A personal trainer is a profession that has become very popular over the last two decades. Thanks to rapid changes that we all are experiencing in all areas of our lives, many people today have more health problems than they had two or three decades ago. Computerization has lead to it partially, but many of us also have irregular eating habits, which then leads to a complete misbalance in our bodies. In order to get their bodies and organisms in general back onto the right tracks, more and more people start doing regular physical exercise. A prototypical programmer of the 1990s was a saggy, obese and messy geek, whose clothes would not differ from a beggar’s clothes. Today, however, people who work in IT often go to the gym, exercise strict diet discipline and take good care of their health. Those who are still not that conscious about their health have to become, because otherwise they will fall behind and they will eventually lose their job. That is why the job of a personal trainer is becoming more and more popular and looked for by workers from all branches. In this text we are going to make an analysis and give you some useful advice on first steps that someone who wants to become a personal trainer should take.
Be dedicated to your goal
When you want to achieve something, especially if that includes working with people, you have to get ready for the role you are going to play. By becoming a personal trainer, you will be a body authority to your clients or students. It means that you will have to be a true embodiment of a healthy and sporty lifestyle. Except from your everyday behavior and attitude, you will have to look perfect in a physical way. You will be their Apollo, their kouros and if you want to motivate your trainees to achieve their goals, you will also have to work hard to achieve yours and keep them on the same level.
A personal trainer with a beer belly and love handles will not be the most wanted one on the block. Instead of that, you have to be able to boast with six pack abs in order to show your clients what they can and should achieve if they are really devoted to success in bringing their bodies back to shape.
Get ready for physical and mental sweat
Going to the gym for your own sake can be followed by additional education in anatomy, biology, nutrition, physiology and other related sciences, but it is not a must. You can just inform yourself on all the topics relevant for your trainings, but only on a superficial level. But getting ready to become a personal trainer carries a whole load of additional duties. How can you advise someone what he or she should eat and when if you are not sure about the effects of foods that you would like to recommend? That is why everybody who thinks that becoming a personal training is just working out and putting on the muscle mass is terribly mistaken. All of you who are so keen on training other people and helping them make their bodies healthy and attractive have to be prepared for a lot of physical and mental effort. The profile of a personal trainer is the one of a Renaissance man. You have to be open to knowledge and be aware of that fact that you are not only a weightlifter. The role of a personal trainer includes a lot of scientifically proven facts and every personal trainer has to be a great psychologist, as well. If a middle-aged obese man or a woman comes to you, seeking help, they do not mean only physical help. If their heads were in a good condition, they would never reach 200 pounds (the official threshold of obesity) in the first place. A successful personal trainer will have to be able to do a lot of physical training but also maybe even more of getting to know people.
Pass different trainings
It is always easier to find a job if you have a certificate. A personal trainer can attend numerous programs in many countries to receive many kinds of certificates. However, you should always be careful what seminars or trainings you are considering. Throwing several hundreds of dollars on trainings to get a certificate that nobody will ever accept is a waste of time and energy. Before you decide what training to enroll, it is necessary to make a thorough analysis of the type of trainings and their value in the personal trainer market. Today it is very easy to get information about anything you would like to know, thanks to the existence of specialized online workout forums. Always leave some time for such a research on a daily basis, while constantly improving your physical condition by having regular gym trainings. For people who take their training sessions seriously and want to excel in this area, it is also a wise thing to keep their own fitness diary. You can make special sections for every day and note down everything you eat and all the exercises that you do every day. Keeping a diary will give you both a visual feedback of your workout sessions and also it will serve as a sort of a reminder for your next exercises.
A job-seeking campaign
Attending and finishing different courses and trainings for which you then get certificates should be followed by an immediate and devoted job-seeking campaign. It is not too probable that jobs will come after you. It is more likely that you will have to invest a lot of time and energy to start applying all the knowledge you have gained to real people. First steps should always be directed towards your local community. You most certainly know your part of town quit well. Have you seen any recent job offers for personal trainers? If not, maybe it is time for you to come by a few gyms in the neighborhood and see if there are any job vacancies. Gym managers and owners will be friendlier towards you if you suggest them that you could volunteer for a certain period of time. That will give you an opportunity to earn their confidence. But be careful and alert all the time, because some of them might want to abuse your good will and leave you unpaid for months. You should always negotiate the duration of the volunteering period. At the end of that time, you can hope that they will hire you as a paid member of their staff.
