Getting started as a Personal Trainer
Getting started as a Personal Trainer opens doors to a whole host of exciting new opportunities.
Whether you’re a gym enthusiast looking to turn your fitness passion into your day job or a budding entrepreneur keen to shape your own business, becoming a personal trainer has a lot to offer. With the emphasis on exercise for health growing more than ever, the market for qualified personal training is opening up as fitness related services take centre-stage.
So, what are the best options for getting started as a Personal Trainer? How do you get clients as a new personal trainer? And what’s the best way to get started? If there’s an expert to turn to then its recent personal training graduate Alex Atkins, who is reaping the benefits of all her hard work as she enjoys developing a flourishing personal training business of her very own.
Read on and discover more about Alex’s inspiring personal journey.
Why did you choose to become a Personal Trainer?
I became a fully qualified personal trainer at the age of 44 which was the culmination of a fairly lengthy fitness journey.
I’d always dabbled with fitness, done a bit of running and tried numerous workout DVD’s. In fact, thinking about it I literally had every fitness DVD going! Of course, I was a member of a gym and in case you’re wondering I hold my hands up I rarely used it. I just couldn’t find an exercise regime that excited me and gave me that fitness bug I’d heard so much about.
Like so many I knew I should be exercising and that it’s good for me but I didn’t know what I needed and couldn’t stick at anything for long.
For me the changes all came about when, at the age of 40 and with my two children growing up fast, a friend asked if I’d like to join her in getting a personal trainer. My initial reaction was a resolute ‘no’ followed by ‘I can’t do that!’ The mere thought of a personal trainer sounded way too challenging, but I found myself pondering. You see my friend’s fitness level is very similar to mine, so I decided to get stuck in and try a couple of sessions.
Immediately I was transfixed. Here was an exercise routine that worked for me and I didn’t have to think about it or feel rubbish or incapable. Our personal trainer was brilliant and so supportive. Time whizzed by and I continued to train with her for two years and really loved it.
I felt so much better physically and mentally and gradually my body started to change. I realised that in addition to cardio vascular training, strength training is vital and so started to really focus on that. The personal approach and tailored exercise selection made such a difference that, with the support of my personal trainer, I decided to train to become a trainer myself. If you’d told me two years earlier that I’d be getting started as a Personal Trainer I would have never believed it.
How did you get qualified?
I qualified to become a fitness instructor through the Academy of Fitness Professionals and then immediately began my Personal Trainer qualification. I continued to train with my own trainer throughout my learning. My qualification took longer than I thought it would just because I was so fascinated by the way the body works and helping people through training that I read a lot around the subject.
Once I qualified I set up an Instagram account and started posting videos to help people my age and older with their strength training from beginner through to advanced levels. I quickly gained three clients and am about to sign up another two. Recently, I’ve launched my website and really love to help people with their fitness.
It’s good to think about a specialism to help stand out. My specialist area is women who have had children and are looking for ways to get into fitness or incorporate fitness into their hectic routine by doing home workouts.
Personal Training is a very rewarding career choice. Becoming successful is a combination of education and applying this to working with clients, building up experience as you go along. I’m now much more confident with putting exercise routines together and knowing what to look out for during training sessions.
Getting Personal Trainer Clients
For any newly qualified Personal Trainer, how to get clients is pretty much top of the list. To begin with I wasn’t sure where to start so I had some leaflets designed and started putting them in local cafes etc. I gained a couple of clients through people that I knew and offered 50% off for a six week course so they could see what they thought and give me feedback.
The feedback was really useful and helped me fine-tune my PT service, and they signed up for another six weeks at full price. This was great for my self-esteem as I knew I was onto something if they wanted to repeat book!
I didn’t want to be desperately searching for clients so I decided to focus on my Instagram account and worked on it every day. Instagram has helped me hugely with my confidence and working out my target market. It has helped me to connect with people and give credibility to my business. I gained another two clients through Instagram and then another through word of mouth.
Becoming a Successful Personal Trainer
Start small by identifying things that are most important to you and do this really well, then build from there. The personal training sessions I run with clients are very rewarding and the key is to make sure I listen and understand their goals. They can see that I write plans especially for them and really hone in on what they would like to achieve. The training is truly personal and that is what they pay for.
I will always adjust work-outs during a programme if something doesn’t seem to be working or if I can see adjustments need to be made or one area needs more work. I make a note of everything so that the next session is beneficial and the client can see progress. It’s important that my client’s feel their money is well spent and want to keep coming back because they know I’m helping them to achieve their goals.
Striking the Balance
There’s a lot to getting started as a Personal Trainer and eventually succeeding as a Personal Trainer so it’s important to find a balance. I don’t want to maximise my time too much with physically training clients because I need time to work on and tailor their programmes in between sessions.
I also need time for my children and working on my website and Instagram account. Doing these things really well will enable me to build my reputation and steadily grow a business working in fitness and helping others which is something I really love.