If you love fitness and want to expand that passion into a career in personal training, your timing is excellent. The field shows considerable growth and competitive salaries, while providing opportunities for meaningful job satisfaction and long-term prospects.
But, in truth, the field isn’t for everyone. Some people who thought they might be great personal trainers end up questioning the decision later because there were aspects to the profession they hadn’t anticipated. Fortunately, by contemplating the answers to these questions, you’ll be better prepared to see if a career in personal training is right for you:
1. Do you love fitness and have a workout regime yourself?
Although this might seem like an obvious question, some personal trainers haven’t developed their own workout plans and barely hit the gym themselves. Not only can that lower credibility with clients, but it also implies that they’re not as passionate about fitness and transformation as they claim. If that’s the case, they may not be in the profession for long.
2. Are you a problem-solver?
Every single client is different. Even if you put together similar programs for several clients, it’s highly likely that their goals will be unique, as well as their health challenges. One might be super motivated but facing chronic back pain, while another is in perfect health but hates dragging him- or herself to the gym. As a personal trainer, you should see client problems as opportunities, not as sticking points. It’s up to you to listen, come up with ideas, and provide client education on an individual basis.
3. Can you set goals effectively?
Putting together a killer workout routine is important, but are you helping your clients progress toward their goals? The best trainers don’t just get people to exercise—they propel them toward working out for a reason. That’s far likelier to keep them motivated and on track. You should be able to communicate with clients in a way that explores their motivation for each goal, what it will take to get there, and even what might lie beyond that point.
4. Are you organized?
From client schedules to training programs to group fitness to expense tracking, you have to juggle a great deal as a personal trainer and make it seem easy. There are software tools that can be helpful, but those are only tools—a construction project isn’t completed simply because you bought a hammer. You need the ability and skills to follow through, and a career in personal training is the same. Being organized is a major part of the job.
5. Do you like working with people?
Maybe you absolutely love exercising, you’re super organized, and you can set goals like a CEO. But meeting strangers and getting to know them just isn’t your thing. That’s okay—but it might be a hindrance if you’re thinking of becoming a personal trainer. The best trainers are friendly, approachable, and energetic. They’re able to gently draw out client fears and anxieties and turn those into fitness results instead. If you’re not much of a people person, then personal training might not be the best choice for you.
6. Do you love learning more about the field?
Like many other professions, personal training is most effective when ongoing education is involved. Exercise science, health news, and fitness trends are always evolving, and that should make you excited, not disappointed. The best personal trainers embrace the opportunity to expand their skills with fresh certifications that reflect specialization in areas like youth fitness, weight management, or balance therapy. Not only do these certifications give you a broader base of knowledge, but they also greatly boost your professional opportunities.
Now that you’ve asked these 6 important questions, do you think a career in personal training is a good fit for you?