Possibilities of the Internet
Everything was conceived by Jane Fonda and her VHS workout tape which became the best-selling tape of the year 1982 and is in general one of the best-selling VHS tapes of all times. As she was recovering from a foot injury, she started attending aerobics trainings. Since she had been training ballet for many years, it was not a problem for her to switch to the aerobics regime. Under the guidance of an influential fitness instructor Leni Cazden, Fonda soon launched her exercise video. It was an immediate hit and her exercise tapes even gave an incentive to then slow-growing VCR market. However, this tape made Jane Fonda a real household personal trainer and millions of people started working out in front of their TVs. Today, anyone who has a drive and will can become a new Jane Fonda. The Internet offers a lot of possibilities for everyone who is interested in becoming a personal trainer online. Apart from direct interaction with clients from all over the world, you can also make your own workout videos and upload them onto the web. Through social media such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and others you can share your videos or photos on your profile and attract visitors to see them and contact your to become their personal trainer.
Share your training ideas
The workout diary we mentioned in the previous paragraph can also help you take part in online discussions, as well. Online forums can be really useful for people who are trying to improve the shape of their body. In addition to that, sharing your personal trainer experience and ideas on different forums will lead people to address you in the real world and maybe even hire you as their own personal trainer.
The Internet can be used not only as a means of promoting your own success but also for finding clients from all over the world. If the offensive of going round local gyms does not work out, you can always find clients online. While it is true that you will be less paid in the beginning, due to unfair competition, i.e. trainers from undeveloped countries whose hourly rates are lower, after a while clients will recognize your work, especially if you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Going on your own
For real professionals and fitness instructors, working for others will be satisfying to a certain point. It will often happen to you that you know that something is being done in a different way while your manager is claiming the opposite. That will lead to certain discontentment with your job, because you will not be able to breathe easy and work freely. It can be quite frustrating and if your start feeling that working in such a limit-imposing environment makes you annoyed with your work, it is time to make a radical change. This change should be opening your own gym. Every personal trainer will be completely contented with his or her profession only when they are capable of running their own business in their own way, so that they share their huge knowledge in all the area that they have been educated.
Develop business skills
Opening your own gym means that you will face some additional challenges, as well. In addition to being a fitness instructor and a psychologist who is ready to listen to all the issues the clients might have, you will have to develop your managerial skills, too. At the same time, you should start attending a business course at a local business school, to make yourself competent in that area, too. Nevertheless, for some people that might be too much. So sometimes it is better that you hire an accountant or economist who will be in charge of your finances.
Establish cooperation with nutritionists
Although every certified personal trainer attends and passes numerous courses dealing with proper nutrition and physiology, if you work a lot as a direct personal trainer in the gym, you will be able to give advice to your clients mostly during the trainings. Clients with more serious health problems caused by obesity or any other eating disorders should have a more thorough therapy. Establishing cooperation with a nutritionist consultant would be a great benefit for your newly-launched gym. By doing so, you will be able to focus on the direct workout work with your gym clients. As a promotion strategy for both your gym and that nutrition counselor, you could devise special packages and discounts for clients who need both of you. That way you will attract even more new clients and increase the load of work.
Nurture business connections
No matter if you work as a personal trainer in somebody else’s gym or you have managed to start your own workout hub, it is important for the future of your business to stay in touch with your colleagues and former clients. Sites like LinkedIn are on the trace of such a business strategy, but it should be pursued in the real world, too. Having a net of trustworthy colleagues can be extremely useful when you need a reliable personal trainer as soon as possible. Imagine that you have just opened your gym and you do all the workout stuff with your clients and then things start growing so rapidly that you cannot handle it any more on your own. Business will suffer if you cannot find the right person or a few of them at once. When you nurture business connections, you will always stay ahead of your competition and have more options at every single moment. For instance, if your clients need additional ingredients to improve their workout results, such as dietary supplements or vitamins, you should get on friendly terms with stores selling gym supplements. If you get to know that some colleagues of yours run such a store or work in it, you should visit them and make an offer they cannot refuse. Hand in hand with that, you could connect such a store, a nutritionist practice and your gym to provide the best service for your clients.
Also, try as much as you can to be fair to your workers. Many people in general start fooling around when they become entrepreneurs and personal trainers are not an exception, too. Stay down to earth and always try to help your colleagues who are looking for a job. Just remember how you felt when you were at the beginning of your personal trainer career. Whenever you can help them, do that. People who manage to jump over all the obstacles and beat all the challenges on the way to making their dream true and become a successful personal trainer should always give back a part of their success to those who are still struggling to find their way to the top.