T Nation

Who Does Personal Training?

how many of you guys do it and thoroughly enjoy it?

i kind of figure dont go in there with expectations that youre gonna get a bunch of people who really want it, you know, like you do. but my current job fucking blows and id make a lot more money doing that im just wondering what experiences people who have done have had with it.

oh just for clearification im talking about working for a club (Ballys) verus working freelance, although id like to hear how freelance people have gone about establishing themselves and how that differs versus direct employment.

Some clients are awesome while others suck the life right out of you. The problem is, if you want to pay your bills and eventually train only high performance athletes, you need to train the unmotivated or pay your dues with lower level athletes.

Freelance is better because it will pay you more than what you would make at a commercial gym.

Word of mouth through exceptionally service delivery is the cheapest and most effective way to generate clients as a freelance trainer. That or be incredibly good looking.

A piece of advice, don’t take on any clients you don’t want to train because this could crush your motivation to work. This happens more often at a commercial gym because you aren’t your own boss and have an obligation to your manager and the club to do what they tell you.

I do it.

LOVE it!

Was an accounting major, and decided that wasn’t what I was meant to do, this was.

It’s a great feeling to help people and see their lives change for the better.
Sure, not everyone follows your advice, but the ones that do make it very rewarding.

If you go freelance, the earning potential is nearly unlimited, but you have to be a really good business person and have an outgoing personality.

I’m more of an introvert, but there are trainers at my gym who are less professional than I (and perhaps even less educated), but because they’re very extroverted they make much more than I do.

You might want to test the waters part-time while holding on to your current job and see if it’s something you want to pursue further.

Just remember, it’s always about the client :wink:

Is it pretty much a CSCS only club if you want to make some decent money, or can certs that don’t require a degree land you a solid job to get some base clientele?

I’ve never had any client ask who I was certified by (6 yrs now). It really doesn’t matter, any cert really should only be used to get your foot in the door.

Granted, getting a more respectable one will probably help you work at any gym, the key is educating yourself beyond any cert anyways.

yea man i saw some trainer working with a girl today doing 1 legged squats onto a stack of step up things. i was like wow, i could never do that, id have to tell people straight up like if you work with me we arent using anything thats inflateable, plastic, or florescent…are you sure you want this?

I’ve been a trainer since 2000. I have worked in damn near every type of facility there is and have paid my dues.

My first years were more than a little frustrating working FOR a gym giving free sessions and being the gym’s bitch. I don’t know much about Bally’s, but I don’t think you’re gonna get a choice about who your clients will be.

Is this for a full time job or are you in school?

You really have to have a passion for people and selling yourself.

If I didn’t like to see people excel then it would be no fun. I also would not enjoy working for a gym because I really like being independent for now. you have a better ability to do what you want. I also have been gifted enough to have a personal space to train people at my home.

mad lucky because I have been randomly kicked out of one gym in my city by some new guy trying to be tough. Ironically it’s him that’s losing the money by essentially killing 2 memberships or more given that I used to Rx that place to people because it had bumpers and a platform.

-chris

freelance, 60-75 an hr. build a client base by putting yourself out there. i get ppl coming up to me at the gym all the time asking questions. and when chics come up to you and ask the clasic question “do you work out?” respond “Im a personal trainer” hand them your card, and in that situation who knows where the session will take place…

[quote]Dylanj wrote:
respond “Im a personal trainer” hand them your card, and in that situation who knows where the session will take place…[/quote]

that sounds professional

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
yea man i saw some trainer working with a girl today doing 1 legged squats onto a stack of step up things. i was like wow, i could never do that, id have to tell people straight up like if you work with me we arent using anything thats inflateable, plastic, or florescent…are you sure you want this?[/quote]

Maybe I’m not correctly interpreting what you’re describing, but the movement I’m visualizing is an effective one – basically a raised front lunge, right? How is that so terrible?

I figured he was describing pistols onto a step-up as opposed to a bench/box, either way it has its places as well(especially for a personal trainer who will have to deal with all sorts of muscle imbalances and flexibility issues and such.)

I’m not a PT, but I’d assume freelance you mean you would have more freedom to tell your client how to work out as opposed to being forced to use the gyms “flavor of the week”.

