Training for Personal Trainers – What’s it really like?
If you conducted a survey of people currently training for a Personal Trainer career you’d quickly discover a whole host of personal reasons behind their career choice. Once thing however resonates with everyone and that’s a genuine interest in people and a passion to help them tackle life’s challenges head on and look and feel their very best.
That’s certainly the case for Judy who is currently training to be a Personal Trainer. Her inspirational journey dispels the myths many of us have about fitness workouts and shares how with some hard work it’s possible to achieve the ultimate personal training career.
Dispelling the myths about personal training
I think I fall into the category of ‘gym bunny’. I’ve been pouring myself into Lycra and donning my trainers for many years. The thing is – all that pounding on a treadmill for hours and living off cream crackers and muesli just don’t get you that dream body… and over training without a structured plan ultimately screws up your knees.
I know what it’s like to be skinny. I got divorced several years ago, became a single mother with a 3 year old and went back to work full time. Size 8 and stress fell upon me in no time, without stepping foot in a gym, however it soon became clear that one day that combination was going to kill me.
Then one day a friend of mine told she had done a trial personal trainer session. I was stuck in an exercise rut so decided to try it out. This is what I’ve learnt so far…
Pulling weights doesn’t turn you into Popeye
Like many girls I have some hand weights tucked away in a corner of my home for when I get snowed in or I feel like my bingo wings have come to the fore. I bought them as I could never get to grips with the whole idea of lifting baked bean tins! These days those weights are redundant and are winging their way back to eBay. Training with a Personal Trainer has shown me that proper resistance training is essential for sculpting my body. Increasing the weight and lifting more results in a slim, toned figure and not a heavy bulk. Admittedly sticking your bottom out to do a dead lift is never going to be particularly ladylike – but rest assured it works your core and you quickly see some positive results!
You can eat before you train
This takes planning – get it wrong and you either pass out from lack of sustenance or feel extremely ill throughout your workout due to over indulgence. I used to think it was a bad idea to eat before training but now I know it’s essential to give your body fuel before it performs. I don’t mean a full dinner an hour before as I found to my detriment one evening – I was put off salmon for at least a month! Instead fill up a couple of hours in advance of your workout with oats, banana, hummus or scrambled egg on toast. My friend Sam swears by a cup of coffee for a perk before a gym session. I tried this and sent my heart rate soaring into orbit on a treadmill one day as I tried to beat my personal best! Definitely not a nutrition tip I personally recommend and yes in case you’re wondering I also found that a post-work glass of wine before a workout isn’t a good idea either!
It’s better to spend your money on PT rather than wine
Vino is my downfall and a hard habit to kick especially after a long day at work! But there’s no getting away from the fact that wine undoes all your hard work (well certainly some of it!). During the weeks I have abstained I have seen a remarkable difference in my shape and my performance. When I have an expensive month and think about how much money I spend on keeping fit, I then clock up my wine bill and know it’s probably just as much. What’s more my doctor is a member at my gym, she’s walking evidence that the gym is good for you and alcohol isn’t and ultimately she’s got the qualifications and done the study to prove it!
It’s OK to have a day off
Regular gym goers will know that exercise can be addictive. I guess it’s down to the endorphin rush it gives leaving us feeling great and wanting more. Over training can be counterproductive though, which means it is acceptable to have a day off. When you see that you are progressing it’s natural to want to continually improve. Not taking time to rest however results in injury and burnout. At my gym they’ve even put up posters that say take time to relax as well as work hard. They are probably trying to sell more massage but I guess that gives me a green card to swap the gym for a treatment occasionally!
I can do a full press up
I think the last time I did a press up was as part of some dreary cross–country challenge at school many years ago. It wasn’t so much a press up, more a collapse on the ground with me unable to support my weight! So, when my Personal Trainer suggested we try press ups, I wasn’t quite sure whether to laugh or cry. To my total amazement this was another area where my personal training had paid off. Once down on the mat I was totally astounded by my own strength and ability to support and control my own body weight and in case you’re wondering I even managed 10 straight off!
Boys don’t own the squat rack
Those that think the squat rack is for boys – think again. Once the domain of the male and muscled the weights area is slowly morphing into a new place. We girls have a right to be there too and some of us can lift heavier than the men. Of course there are always those that feel it totally necessary to grunt and groan to demonstrate their lifting capability, in fact this is pretty normal, so relax. Now onto the worry of dropping a weight from a great height, I’ve done that myself (more by accident than for effect!) as have many other gym members. So, don’t be afraid of the weights space, just venture in and “own the equipment” and look forward to some awesome results!
Training for Personal Trainer – My new career awaits
Since working out with a Personal Trainer many people have told me I look better than I have ever done before. For me that’s pretty good going considering I’ve just turned 46! So… after my personal training journey, what’s next?
Well, when people ask me what I do I say I’m a fitness and wellbeing trainee at the Academy of Fitness Professionals. Yes it’s bending the rules because they don’t employ me, in fact it’s me that employs THEM as a training provider!
But essentially that’s what they are giving me an online apprenticeship and VIP pass to enter into the fitness industry with first class, industry-recognised qualifications so I can stand up credibly against even the toughest of personal trainer clients.
Don’t be fooled that distance learning is an easy ride, a green card to swan through a workbook in your spare time and turn up and perform a few squats! Admittedly, the Academy of Fitness Professionals take care of everything and work closely with their students to ensure their personal training package fits around current commitments and with realistic deadlines. But, ultimately if you want to qualify as a Personal Trainer then you need commitment.
Workbooks and case studies replicate real-life scenarios and whilst you’re working ‘at a distance’ there is a knowledgeable and friendly mentor at the end of the phone or email should you get stuck, demotivated or simply need to check an answer. And they’re really nice, not intimidating at all despite their knowledge. What’s more their knowledge is top notch and that’s why you’ve chosen them!
Training for Personal Trainer – What I’ve learnt so far
So here I am having successfully passed my level 2 Fitness Instructor course and now the hard work begins with my level 3 Personal Trainer course.
What I have learnt is it’s never too late to retrain and follow your dream. And if you choose the Academy of Fitness Professionals then it’s a pretty good chance that you’ll succeed.