Personal Training

17 messages
06/01/2011 at 14:55

I'm sure this thread has been done on here before but I can't find it at the moment.

I'm interested in training to become a personal trainer but the courses are very expensive.  I was wondering if anyone on here is one or knows anyone that is and if it is a career that is worth training for.  My worry is that there is loads of personal trainers out there and I would struggle to get enough work to make a living.

Any advice is appreciated.

06/01/2011 at 15:19
I've known/know a number of PTs and I think all of them will say it's not the path to riches, especially when you are starting off after qualification. the income levels are poor and you often have to be self employed with some of your income going to the gym where you work, reducing your income further - some have described at slave labour. there are very few salaried trainers these days.

but if you stick at it, build a good client base and reputation then it can bring rewards but don't ever expect it to be easy. fulfilling maybe but you won't be rich unless your strike lucky.

perhaps initially don't give up the day job and do the training and developing the skills in your spare time - that will be tougher but will at least smooth your income levels out. if it takes off, then go full time

good luck
06/01/2011 at 15:26
MrANTB trained as a personal trainer and worked at it for a couple of years. As FB says, not a path to riches. He lived and worked in London, had a reasonable list of clients (some via the gym where he worked and some he acquired through word of mouth), also did sports and injury massage; barely made enough to live on. He reluctantly gave it up about six years ago for a desk job.
06/01/2011 at 15:39

You've just confirmed what I suspected about  it not being a good a career as they make out.  They obviously paint a pretty picture to sell the courses and had they not been so extortionate I may have taken a chance and done it.

I want a career change and would like some sort of job in the fitness industry and personal training seemed like the natural direction to go in.

Never mind, back to the drawing board, thanks for your replies.

Nam
06/01/2011 at 16:38

I know a fair share of PTs and those that do exceptionally well (in terms of income...) are individuals who are extremely outgoing, very driven and have some business sense about them.

If you're a PT for a gym chain, you'll be paying the club for the priviledge of using their facilities and access to their clients.  Some clubs charge this as a set aount each month (like a 'rent'), some charge it as a proportion of your income through the clients you've had, i.e. take a cut of everything you've earned.  Either way, unless you have A LOT of clients, they don't go home with very much.

Those that have a lot of clients aren't just good at their stuff, they also have to be able to sell themselves.  So the question is kind of "do you have the right personality to really sell as a PT"?

A friend of mine found a nice niche in the market, set up in a posh bit of Bath and sold the idea of kettlebell bootcamps to wealthy ladies in the area who wished to lose some fat.  Now he's a good PT, but not extraordinary... BUT what he does have is a "wrap around your little finger" charisma that he could sell oil to the Arabs.  He just makes people feel good and have fun before they've lost a pound, and THAT's what sells.

He's hooked up with other peeps like a sports nutritionist etc and has a proper business and is doing really very well for himself!

If you think you've got that, then go for it.

Edited: 06/01/2011 at 16:40
06/01/2011 at 16:56

I trained as a PT back in 2006 with Premier Training International. The course wasn't cheap - £4k for a 3 months intensive course. It was a diploma in PT so you did the gym instructing first (2 1/2 weeks), PT next (4 1/2 weeks) and then sports massage (4 1/2 weeks).

They do paint a pretty picture of make your own hours and while charging a high hourly rate. That is true but not as glossy as it seems. Make your own hours actually translate early mornings and evenings. During the day clients can be slim pickings. The high hourly rate is also true but when people cut back their expenses it's one of the first luxuries to go. Another negative is that while you may be able to work in a gym, you are affectively self employed. When bouts of cold or flu go around so does your income with clients cancelling their sessions.

The reasons I gave it up was I hated being self employed (tax returns, no holiday/sick pay), and the 'unsociable' hours. The main reason I gave up though was frustration - some of my clients came to me wanting to loose weight. I would spend endless amounts of time analysing food diaries, giving support & advice on nutrition but I can't physically whip the doughnuts out of their mouths when I'm not there.

