Personal Trainer for a Day
Afternoon! Hope this Monday is going by swimmingly for you.
Just another Monday over here! You know, it’s funny. Normally after I go away – even for a weekend – I take the following day off of work. If I don’t, then I feel behind, frazzled, and frustrated. However, today is a 9 + hour day for me today, and even though Shane and I just got home from our weekend away last night, I feel just fine. I like these every day confirmations that I made the right decision in my big job switch
Luckily I had time to pack a lunch this morning. Salad, Chobani, cottage cheese + strawberries + granola. So far I’ve eaten the salad, which is spinach> two hard boiled eggs > 1/4 avocado> grape tomatoes> balsamic vinegar and the half-frozen Chobani.
While dining, I enjoyed a side of provocative.
You guys. Fifty Shades of Grey is scandalous right from the get go! Brandi and Kaitlin – you were right! I feel so naughty reading it! Especially when Shane’s in the same room as me. You have to read it to know what I mean, because there’s no way I’m getting into it here!
Let’s go ahead and jump right into today’s topic.
Personal Trainer for a Day
When I get emails from readers, 90% of them fall into two categories: those wanting the advice of a certified personal trainer, and those interested in becoming a certified personal trainer.
I received a question from Kara the other day asking several questions about the life of a personal trainer, and after answering some specifics, decided to just write a blog post to refer any future questions!
Keep in mind that the info below is only my experience as a personal trainer. This field varies greatly, and I have experience working in a gym as well as in clients homes. I know many (most) trainers’ situations are much different than mine. Because of this, I’m going to be doing a weekly series for the next few weeks – Trainer for a Day – featuring other personal trainer’s (bloggers you may know!) “typical day” of training.
So here’s mine!
I do both in-home and in-gym training. I train more clients in the gym than in-home, and I always ask if they’d be willing to join the gym before accepting them as an in-home client. I don’t typically train anyone farther than 20 minutes away from my house, but have made exceptions before.
As far as the gym I train at, I’m very lucky in my situation. I train at the gym I’m the manager for, so I don’t pay a fee to train there, nor does the gym take a cut of my price. I’ll discuss more about $$$ later though. It’s something everyone is worried/interested about in becoming a trainer!
My schedule is pretty all over the place, but for the most part, I wake up around 6 in the morning, and either get dressed to train or get my own workout in. I train 2-3 clients before 9:00. Then I usually have a couple hours break before I head to the gym – either to work the desk or train. Then around 4, I train a couple more clients. A typical day consists of about 5-6 clients total for me, but I also manage the gym now, so I average about 40 hours of work between the two each week.
In order to protect my sanity, I have created a couple rules for my schedule:
- Earliest session of the day is 6:00 am.
- Latest session of the day is 6:00 pm.
- One day completely off both (managing and training) jobs
- No more than 4 clients in a row (3 is preferable)
The thing about training is that I can create my own schedule. However, I also have to accommodate to others’ schedules – if I want to book any clients, at least
Favorite Parts – Pros
I’m the first to say that I love my job. I love the work I do. It’s rewarding, fun, and I feel like I’m giving back to the world – helping it out. The best part about training for me, hands down, is when I get an email/call/text from a client telling me how good they feel about themselves. Last night I came back home to see this text message on my phone:
“Paige, I had a physical this weekend. Down 17 pounds!!! I’m so happy! All credit goes to you.”
– and I was smiling the entire rest of the night. I also responded that she was the one who made it happened, and the credit goes to her. Seriously.
Aside from making a positive difference in people’s lives, there are other benefits of being a trainer:
- I wear nothing but yoga pants Monday-Friday
- “Researching” new exercise trends, studies, etc. is leisure reading to me
- It gives me motivation to keep up with my own workouts
- I’ve met a lot of inspiring people and those who have positively made a difference in my life
There’s more, but that’s what I have right now
Least Favorite Parts – Cons
The section above might make my job seem all sunshine and roses. But it’s also still a job…work. Sometimes I’ll have a day where I start at 6:30 and end at 7:00 pm and I’ll go home and just collapse. And actually that’s probably my least favorite part – the schedule. It’s not something I dread, but I do enjoy my evenings at home and getting home later than dinner time isn’t something I prefer.
Also, to counterbalance my favorite part above, there are also moments where I feel like I failed. Some clients don’t have as much progress as others, and whether that has to do with their workouts or not, I can’t help but feel a little defeated when it happens. There are also times when clients expect the pounds to magically drop off just because they “have a personal trainer now.” And when they don’t do their share of the work – the additional workouts, healthy eating, and lifestyle changes they get angry and frustrated. You can only motivate and advise someone so much. I sometimes wish I could do that part of the work for them, too, though.
Some other “leasts:”
- Risk of injury – every day someone’s life is in your hands. I’m as careful as I can be, and I’ve never made anyone puke yet (and hope never to!) but I have had some who were close. There’s also the inevitable “I pulled my _____” that happens with working out, too.
- You have to be on 100% of the time. The way I see it, people pay good money and expect a good workout, so I have to be 100% on and excited for that person’s workout. If I’m not excited, how am I supposed to expect them to be excited about their workout? This isn’t usually a problem, but everyone has their off days
- Lack of anonymity for my own workouts. I have a separate gym membership at a different gym than I train at for a couple reasons – I don’t want to get burnt out on my own gym, and to be just another “gym member” instead of a trainer while I’m doing my own workouts.
I’m technically self-employed. Although I don’t have to pay a gym a rent or a cut of my dues, I do have to pay the government a hefty amount of taxes each year. They really stick it to those who are self-employed! However, I also get to write a lot off – anywhere from trips that qualify as business trips to gas mileage to workout apparel! There are pros and cons to both sides, but I’m very happy with my situation.
As far as pricing goes, although I won’t divulge into what my exact prices are, I have a certain guideline. I offer packages, so if clients decide to pay for, say, a month’s worth of training sessions, it will cost them less per session than buying individual training sessions. I also do group training, which follows an entire different price range.
For in-home training, I charge a minimum rate, and increase it by how far I have to drive. In order to decide my prices, I researched on the internet, and called gyms both in my town and in different cities in the country “inquiring about personal training.”
This post is getting rather lengthy, so if you have any additional questions, please feel free to let me know by sending me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great day!
Other posts in the Trainer for a Day Series:
What’s your favorite part about your job? Least favorite?