The main benefits of being a personal trainer include working in a positive environment, having a flexible schedule, directly helping people improve their lives, and having more control over how much you earn compared to other jobs. Additionally, extroverted individuals get the social benefit of interaction with clients.
Becoming a personal trainer offers you the opportunity to help people achieve their fitness goals and aspirations. However, like any profession, fitness training presents unique drawbacks as well as positives.
If you’re thinking about whether to take on the task of being a trainer, you will want to understand these pros and cons so you can make an informed decision before you begin. This article aims to give an overview of some of the great and challenging aspects you will encounter as a personal trainer.
Pros of being a personal trainer:
Here are some positives that come with becoming a trainer.
Positive work environment
People go to the gym to improve themselves and take care of their health. Compared to a stuffy office setting filled with people who must be there, the gym provides a place to work every day where people want to be there.
Every gym offers a different vibe, but most facilities are filled with supportive gym-goers who visit the gym because they know that exercise is one of the keys to a happier, more successful life.
Even if you don’t work in a gym, or do private sessions in clients’ homes, you often make up the best part of your client’s day, because this is their chance to blow off steam before or after a hard working day and they’ve decided to dedicate that time to taking care of their body.
When your role as a trainer includes training motivated clients, the experience proves even better.
As a personal trainer, you can set your own schedule. You do not need to work mandatory hours, you decide your availability to see clients and find out the best time to meet with them.
At first, you may work some early or late shifts (because you meet with clients when they have free time), but eventually, once you fill up your roster, you can discover the perfect time to meet with your clients that suit both of you very well.
This lifestyle gives you plenty of extra hours to pursue a variety of opportunities: part-time gigs, educating yourself, or working towards building your business.
You’re helping people
One of the most rewarding aspects of personal training comes from the fact that you help people. You assist clients in reaching their fitness and health goals. This value cannot be understated. The wonderful feeling you get when a client lifts a weight they never thought they’d be able to, or reaches a fitness goal after months of hard work, cannot be described. You get to share in that milestone
Every day you go home knowing you spent your day assisting people with improving their lives. Personal training gives you a great way to support yourself as you support others. Exercise provides a low-cost solution to so many ailments and health concerns that people face today and you get to administer this “medicine.”
You stay fit
Personal training, as a job, demands a certain fitness level. While you don’t workout with clients, often you demonstrate certain activities or stretches so they know what to do. Sometimes you spend hours every day walking around the gym or park with your clients, moving from the weight room to the cardio room to the track.
For example, it’s not uncommon for trainers to walk 5 miles or more every day without thinking about it while training clients. In contrast to a more sedentary job, being a personal trainer requires consistent movement, a good thing for your own health.
In addition, if you decide to teach classes as well, you will burn a lot of calories because of the high pace of most of these group training sessions.
For those extroverts, being a personal trainer can provide hours and hours of fun every day. The job of fitness training revolves around spending your whole day talking to different people. Clients tell you funny stories about their lives and you can interact with them as you push them to improve their fitness.
When you nurture good relationships with your clients, you can achieve a high level of job satisfaction on a weekly basis with personal training.
It’s up to you how much you earn
In contrast to a job that cuts you the same paycheck every few weeks, the amount you earn as a personal trainer depends on you. If you train more clients, you make more money. If you raise your rates, you can make more money. For the motivated individual, this makes your income potential only limited by your own creativity and skill level. This presents a level of financial freedom that other jobs cannot compete with. Your personal training career is up to you, a liberating fact.
Cons of being a personal trainer
Despite the pros above, you’ll want to consider these negative aspects as well when it comes to personal training.
Can be exhausting
Motivating clients all day long can lead to burnout as a personal trainer. Compared to a normal desk job, personal training requires a large amount of energy and if you fill up your schedule with clients, you need to learn how to conserve that energy.
If you get sick, you don’t get sick hours or other benefits like you would from a normal salary job. You lose that income.
Over time, this is why trainers love doing the online coaching option. You can train clients from anywhere.
Your earnings are up to you
As a personal trainer, training only makes up half of your job. You also need the ability to find clients to train. This means you must learn how to sell your services to someone, a skill not everyone wants to learn. If you work at commercial gyms, a big part of your day involves cold calling patrons or reaching out to people working out on the gym floor. While some people love the sales process, others hate it.
Personal trainer careers often require that you embrace the challenging elements of managing and scheduling your clients alongside simply training them. We recommend that you work towards improving your sales skills and time management. Master these in the same way that you’d master a certain lift in the gym that you struggle with.
Ways in which you can find clients include social media marketing, and referrals, as well as in the gym. The fitness industry grows every year and you need to make sure you stay integrated with all the new ways to connect with clientele and use your passion to help them succeed.
You may end up hating the gym
Most trainers started off wanting to be a fitness professional because they love working out themselves and spending time in the gym. Initially the experience of working at the gym gives you everything you ever wanted. However, after a few years, when you spend your whole day inside in a sweaty smelly box with people who do not respect the gym equipment, you can start to hate your time at the gym.
At first, with your free time between client sessions, you worked out yourself with the free weights or improved your own flexibility. Now, you simply want to leave just to get fresh air. Also, when you spend your day motivating clients to achieve their own fitness goals, it can zap some of the energy out of your own workouts.
This won’t happen to everyone, but it certainly can happen.
There are many tips to avoid this kind of situation, such as limiting the number of sessions you book each week, taking breaks between sessions, and scheduling time for yourself to rest and recover, so that you don’t overwhelm yourself and grow fatigued.
Your career path will blossom if you prioritize self-care. Many fitness trainers don’t take care of themselves and, for this reason, burn out.
You may need to get used to working strange hours
When you look for your first job as a personal trainer after passing your personal training certification, you need to find your first clients. Often, people like working out before work, or after work. Until you find enough clients, you can’t be too picky about your hours, so you may end up waking up very early or going to bed very late so that you can work around your clients’ schedules.
Often you will train a few clients in the morning and a few after work, which gives you a gap in the afternoon which can take some getting used to.
After you grow your client base, you can control your schedule a bit more, but at the beginning, you will need to learn how to rise early and hit the ground running.
When you understand these advantages and disadvantages, you should know whether personal training looks like the best route for you.
Training gives you the opportunity to help individuals overcome challenges. You may have to learn to wake up early, sell your services, and manage your energy, but we think, despite these negatives, personal training still proves one of the most fulfilling careers you can have.
Additionally, if you consider yourself a people person, you want to stay fit, and go out there and take charge of your income, we highly recommend choosing personal fitness training.
However, in the case of those who prefer the stability of a desk job where you don’t have to put yourself out there, choose another career.
Take all of these points in consideration as you look at the reasons you might want to travel down the personal training pathway. Good luck!