T Nation

If Your Livelihood Depends on Fitness

Happy New Year guys,
So I am a Personal Trainer and I currently work for an online company based in the US, It’s going well but not that great and it’s not something to count on long term other than gaining experience.
I am currently studying the ISSA PT course planning to move to the UAE where fitness is big and it can lead somewhere if I can stomach the first couple of years.
Issue is in the UAE how you look matter more than what you know, you have to be jacked if you want to work as a Gym trainer unless you have connexions.
So I am seriously considering taking the enhanced route so I can look the part and increase my chances of landing a job there and since I have been training for a while I should make the most out of the least gear.
So my question is, and I know it’s my decision, do you guys think it’s worth it or I should try to prove myself in other ways.

Thank you

It probably would be beneficial, however there is the stigma of PTs selling fake dreams. As long as your clients know they will never look like you without taking steroids then thats all good.



Would this include seeking education/employment in a non-fitness related field?

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That’s the issue right there, people have false perception of what is achieved naturally, and even if you look decently jacked (FFMI of 23 or more) people would think you don’t know your stuff as good as the next guy who is enhanced

One way is higher education, or try to stand out on social media, which ironically not so easy to do if you are not looking a certain way, especially with all those teens on sarms around :grinning:

Another way is to seek employment in a non-fitness related field


If you have muscle built why not diet down and compete or get really lean? Surely, that would show dedication to potential clients. There are many natural coaches.


I mean the only reason I am going there is to grow up in the fitness biz as it is what I am passionate about and I can do really well as almost 100% of my clients reach their goals, I also have been training myself for 8 years. But if you ever went to Dubai for instance you will notice that all gym coaches are bodybuilders/physique competitors so it became like a must for success and I am really not enthusiastic about the enhanced route.
Sorry to bug you with it hhhh

That is something I can try, get nasty lean and look into some physique shows. My stats are 170 cm, at a real 12% bodyfat I am around 74kg. So at 6-8% I might be 65 kg or so. I shouldn’t look too skinny I guess

We are in violent agreement with each other.

I am saying your premise is false. Your livelihood does not depend on fitness. You have other options. You have trapped yourself with a false dichotomy.

I work a job that I am not passionate about. That job subsidizes my life. Because I work that job, I can live a life doing the things I AM passionate about.

Rather than put yourself in a situation wherein you have to travel to a foreign country and put drugs through your body, you have other alternatives available.


hhhh oh, I get your point now and it’s true, I could definitely put bread on the table other ways. I might still try to go there though but instead of drugs I will do what @sparkyo suggested and get to shredded levels of leanness, if it helps than great if not I still have my current job :grin:
Thanks Bro !

Pretty sure that’s the case with fitness advice/PT these days anywhere these days.

Cycle advice without any personal background is gonna be pretty pointless tho

Goals, stats, etc?

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Isn’t the Middle East BB scene known for their high AAS use? If you wanna dive into that pond you’re prolly gonna have to go that route

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It really is, heck at bigger gyms literal IFBB pros are coaching there. I am honestly gotta give it a go based solely on condition and knowledge, maybe get extra certifications and look half decent see if I can fit in even in weight loss clinics at first!

If I had to make money in the fitness industry I would no longer enjoy my time at the gym. The gym was my time. That was where I did what I wanted to do. I have found that the longer I am at the gym, for any reason, the more drained I felt physically. If I had to work at the gym for 8 hours, I would go home after the 8 hours. I could never stand waiting for my workout partner to get to the gym. My best workout partner was a gym owner. When I got to the gym he was ready to lift weights.

I worked to make enough money to pay for my gym centered quests.


Take all the gear in the world, it may not matter. There’s a genetic component to this that you either have not thought of or are not sharing your thoughts about with us. Pretend you go the enhanced route. Based on your stats and your picture let’s call it two years of solid blast and cruise, with maybe not the closest eye towards health. There’s still no guarantee that you respond to the drugs the way others do. Your body’s carrying capacity may be lower than the next four guys looking for a job at the same gym. Conversely you could respond great and blow up, but be that guy who gets every listed side effect. Now what? You’re in the gym 12 hours a day with clients and then for your own personal time, but you feel like hammered shit all day, every day because the tren you need to stay employee has killed your sleep and the anadrol gives you heartburn every moment you’re awake.

I don’t know, maybe do one very basic cycle and see if it’s even worth having that dream. Until you know what the drugs can and can’t do it’s not really worth speculating.


I agree with @iron_yuppie
The way you said about the teens on sarms, shows you dont have a clue that those teens have elite genetics and would look close to that without sarms also.
Out of millions and millions of teens taking sarms, only like 100 of them look like they do, and are successful on social media.
These teens who take a few sarms, have millions of followers who blast grams and grams of gear and dont look anywhere close to the teen on sarms.

If you are passionate about this, sure - blast away. There is nothing wrong with it as long as you understand that you made this choice and no one will be to blame besides you IF something happens, but its exactly the same with car racing and doing tricks with a BMX.

Just know that 99% of the people who start sarms and/or steroids are reallllly underwhelmed with the results.
The probability that you will take steroids and get IG worthy results is exacly the same as you starting a college and later recievieng a Nobel Prize in your field.


Totally agree, although I don’t think I suck as a natty lifter and my genetics are probably a tiny bit above average, there is no way to know if gear would work. Taking into accounts what the guys said above I can see it’s a foolish reason to risk my health for and I probably wouldn’t get near the stuff hhhh.
Thanks mate !

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Of course am aware of the genetic factor and I am not bitching or envying those guys for looking the way they do, but I do honestly believe I can look a little better especially preserve muscle mass as I lean down
here are few pics of me when bulking

and when am a bit leaner

every instructor, trainer, and most high level teachers sell fake dreams…
they teach because they know how but they cant promise a certain result.
In my country we have this old social stigma that a teacher in school is a noble profession. They get paid very bad, but they devote their lives to teach kids. Thats how many people see teachers in my country.
What do i see? I see a profession that has a very rare trait. The results are not necessary or can be determined.
If you are a janitor, either you cleaned the floor or you didnt. The clean floor is what shows what you did. If you are a policeman, either you went where they sent you, or you didnt.
Well, with teachers its mostly like this - the kids who like school get smarter, and enjoy homework. The kids who dont like school, dont get much out of it. Then, when a kid is an asshole, just like i was in school, the teacher says to parents : “you have to do extra work with him at home”.
Well, if im doing the work with him at home, why the fuck is he in school?
Teachers mostly put a kid into a direction at best. The ones that are smarypants will get better, and those who are not, will probably need to do “extra work at home”.
Its not like a janitor can say “well this floor is really sticky, so i will soak it, but you come back later and clean it”.

While i am also an instructor of hand to hand combat, i came to notice that i am a bit like a teacher also. If i have students who are talanted and interested, they do get better. But there are many people who come to classes for years and they dont get better or get better so slow, that its probably not worth it.
There is a genetic component to everything and no matter what teacher, trainer, or help you can afford - if you suck at the thing, you will never be good.

In a way i also sell fake dreams. People believe that after a few years of training they will be good fighters, because they see my demonstrations and they see some of the best guys in the class do good. In reality - 90% of people who train, dont get out of this more than just fun and physical activity.