ll follow you!