The fitness industry is a 20 billion dollar industry. Between equipment, gym memberships, apparel, and fitness professionals the market is flooded with fitness. It’s like any niche, it needed to be filled, now it’s flowing over. Kind of like nursing 10 years ago, hospitals couldn’t get their hands on enough nurses; now due to everyone and their brother trying to be a nurse most can’t even find a job. Fitness is no different. 15 years ago gyms were hiring trainers all the time. Now gyms have their training core and don’t need anyone else.
This is pushing trainers to open up their own studios and gyms, which is where some of the problems start. Working in a gym gives you many things; variety, a wealth of new client options, and experience. I started in a gym 12 years ago, doing the free sessions members got for joining the gym. It definitely has its pros and cons, but at the end of the day in a 4-year time frame I got a chance to work with hundreds of people. In this environment I learned to be versatile, deciphered client needs and special circumstances, and most of all people skills. Trainers who have not had this experience are hurting my profession. Trainers are coming with book smarts, ambition and goals, but thats about it. Designing a program is one thing, getting someone to do it, do it right and have a pleasant experience is another. Too many times you see trainers not paying attention, texting, putting people on cardio machines and walking away and the list goes on. When you become a trainer it’s a very good career choice, but don’t get ahead of yourself because nothing is a guarantee. No clients, no money! It’s as easy as that. You might get lucky and work in a gym making a salary, but all it takes is one hurt client, or an argument or even something simple like a personality clash with a client and all that you’ve worked for will dwindle away.
First, I think certification companies should have a “hands on” section of testing. Books are great, I love them, but they don’t teach you how to interact with people. How you treat people could make or break your career. I see too many people with resumes that scream success but they have the personality of a corn chip. The reverse is also true; you can have personality without book smarts, which also isn’t good. First and foremost, results are the name of the game. I suggest trainers should intern at a gym or studio and learn from someone who has made a name for themselves. Offering free labor is always an incentive to get a foot in the door. Shadow a trainer. TRAIN PEOPLE FOR FREE! I can’t express this enough. Paying clients don’t expect mistakes and want results. Free clients are usually a bit more laid back giving you a little more leeway. Before you go out and take on the fitness industry, like any job learn how to the job. Just cause you got certified doesnt mean you are automatically the best. There is a great living for those who are a student of their profession, everyone else will find it hard to succeed in a very competitive market. This is a people business, if you lack people skills you find it difficult to succeed