With the flexibility, low stress and high fulfilment that a career in personal training offers, it’s no wonder it’s a dream job for many. Not many careers allow you to genuinely change people’s lives, but as a PT, you can watch your clients get healthier and happier with every session.
Plus, unless you’re a professional athlete, it’s your best shot
But there are a bunch of things to consider before you take the plunge: how you’ll find the time to do your personal training qualification, how you’ll support yourself while you’re building your client base, and what you’ll do with all those useless suits. (Woo!)
And the first and most important question you should be asking yourself
Let’s find out.
Do you love health and fitness?
Do what you love and love what you do, as those
Many of your clients will rely on your enthusiasm to motivate them, and being genuinely dedicated to fitness is the best way to ensure you’re bright and peppy even at 6am on a Monday morning.
Are you focused on achieving the perfect technique and form?
While ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ is a great mantra for dealing with stress, it’s not so great when it comes to actually getting sweaty. Even simple-seeming exercises like squats and running can be totally thrown off by shoddy technique.
Your job as a personal trainer will be to pay attention to the tiny details that can be the difference between a client’s peak performance and an injury.
Do you love planning and performance data?
Many people think of personal training as a super physical job. In reality, when you’re not actually with a client, you’ll spend a lot of your time creating training programmes, analysing workout data, monitoring progress, customising plans, and generally using your head, not your biceps.
Many PTs geek out over this part of the job and get really involved in the minutiae. Others find it boring, but love the reward of seeing their client progress. Either way, if you want to really help your clients achieve their best, recording and analysing their progress is essential.
Are you A-OK with early starts and late nights?
You might not need to do both, but you’ll probably need to do one – and it’s most likely going to be the early starts. 4 and 5am wake-ups aren’t uncommon in personal training, as many want to get their workout in before work.
Apart from lunchtime, normal 9 to 5 working hours will likely be your quietest time.
Are you a social butterfly?
Personal training is a highly social job. You’re meeting one-on-one with clients, and you’re trying to work out how working out can make them fitter, happier and healthier. That involves getting to know them, and not just superficially: you want to know their ambitions, their weaknesses, their history. You don’t need to be a total extrovert, but the better you are with people, the more successful you’ll be at planning for them and motivating them.
Many clients also use their trainers as a stand-in therapist – as your friendship grows, you’ll likely find yourself supporting them with what’s going on in their life outside the gym too. Being understanding and supporting can transform a client into a friend.
Are you good at marketing yourself?
No matter whether you’re working independently or in a gym, you’re going to need to find yourself some clients.
Networking is often the best form of marketing for personal trainers – people tend to ask their friends for recommendations, and if you’re good, you’ll get a glowing review and a new client.
You’ll need to be prepared to reach out to potential clients in the gym, set up a Facebook page, and network with other PTs. This last point is important if you have a speciality, such as people with injuries or new mums – other trainers will likely refer clients to you if they know they fit your niche.
Your appearance and demeanour are also valuable marketing tools. You don’t need to be Arnold Schwarzenegger or even have a six-pack, but you’ll find it easier to attract clients if you look fit, healthy and happy. After all, your clients will look up to you as a role model for the healthy lifestyle they’re trying to achieve. Take care of yourself first so they can admire you for a reason!
If you answered yes to most of these questions, then it looks like you could have found the perfect job for you. Time to get your trainers on and become a personal trainer!
Worried how you’ll fit getting qualified around work or family commitments? You’re in luck - you can study our Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer courses in your local gym and sit your exams from home. That means no inconvenient class timetables, no travelling to exam centres, and no deadline stress.
Find out more by clicking here, or speak to our course advisors by phone, email or webchat.