What l have learnt so far being a Personal Trainer.
What they don’t teach you in Personal Training School!
Be a Personal Trainer, work your own hours, help people, be a positive change in someone’s life, stay fit, stay healthy… and so on!
Is it really like that, working as a Personal Trainer?
No afraid not!
The first thing that l learnt very quickly, is that you can’t work the hours that you would like too. Mainly because the general population work 9 to 5. This means early mornings and late nights – yeah you get the day to yourself but by lunch time you are normally exhausted, and the last thing you want to do is have a workout in a gym you have just spent the last 6 hours in, knowing you have to be back in there that night.
Welcome to the world of split shifts. Knocking off work at 8.30-9 most nights and doing a quick turnaround to be back ready for action at 6am – all bright and bubbly – thank you coffee!
Then to be reminded by your lovely clients/members ‘oh you look tired…’ Yeah but its ok cos l get a four hour break today – the break is prepping for the next day!
Another one of my favourite lessons in learning to be a PT, is when people say ‘you can say anything to me and it’s not going to upset me!’ That is a huge headline to say, keep your mouth shut because no matter what you say to them or how you say it, it will piss them off somehow or someway.
I never really understood why, the client/member would get so upset – they said l could say anything, why are they avoiding me down the street? They gave me permission, they came to me for help. Then as l got older l began to realised that people say the things that they want you to believe, not the truth – not saying l have gone around blasting clients, but a simple, that’s not acceptable, or how you thought about this.
What really makes me laugh these days, when clients come in and say ‘l hate being mucked around with appointments, or l really dislike when people are running late.’ I have even had clients who work in the service industry and have appointment based days – and they are ones who cancel last minute or run late. I am pretty lucky though, there aren’t too many people who l wouldn’t train again, or who have treated me too poorly. I do have a chuckle when these conversations come up!
Being a PT is rewarding, you get to work with some great people, who wouldn’t of crossed your path otherwise.
The day l learnt that l didn’t have to solve everyone’s problems was a HUGE day! Clients come daily with problems, and you feel there is a responsibility to solve them – but there’s not. The problem belongs to the client, the client needs to own the problem and take their own action in their own way. And really telling an adult how to eat more fruit a day… they know what to do!
To be totally honest, as the blog is my mid-life crisis therapy – l used to take it personally when a client left. Because l gave so much, at times now l still do. Working with my Business Coach and talking through all things business and fitness he helped me to understand that everything has an end date. All clients have an end date, that doesn’t mean that the client won’t come back, it just means that they will finish up one day. If something starts, it will end.
We have clients in our gym, that come and go and that is perfectly fine. Most of the times it is out of my hands. I just don’t understand why some can’t have a conversation about it with you as a PT. You know all the other details about their lives. I know it will be awkward but not as awkward as it should be.
The biggest lesson of them all – PEOPLE WILL LIE – when someone fails at a goal, or a challenge or feel like they are a failure they will lie about what really happened. There’s no putting their hand up saying ‘not for me’ or ‘I mucked up’. We have heard so many stories which are untrue, because l was there, about what people have said to others in what has gone on in sessions – and the funny thing is due to loyalty being a strong value of mine, l still protect the client who is lying, because they were a member of our gym. Instead of saying what really happened.
It is a funny industry this Fitness industry in which l work – l have learnt a lot being a trainer, l have grown more so than what l would of personally if l had a desk job.
I know l can sleep well at night because l have stayed true to my values. That being said that would be the biggest piece of advice that l would pass on to anyone wanting to start in the Fitness world. ‘Know you, know your values, know your beliefs – and be prepared for anything that will come your way. Know that you can withstand any storms because you are a strong person, who holds your values high.’