Five Things You Need to Know
Before You Become a Personal Trainer

See also: The Skills You Need to Become a Personal Trainer

If you are thinking of a career as a fitness instructor it can be a hugely fun and rewarding job. Working directly with people to help them improve their bodies and get healthier can be a great thing to be paid for.

But that doesn’t mean that becoming a personal trainer is right for everyone.

Here are five key things that you need to know to help you on your journey to becoming a personal trainer.

1. Maintaining your own health can sometimes be challenging

You might imagine that a job as a personal trainer means that it will be easy to stay in great shape.

After all you will be spending most of your day in the gym. Not only that but you’ll be providing clients with ideas for healthy eating and other ways that you can stay healthy, so it is not like you will be short on ways to keep yourself in shape.

But the truth is that when many people become personal trainers, they see a drop in their overall health. Face it – when you are providing your classes you aren’t working out, and don’t forget the hours you will need to put into planning regimens and programmes, so after all that it can be very tough to find the motivation to work out yourself. Additionally those long hours can mean less sleep and eating less healthily as you don’t have the same free time you used to. This means when you take up personal training you need to take the time to create a new routine that allows to stay as healthy as you were before and avoid burnout.

2. Social media is one of your most powerful tools

If you are going to become a successful personal trainer then something that you will really need to embrace is social media.

Whether it is creating a group on Facebook that contains all of your personal training clients or sharing photos and working routines on Instagram, the different social media channels give you a fantastic way to engage with your clients and build up a following.

It can be useful for everything from planning sessions with new clients, putting out your availability or bringing together your clients so they can share ideas and tips on weight loss and getting more from a gym session. And using multiple different platforms will ensure that you reach the widest possible audience. If you are already a social media enthusiast then becoming a personal trainer should be an easy transition, whereas if you’ve never really got into it, you could have to give yourself a crash course.

3. You aren’t getting paid to work out

It is a point that needs to be reiterated. If you think becoming a personal trainer is a great idea because it will give you more time to work out, you’re in for a rude awakening.

You are being paid to help other people with their workout goals – not to spend time in the gym for yourself. It is actually harder to find time to get to the gym when you are a personal trainer.

It can sometimes he helpful to have a workout partner who is also a personal trainer, because it both provides extra motivation and the opportunity to learn from each other. Remember that you need to find ways to motivate yourself to stay in fantastic shape to set the right example to your clients. Working out with another personal trainer can be a brilliant way to do this as it provides you with a learning experience at the same time.

4. The real skill of personal training is providing motivation

You might assume that as a personal trainer the majority of your job will be devising plans for clients and working with them to find a routine that is comfortable. Of course this is a big part of the job, but it overlooks a truly crucial aspect of the role: you need to be a fantastic motivator for your clients.

It may well be the case that you are a total gym body who loves to work up a sweat. But the truth is that you are in a minority. Most people actively dislike going to the gym and the reason they need a personal trainer is to motivate and inspire them to get working.

The most important part of the job that you may need to work on is finding ways to be a great motivator. Remember that not everyone can be motivated in the same way – some clients will like you to push them to their boundaries and constantly expect more from them, while others will prefer to hear encouragement on how well they are doing. Undoubtedly this is an ongoing process as you get to know the people you are working with.

5. You need to get used to working unusual hours

If you are used to nine-to-five working hours, you might need to forget about them when you become a trainer. If you are imagining being a personal trainer but still having a free weekend for an active social life, it might not be as simple as that.

The fact is that most people want personal training sessions in hours outside of work – this could be in the early morning or the evening, meaning these will be peak hours for your working day. You may often find that the times that you are most active with your work is the times when the rest of the world shuts down!

One of the annoying aspects of personal training work is that these peak times come at separate times during the day with a large gap in the middle – when the majority of people are working. You will need to find a way to manage your time effectively. You may also have to get used to working on weekends as this is another time that most people are free to have their sessions. It can be strange to get used to this kind of working schedule, so you really need to be prepared for it.

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Learn how to set yourself effective personal goals and find the motivation you need to achieve them. This is the essence of personal development, a set of skills designed to help you reach your full potential, at work, in study and in your personal life.

The second edition of or bestselling eBook is ideal for anyone who wants to improve their skills and learning potential, and it is full of easy-to-follow, practical information.

About the Author

Dakota Murphey is a writer based in Brighton, specialising in new business startups and the interpersonal relationships that exist both between employees and clients.

Having written for numerous online and print authorities, Dakota has been published on a wide range of business topics, utilising psychology in the workplace - and how to build long-lasting relationships in all aspects of the working and personal life.