A Day in the Life of a Personal Trainer: Trainer Bonnie
For this week’s installment of Personal Trainer for a Day, it’s time to take a peek into a day in the life of Trainer Bonnie!
Bonnie is one of my newer blog friends, and like me, trains both in-home and in-club.
Previous Trainers for a Day:
- Trainer Lindsay, Lindsay’s List
- Trainer Courtney, Sweet Tooth Sweet Life
- Trainer Cotter, Cotter Crunch
Take it away, Bonnie!
1. How long have you been training?
I’ve been training for about 4 years now, since May 2008.
2. What’s your schedule for a "typical" work day?
My schedule for a "typical" workday (as "typical" as it gets for a trainer!) consists of:
– Waking up depending on when my first client is – usually around 6:30 am for an 8 am home client.
– Dropping my home-client gear off and packing up my food for the day before catching a ride or the bus to the train to commute downtown to the gym I work at, Fifth Avenue Club.
– Training clients throughout the day
– Taking breaks if clients cancel/getting my own workout in in the down times.
– Pack up and head home between 5 and 7 pm, clients-depending, for home clients.
– Dinner & bed!
Paige here – Bonnie, you’re a hard worker. What a long schedule!
3. What’s your favorite part of being a personal trainer?
Hands down my favorite part about being a trainer is motivating people towards healthier life change. It’s not about their initial goals or even achieving all of their specific goals that I love the most, it’s helping people realize that their new fitness regime is a new part of their life – for the rest of their days! The accomplishments along the way make me smile and inspire me to stay fit too, but I love getting to know people more intimately and cheering for them as they make one life change at a time.
4. What’s your least favorite part of being a personal trainer?
My least favorite part about being a trainer is probably the way the job ebbs and flows. To me training is my livelihood; to my clients it’s just a recreational part of their day – a luxury or "add on," so they don’t always have the same kind of urgency and consistency with which I approach my job.
5. What’s your training "style?"
I operate from a “functional fitness” approach to personal training, that is, the movements I teach people are movements that make life better, easier, and more enjoyable. My goal is to help improve my clients’ quality of life through physical fitness, and to do so through unique, fun, and shorter. Specifically, I almost always incorporate some type of high intensity interval training (HIIT) into my plans for people. These are simple, compound movements that recruit more muscle than isolated muscle movements and use primarily four moves: squats, pushups, dead lifts, and press-ups while getting your heart rate up and wiping you out! In a word: functional, high intensity workouts.
6. How does a typical personal training session go?
Although I do work with people specific to their fitness-level and experience, a typical session starts with the client warming up (on a treadmill or elliptical, usually) and us chatting and catching up before the workout starts (food check-in, movement check-in, life check-in etc). Then I’ll usually do two circuits of different types of exercises, usually total body workouts with each client unless their goals dictate otherwise. I create and log their workouts and the sessions last 50 minutes at the gym or 45 minutes when I train on my own house to house. I love taking workouts outside in the summer with body weight and TRX workouts too!
I’m certified in TRX Suspension training and my niche around the gym and as I market myself is definitely functional fitness and high intensity training. I also love different and unique body weight exercises and am known for not using machines often if at all.
8. How many clients do you train in a week on average?
I just started working at this gym downtown, so right now I’m working on building up my client base. My goal is to be at 30 hours a week but right now I’m closer to 15 hours and typically train anywhere from 10 to 25 clients a week (some are a few at once).
9. Do you participate in another fitness-related job in addition to training? (group fitness, gym employee, boot camp, etc) If so, how does that work around your training schedule?
While I’m hoping to start a TRX + Cardio class this fall, right now my training commitments are split between the gym where I train out of and training clients in their homes on my own (which I have been doing for the last 3 years).
Paige again – a TRX & Cardio class sounds SO fun! I’d totally take it
10. What advice would you have for someone thinking of signing up with a personal trainer?
The few pieces of advice I would give for someone interested in signing up with a trainer is this: go for it! All of us (trainers included!) work harder when there is someone watching and guiding you, and the benefit to the rest of your life is worth the money and initial investment. Secondly, make sure you click with your trainer. It’s important to like them (maybe not what they make you do!) rather than not connect and dread your appointment each time.
Your turn: What questions/comments do you have for Bonnie?
What’s the least favorite part about your job? Most favorite?