I’ve been personal training for over a third of my life and I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn’t chose to pursue this path.
I mean, I can try to imagine and there’s a chance it could have been easier and a chance it could have been harder. No matter what I can imagine I am glad I chose this direction.
I think there’s a lot of ways I’ve been able to help people that have made it all worthwhile, to say the least and a lot of ways to help myself, to say the most. I won’t go into a biography here, but I will say it’s had it’s rewards as well as its risks for sure.
Some people may not feel as if being a personal trainer is a privilege, but I do personally and I think it’s important to recognize when people let you help them, it can be a very meaningful process all around. Alright before I Blabber on I’ll just start the list.
Here is a list of the reasons personal training can be a great career and some of the rewards of being a personal trainer:
1. You get to help people…
people come to you and there’s a lot of desperation at times. I personally have gone out of my way to find desperate people to help at times because I wanted to see these people find some kind of level of themselves that I knew would improve their lives. Over the years I’ve learned this is not a great method for anything more than getting some word of mouth business and potentially some props. What I mean is, giving myself for free wasn’t always the best idea regardless of my intentions. I have helped a lot of people and I’m thankful for that.
Most people won’t give a damn if you help them or not and many will forget you. This is fine, you just have to realize this is a part of helping people. In time you learn to let go of these things that sometimes can make you feel as if people don’t give a damn when you’re trying to help them in the ways which you’re able to help them most. Make sure you’re capable of helping them before trying, please, I’ve made the mistake of trying to help people who didn’t need or want my help early in my career for one reason or another. This is not the way and you certainly don’t get mad at people who don’t want your help, that is a silly attitude and won’t help anyone.
People have to want help for you to be able to give it to them so your best bet is to wait for people to ask for help which is a big step. Pride is a big thing with people and people generally want the world to think they’re tough, until they realize things are out of hand and their plan hasn’t been getting the results they wish to garner. It’s far more enjoyable when people appreciate and enjoy your help. They will listen better and be far more receptive to constructive criticism. As a personal trainer I’ve learned to do the same over the years.
2. You watch people grow…
and it’s an amazing thing. We see ourselves grow, our friends, and families, we see babies grow, kids grow, and there’s something pretty unique about growing with someone over the years. Growing with a stranger who wants your help is special. That stranger may end up being the most inspirational person you’ve ever met.
Watching and actually helping an autonomous person physically improve their life, functions, system, structure, psyche, and overall entity is a remarkable thing. I joke around and tell people they have 3 puberties in life. One when turning into a teen adolescent, another when they actually start lifting seriously, and a final one as we grow older and shift into the later stages of life. Each one is enjoyable for it’s own reasons and growing into the next phase is likely to feel awkward and odd at times until you get used to it. Combine your second with either of the others and you become super. It’s never too late to become the greatest version of yourself and it’s always relative to your expectations.
When I say grow, I don’t just mean physically, obviously. People grow in all kinds of tremendous ways and the lifting, stretching as well as the conditioning are merely a catalyst for change, positive change generally. People are dark and we all have our reasons too, I don’t judge people based on their darkness, but I very much understand it and relate. The potential for psychological growth is tremendous considering all the chemical implications that come with exercise generally, physiologically there’s an avalanche of positive benefits so talking about growth being limited to physical is just impossible. If someone is really looking to change their life for the better, exercise is probably one of the main initial steps anyone should be taking. This is so well known and naturally ingrained in us that it’s practically common knowledge. Our bodies tell us what they want with every reaction to what we do.
Sit in a chair to long, back ache, stand in one spot too long, back ache, lay around too much, back ache. We were meant to grow and thrive in our own natural way even if we have a conservative structure with the bodies that are given to us at conception. Pushing our bodies to their limit and growth potentials is one of the meanings to life. I truly believe that if you push your structure in just the right way, within specific individualized parameters you will find meaning in that. Building our bodies helps give is purpose beyond whatever else is already perpetuating us.
3. You learn
If there is one thing you should hope for in life, if nothing else, it’s to learn. More of a privilege is to be able to learn while you try to teach. I know this seems like a bit of a cop out because we are always supposedly learning, but I really do think a very specific type of learning happens when you teach people. Very distinct realizations shine through and you very much learn about who you are as well as who you want to be. This becomes inherently synergistic in the social structure of personal training as well as most forms of teaching.
When you pay attention to people and what they absorb as well as how they absorb it, you come to realize people want to put you up on another level. Everyone wants something to look towards for guidance and in that you will be able to see what you expect when you seek guidance. We all will have to seek out some guidance at some point. That’s life and that’s what great about the human race. We are connected whether we want to be or not, without human interaction we die. Personal training is a very human thing and if you let it be as real as possible then it’s beyond just the basic concept of teaching exercise in my opinion. I know I have been lucky to develop these connections through teaching others and guiding them.
It’s a tradeoff of understanding and hopefully meaningful. The last mistake you ever want to make is to think you are the smart teacher, the client is a dumb student who pays you, and that’s all that it is. If you are only looking for money from the experience, you lose, that’s it. Learn and experience a personal growth from helping someone build themselves towards their potentials. In helping people master themselves you will learn just as much about mastering yourself.
If you’re interested in becoming a personal trainer, I should warn you, beware. While there are plenty of people in the world, the industry is saturated with all kinds of types and experiences. This happens in every industry, but the fitness industry as well as the nutrition field have always had tendency to attract wannabe gurus. A lot of these people are constantly scheming to make money through any desperate avenue possible, even if it means lying. Some people are too unaware to know that some of what they are doing is dishonest because they aren’t educated enough to give proper advice. Misinformation is very common in the industry and even some people who are informed will make up gimmicks that ultimately will confuse people. You do have a responsibility as a personal trainer and arbiter in the field to provide people with complete transparency and honesty. If you are not forthright and upfront with people you are trying to influence to improve their lives, motivate, and potentially have hire you then you will eventually fail. I’m not even talking about finances, although in time that will happen as well once word gets out. I mean you will be seen eventually for the ignorance, ineptitude, and aloof nature of what you are.
Be something rare and new. This is not a business you should get into with dollar signs in your eyes. I’ve seen too many who think they’ll be rich in years who don’t make it past year 4 and it becomes a fallback job they are only mediocre at the rest of their lives. I’m not saying you can’t work part time, just be passionate and amazing if you do. Expect that anything you are passionate about will take time to reap financial reward, but you have to want to do it to ever be respected as being truly great at what you do.
I’m in Haverhill, Mass USA everyday doing what I’ve been doing for over a decade and love it. I created a life I can enjoy and you can too, but you will have to give a damn about the people you’re helping.