[quote]SinisterMinister wrote:
LiveFromThe781 wrote:
yea man i saw some trainer working with a girl today doing 1 legged squats onto a stack of step up things. i was like wow, i could never do that, id have to tell people straight up like if you work with me we arent using anything thats inflateable, plastic, or florescent…are you sure you want this?

Maybe I’m not correctly interpreting what you’re describing, but the movement I’m visualizing is an effective one – basically a raised front lunge, right? How is that so terrible?
[/quote]

no, its not…and i still would say that movement sucks if youre not using weight, but it would be a huge improvement from what i saw.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=vmXtOuvIqzY

think the first guy “squat til you drop” but with a green ball under him.

like where do people come up with this shit? when did gym time start looking like gym class? a bunch of fucking toys and balls, just a bunch of screwing around. if im training someone to squat, theyre fucking squatting, how difficult is that? if you cant do a damn bodyweight squat (and you arent obese) maybe you should reconsider how serious youre taking this.

then again, i never understood personal trainers anway…like why get one? you can find out anything im going to show you with a google search, like do yourself a favor, GO AND FUCKING LEARN SOMETHING.

i think id slip up and say well you know theres places like T-Nation which is like a limitless information bank and you can actually ask some people who know their shit questions? i think if youre the type of person who should be expecting to make huge improvements you would also be the type of person who is going to go out and get the shit they need and then get their shit done.

i see people saying things like “im really trying” its like you need to sit them down and say look, this isnt some b.s. thing you just need to squeak by to advance on, your effort is directly related to your results, you get out whatever you put in so dont try to convince me of anything.

its not me that has to go to sleep knowing i didnt give it my all and im not going to be standing in front of the mirror a month from now wondering if ive done anything and then making excuses as to why i didnt. its all on you so just get it done. …

but then again i dont think its something that can be explained to someone, i think something has to happen in your life to make you that type of person or you have to be born that way. there was some article probaly by TC saying how you had to be a killer, like Genghis Khan well not literally but its the same shit how it was explained

[quote]Makavali wrote:
I’m not a PT, but I’d assume freelance you mean you would have more freedom to tell your client how to work out as opposed to being forced to use the gyms “flavor of the week”.[/quote]

no im talking about training your own clients and being completely independent. either taking them to a gym, their house, or your gym.

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
Dylanj wrote:
respond “Im a personal trainer” hand them your card, and in that situation who knows where the session will take place…

that sounds professional[/quote]

to each his own, bud. works for me, its not a full time job, im 18, dont want to train for a living. just something i do for fun, cash, and to meet ppl.

I really wanted to be a trainer but ended up abandoning the idea out of sheer disillusionment. I don’t see how any good trainer can stand to work in a commercial gym! And the certs are so bad I am simply unable to deal with them. Well, I’ve contributed nothing to this thread. Good luck.

I train athletes during the summer and plan to make it a full-time career when I graduate next year. I will sit for my CSCS this year but honestly don’t really feel like I need it; I consider the results I get to be my certification. I’ve never been asked what sort of certifications I have.

All the athletes I work with are in high school. I started out basically by volunteering to do run some conditioning workouts for a high school volleyball team and now I have between 24-26 kids (depending on some last-minute signups) for this summer. In the past I have just trained them outside at a local park (just load up the sleds, dumbbells, bars in my Jeep and carry them out) but this year have rented a garage simply because I now have too much crap to feel like hauling out to the park. Another advantage of that is you don’t get rained out.

Kids are great to work with because they are training for a specific goal (to get better at their sport) and because they see you as a coach and will listen to you. I can’t imagine training a lazy adult who doesn’t have a specific goal- that would be torture.

To the guy saying how you have to “be a killer,” one of the best pieces of advice I ever got was not to judge anybody’s training you see; just analyze it objectively and think about how it could be useful. Even then, don’t discard it, keep it in the back of your mind because you never know the movement or method that will help you break out of a plateau. The man who told me that knows a lot more about training and competing so you’d be wise to heed his words as well.

I did it in college. Didn’t make much though. The University gym paid me and other athletes to train students. The students only paid a nominal fee, so we didn’t make much. It was fun though. Especially with the hot girls. Those I’ve known who’ve gone on to do it feelance started at a gym and then took the clients once they’d established their repuation with them and got them good results.

on second thought, disregard all advice I gave in this post.

flip burgers somewhere, you’ll be better at it