Being a Personal Trainer is both a blessing and a curse. Don’t get me wrong–I love my job. Every second of it. I love training clients, advising them, and pushing them to limits they didn’t know they had. It’s my favorite job thus far.
Buuuuuuut, there are some downs. If you want to become a Personal Trainer, please DO! I will fully support you for it! 🙂 There are some things I’d like to address, though, that will help you down the road that I did not learn from anyone else before I began my journey.
You’ll get sketchy clients
I’ve had clients where they would come most of the time, but other times, wouldn’t even bother to call and say they weren’t coming in. That was really disappointing to me, because my time was being wasted, waiting for a client that ended up never coming. You’ll find out that a lot of clients do have very good reasons why they weren’t able to come, but please, just let your trainer know when you can. I usually worry about clients if I know they’re really punctual, because you grow relationships with most clients.
Most gyms will have a late/no-show policy (thankfully mine does) that will help you out with this. For me, though, this was a hit in the gut. All I want to do is train people–heck, I get excited for them when they come to workout! But, if they’re not going to put in the effort, I can’t always help them. And that’s something that I had to learn–we can only be accountable of ourselves, and aim to help others as much as we can.
Clients will leave you for another trainer
I’ve had other personal trainers pull clients away from me while I’m on vacation and then wonder why they would do such a thing (THAT makes me upset). Truth is, personal training is all about getting more clients. The more clients you have, the more money you get in your paycheck. It’s that simple. This is not the point I’m trying to get to.
Now, I have never had a client switch trainers because I wasn’t getting them where they wanted to be. Miscommunication is HUGE–I cannot stress communication enough! Remind clients you know might forget about sessions. Always talk. Talk, talk, talk! Seriously, you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches from “We didn’t agree to train on this day” or “You didn’t tell me ‘ ‘ “, and it’ll help both you and your clients in the long run.
It’s also about vibes. If you and your client don’t mesh well (meaning y’all don’t have fun together during the workout, it feels like torture), then why not try having that client go with another trainer? Some clients I’m not comfortable training based on how we interact–we’re all different. I’d rather the client stick to his/her training than be stuck with a trainer he or she doesn’t vibe well with!
Always be up for changing your routines
All clients are different–no one program is going to work for everyone. That’s one reason why I really like this field–everybody’s different, and thus, everyone needs an individual program. You have to get creative most of the times, and prepare for the unexpected!
Some days I’ll have a leg workout planned out, and when they come in they tell me they hurt their ankle or their leg hurts, and I have to create another routine in just minutes (sometimes as I go), and let me tell you–I’ve gotten good at this! Haha, when I started training, I felt like a deer in headlights when this situation would come up, and wonder what the &*#@$ am I going to do?! But now, it’s all smooth sailing. And I like the challenge 😉
Bring your own equipment! (Mainly bands)
When I first started, we had about 3 thigh bands. Two months later? Gone. I loved those things! So, what I learned (to help prevent having to switch out exercises during a workout) is to bring your own equipment–bands and speed & agility ladders are the ones that come to mind (don’t bother buying a ladder unless you really need one, though. Most clients won’t need it). People snatch bands in a gym like they’re nothing–the ankle attachment for cable machines too!
Plus, it’s always good to have your own equipment–that way you can use them yourself wherever you may be 🙂 Just put them in your gym bag and you’ll be golden.
Shadow shadow shadow!
I didn’t have a “proper” training when I started–instead, I shadowed my boss and the other Personal Trainers. You learn SO much from trainers it’s crazy–it’s so much more different than when you’re studying for your CPT exam because this is all hands on. You have to lead your client and provide guidance when they’re doing an exercise incorrectly. You learn variations, ways to talk/socialize with clients, more exercises, yadda yadda yadda.
I realized how great shadowing was that I did it as much as I could–heck, even nowadays, when I have time between clients, I’ll chat with another trainer and her client while they are in a session so that I can learn more and improve my own training sessions. In this field, you’re always learning–you never know everything. And that’s awesome.
Know your first client will be pretty bad–and it’s ok!
I feel so bad for the first client I had–it was horrible. She was brand new to working out and training with a trainer, so my manager allowed me to train her (it was a learning experience for both of us, unfortunately, lol). The first couple weeks it was extremely cringy. I still feel bad. But, you have to learn through first hand experience. The sessions got better as time passed and I learned my own style.
Since then, I’ve been able to recruit my own clients and make them regulars. My clients are my friends. We give each other advice, chit chat, and the sessions fly by. Those first couple weeks of being on your own may be hard, but just remember that get so much better, and once that part’s over, it’s (mostly) smooth sailing. 🙂
I would love to hear what advice y’all have to share! It’s so interesting (IMO) to hear what other trainers go through, because we all have such different experiences. You can learn so much from other trainers if you’re just open for the advice!
Are you a PT-to-be? Are you a current PT? Let me know!