If you’re looking for a job in fitness, either as a career change or as your first career, there are some things you should know. This is especially true if you’ll be required to find your own clients and set your own hours. Here are my top 6 tips for the newbie personal trainer:
1) My most important tip: Treat this as a job. Be here the hours you want clients. Be consistent. People will train with the trainers they see at the time they want them. So if you want clients between 6-10am, then you need to be here between 6-10am, every day. If you breeze in and out only at the times you have clients, you’ll miss a ton of potential clients.
2) Start thinking about training/programming in terms of “Why?” instead of “How” or “What.” If you can’t explain why you’re doing a certain exercise in terms of why it’s important in someone’s life, then why are you doing that exercise?
3) Watch all the fitness videos and read all the fitness articles you can get your hands on. Careful with Youtube – anyone can post a video of themselves doing a squat on YouTube. I suggest looking up Onnit videos, Perry Nickelston from Stop Chasing Pain, Kelly Starrett’s “Becoming a Supple Leopard,” and GMB fitness – to name a few.
4) Learn the popular diets/nutrition plans. You should know the difference between the Atkins Diet, South Beach, Whole 30, Paleo, Ketogenic, and Intermittent Fasting ways of eating. People will ask you about these.
5) Get referrals from other trainers. If a trainer can’t take someone at a certain time, they will refer the client to another trainer. But remember, the trainer’s reputation is on the line, so they’ll only refer people they trust.
6) Remember, it takes time. Plan on spending at least 6 months building a client roster. Experience is valued in this business. No one ever came to me saying, “Give me the newest, most inexperienced trainer you have.”
Just like any career, building one in fitness particularly as a personal trainer or even a private pole coach will take time and effort. Good luck!