There are positives though. It was a social job, if you're a people person then you'd like it. It was rewarding when one of your clients reached their goals.

I worked with plenty of other personal trainers who had made themselves a successful career out of it (this was pre major credit crunch) so don't truly be put off of it, it just wasn't for me.

You could be employed by a gym as an instructor but the pay isn't great. I think when I was a PT with Fitness First, the gym instructors earned about £12k a year whereas the receptionists earned about £14k!

19/04/2013 at 12:31

I know this is an old thread - but everything is still relevant, if not more so today no we're really in the credit crunch...

"The main reason I gave up though was frustration - some of my clients came to me wanting to loose weight. I would spend endless amounts of time analysing food diaries, giving support & advice on nutrition but I can't physically whip the doughnuts out of their mouths when I'm not there."

And the main problem for 90% of PTs out there. The reality is that most PT courses severely lack grounding in business skills and client motivation. What a client does when you're NOT there is another real factor in a client's success. And the last reality is that YOUR success relies on your clients' successes. 

The people who are making a success as fitness professionals are thinking outside the outdated box of 1:1 pt in a gym... 

Check out http://eifpersonaltrainercourses.co.uk for more on this mentality of building a successful career rather than just a REPs 3 status to go teach in a gym... Think group PT, mobile PT, home, rehabitation, bootcamps, 1/2 hour PT. Yes you need the right mentality and focus - but skills and knowledge to go with it.

 

19/04/2013 at 12:52

or... motivator, life changer, life saver, inspirationalist, mentor, life coach, counsellor, nutritionalist - and the list could go on. 

A 'Gym' PT with the reputation of being a glorified babysitter, is exactly the thing the industry needs to move away from. With obesity and diabetes at an all-time high, and move from health into fitness via NHS goverment funding, the role of the personal trainer is evolving to someone who has the ability to make a difference to people's lives. The personal trainer with the skills to deal with all of the above that is.

19/04/2013 at 12:58
David Falconer 3 wrote (see)

Do people really need a 'life' coach though? Sounds a bit airy fairy to me ....... if I told my Dad I had taken on a life coach, he would have told me to MTFU!

 

David I think you need to look at your relationship with your father and try to understand how his expectations of masculinity makes you feel.

That will be £ 850.

19/04/2013 at 13:03

A life coach being someone who can educate and inspire, I'd say a fair whack of the 3 million people with type 2 diabetes would be a good start...it's a littel bit more than being someone who can get a more defined six-pack for a gym meat head.

19/04/2013 at 13:18

wowsers... I bow down to your experience on stupidity! I'm out.

19/04/2013 at 13:23
don simon 2 wrote (see)

A life coach being someone who can educate and inspire, I'd say a fair whack of the 3 million people with type 2 diabetes would be a good start...it's a littel bit more than being someone who can get a more defined six-pack for a gym meat head.

I know a life coach quite well  - a very talented runner in her day (marathon PB c2:30) and still not too shabby now in her 50's.

she's been through 4 marriages, is nuts with her diet, and is about as barking as you can find. she's the one that needs a life coach, not to offer wisdom.

it's always seemed to me that life coaches have something missing in their lives - perspective

Edited: 19/04/2013 at 13:23
19/04/2013 at 13:39

I know someone who makes money out of being a life coach... but really can't understand how.

19/04/2013 at 14:13

I quite fancy being a life coach. It fits with my key talents of being nosey, bossy, thinking I know everything, and charging money for old rope.

19/04/2013 at 14:37
Nicky McNamerson wrote (see)

I quite fancy being a life coach. It fits with my key talents of being nosey, bossy, thinking I know everything, and charging money for old rope.

 

I'm sensing a little negativity there, Nicky. Luckily, we can work on that

19/04/2013 at 14:39

Yes, you hold the feather!

19/04/2013 at 17:08
AgentGinger wrote (see)
I'm sensing a little negativity there, Nicky. Luckily, we can work on that


Negativity? But those are my BEST qualities!


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