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Being a personal trainer: The Pros and Cons


Are you thinking about becoming a personal trainer? Good for you – it’s an amazing job! But like every job, it has its up and downs. So, first of all let’s take a look at both the pros and cons of becoming a personal trainer.

The PROs

Meet amazing people No doubt about it, the BEST thing about being a PT means that you get to meet some really great people. You’ll love hearing about other peoples’ lives, what makes them tick, and listening to some fantastic stories that you’re sure never to forget.

Different working hours Many people just cannot get into the regular “9 to 5” job, and if you’re planning on becoming a PT – perfect! OK, the working times might be a bit different to other people, but generally it’s great for working around other daytime activities such as picking up the kids from school!

Constant motivation When you work in a fitness environment like a gym, you’re not only within easy reach of all the gym equipment you need, but you’re also surrounded by other highly motivated people. If you have time in between client training sessions, you can do your own workout, AND all of the demonstrations you give all day everyday is extra calorie-burning activity!

Make an impact People will come to you to seek professional and personal advice about how they can achieve their fitness goals. A great thing about being a PT is being able to influence and inspire people with your expertise. Continue to keep educating yourself about nutrition and various exercises and your knowledge can be passed on to your clients so that they can succeed.

Travel You don’t always have to wait for the clients to come to you in your gym. The great thing about your knowledge is that it goes with you wherever you go! If travel is as much of a passion to you as fitness, then you can become a PT in other cities in your country, you can support holidays makers on a tropical resort, or you can fly anywhere in the world to do this fantastic job.

The CONs

Different working hours Whilst the flexibility of this job is what makes it great, you’ll also notice that you do a lot of strange hours such as early training sessions (for those people who like to train before work), or late training sessions (for those people who finish work, cook dinner, put their kids to sleep and THEN come to the gym). Book hours that work for you.

Difficult clients When you work with people, it’s a known fact that at some point you’ll meet a difficult person. Although the vast majority of clients are super happy with you and will hang on to your every word, others will be more of a challenge. This could be because they think they know everything and assume it’s the PT’s fault they are not succeeding. By all means, you can continue to work with these people but if you’re really struggling you can gently tell them that you’re too busy to continue sessions with them.

People assume you’re stupid It’s sad but it’s true – people thing of the stereotypical personal trainer as somebody that has failed at all academic achievements and has HAD to go into personal training because it’s the only viable option. Don’t let people bring you down! You know that you’re smart, knowledgeable and fantastic at your job. So, show them!

Freelancers don’t get sick days You’ll very rarely find a gym that offers full or part time contracts to PTs. It’s an accepted part of the job, but it does mean that when you’re sick, you can’t go to work and therefore can’t get paid. Just make sure that you give your clients 24 hours’ notice if you can so that you can give the awesome session that your client deserves.

People underestimate the challenges of the job Unless you ARE a personal trainer, then you will never fully understand the amount of work and finance that goes into taking on clients. Although many people will complain PTs are too expensive, they forget that commission, rent, and planning time are all taken into account. Planning the perfect customised session for a client is time consuming, but as long as you love what you do, your clients will see it and trust in your expertise.

Pay and clientsareunstable When clients want to cut back on expenses, unfortunately personal training sessions are one of the first things to go. You might find that the instability of a PT job isn’t enough to pay your bills, so you might want to take on another part time job too.

You have to pay rent Rent might be something you need to consider as a PT. Most gyms offer two options for this which both have their good and bad points – but it’s best to choose an option that works for you.

Option One – Rent: You can rent a space in a gym for between $200 and $360 AUD per week. This means that you’ll have a regular space, but also means you have to pay even if you are sick, on holiday, or have no clients. If you are a well-established trainer and have clients that are enough t cover a full timetable, then this is a good option and you’ll more likely be earning a higher wage too.

Option Two – Commission: This is where you give the gym a cut of every session you have with a client. Do some research into what is a standard commission amount and if possible, do a bit of negotiating to get the best possible deal from your employer. This is a great option if you’re just starting out in the business.

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