hey, guys! i have a very special friend of mine taking over today. paige and i have been blog friends for years and we even met last year at the healthy living summit. she’s a personal trainer by day and blogger by night. today’s post combines the two! enjoy!
Hi meals & moves readers! I’m Paige from the blog, Your Trainer Paige (formerly, Running Around Normal,) where I share workouts, recipes, fitness tips, and nerdy fitness-related studies that I find fascinating, as well as a peek into my personal life.
Today, however, I want to share with you all something different. I’ve been a personal trainer and sports nutritionist for a few years, now, and I’ve learned a thing or two along the way. So, I’m going back three years ago before I decided to get my personal training certification, and telling you what I would have told myself – and anyone else who’s thinking of becoming a personal trainer. Plus, Janetha loves lists.
1. Research your certifications.
Although I’m happy with my certification (ACE,) I admittedly didn’t put too much thought into it. In fact, I opened up a catalog for my local community college, saw they were offering an eight-week course to study to become a personal trainer, and signed up for it. Luckily, it was through ACE, who is nationally accredited.
When researching your certifications, think about how you want to use it. Do you want to work at a gym? Research which certs gyms required. Then see which cert fits you best. My two cents? Go for a cert that’s nationally accredited, like ACE, NASM, ASCM, etc.
2. Decide how you’re going to use your certification.
Are you going to work for a gym? Just use a gym’s space? Open your own studio? Train online? Train in-home? I started out in a gym. However, the gym that I began training at (and still train there today) didn’t consider me as an “employee.” My clients hire me, not me through the gym. This is great, because I get 100% of the profit, however, this also meant I had to think about self employment taxes. Instead of just 1099-ing myself, I got an LLC, which was the most responsible decision for me at the time. Getting an LLC also meant I was clear to train in-home and online, which has been great. However, if you plan on getting hired on as personal training staff at a gym, then your taxes should be taken care of.
3. Make a study plan.
I took an 8 week course, but I studied outside of class. It was just like studying in college, but I also had a full time job at the time. I had to block out times to sit my butt down for hours at a time and study. Just like in college.
4. Shadow a trainer.
At the time that I was studying for the exam, one of my friends was seeing a personal trainer. I asked her if I could tag along on a few of her sessions to get a feel on how a personal training session goes – from rapport, to format, to the exercises completed. This gave me MUCH more confidence when it was time to train my first client.
5. If you get an interview at a gym, ask questions.
How does the gym utilize their personal trainers? Do they push you to make sales? Do you only get paid when you’re training clients? Or do you get paid to be there as well? How many trainers are there in the gym currently? How full are their schedules? What hours would you be working.
6. Accept that your schedule is at the mercy of your clients.
I had SO much trouble with this at first. I’d be at the gym at 5:15 in the morning, and then leave the gym at 7:30 that evening. Now, I have my schedule set so on the days I train early, I finish by 4 or 5 o’clock. And on the days I train late, I don’t start until late either. I also make sure I have one day completely off, to ensure my sanity And speaking of insurance…
7. Get personal trainer’s insurance.
Thank God and knock on wood that I’ve never had to use my personal trainer’s insurance, but the peace of mind is worth the couple hundred dollars I pay for it each year. If, God forbid, anything happened to a client, and they came back to sue, I know I’ll be covered.
8. Don’t be nervous at your first session!
I remember shaking in my pink Nikes before my first training session. To get past this, I thought about trainers I looked up to, and embodied their confidence. It helped me get through the session with ease. Besides, your client is probably just as nervous – if not more!
9. Get more certifications.
Since becoming a personal trainer, I’ve gotten certified as a sports nutritionist, specialized in training clients with Multiple Sclerosis, and am currently studying to get my group fitness certification. More initials = increased marketability ;)
Hope these tips are helpful!
What’s one thing you would go back and tell yourself before starting the current job you’re in?