There are two parts to personal training. The business of personal training/fitness and the skill and knowledge of personal training. To succeed you have to learn how to market yourself and you have to be knowledgeable and skillful enough to command the respect of potentials clients.
1. Love of the Job. One of the biggest challenges to being a personal trainer is working with people who don’t want the results they are looking for as badly as the trainer does. When someone comes to the trainer with a serious problem – they need to lose a lot of weight, get their cholesterol and blood pressure under control or whatever and they don’t stick to the program, it can be very frustrating and discouraging for both client and trainer.
2. Finding a Niche. Beginner Personal Trainers often work with a whole variety of clients, but after a while they may realize that they have a talent for working with a certain demographic. Working with a wide demographic can give your work variety and may be necessary in a small community, but many trainers say that finding that niche market was one of their biggest challenges. However, they also cited that helping their niche market achieve their fitness goals are the highlights of their careers.
3. Time Management. Most trainers are not alone in this because so many of their own clients claim they don’t have enough time. Nonetheless, peak times, quiet times, free time, and sleep time are foremost in any busy trainer’s schedule. Every trainer has their own way of juggling their time and getting others to respect the time they’ve offered them. Doing so is a challenge in itself.
4. Marketing. If you are entering the profession of personal training, you have to know how you’re going to market yourself. Awareness of the benefits of personal training has been expanding for over a decade, as is the client market. This increased opportunity is accompanied by a huge influx of new personal trainers into the industry, which means increased competition. What kind of training are you going to provide & What type of clientele are you going to service? What will be your areas of specialization? Will you part time or full time? These are the things that need to be considered even before a trainer becomes certified. Training your clients at an already existing exercise facility can make a great deal of sense. You have a pool of prospective clients from which to draw and a more targeted group in which to focus on.
5. Clientele. Say it ain’t so! A lot of trainers say convincing people that they know what’s best for them is a struggle. No matter how many times they tell a client about the fallacies of things like spot reduction, meal prepping or the lack thereof, supplements, or the appropriate amount of weight to use, some clients will argue or straight out defy them then complain about not receiving the results they want. If a client does not trust you, they will not come back to you—even though it isn’t the trainers fault. Clients will pay several hundred dollars a month for an subject matter expert and still question a trainers professional opinion. Instances like these are extremely stressful and problematic for trainers.
The opportunity to inspire and educate people to live happier and healthier, and the ability to make money doing something you love while making a difference are two common reasons people pursue a career in fitness. People joining this profession need to be aware of the cons as well. It is a business where people will have very high expectations of you. In any profession, there will be challenges that will not always be easy to overcome, but when all the pieces fall into place, it is satisfying and rewarding.