Should I retrain to be a personal trainer???

(16 Posts)
AGreenie Wed 13-Nov-13 23:08:02

After years of being over weight and unfit, I started training with a personal trainer - I am now almost at my goals for weight and fitness. I am currently a sahm but am planning to go back to work sept 2014. The thought of being sat at a desk 8 hrs a day petrifies me, I've spent so long and worked so hard to get where I am now !
So....

I'm thinking about retraining to be a personal trainer - I'm 37, does anyone have any advice?

Go for it but just be aware it's a lot of training with a lot of modules to cover. Before I had DS I did the qualification for exercise to music and fitness instructor so although I am qualified I am nowhere near PT Level. It can be expensive to qualify and don't expect the money to come rolling in......it's a tough business out there with lots of competition and with exercise people are so inconsistant and unreliable it won't be a flowing trade.

I did my qualifications with a view to giving up my office job and I started off doing a few of my own classes (loved them for a start, 10 years on I started to hate them) and worked in a gym for a few hours a week as a fitness instructor.

I am still in my office job and go to the gym every day....as a client.....and it's much better that way for me.

However, I was in the industry years ago, it may be different now and the training packages may be different so just look into it and see what you think.

Good luck! smile

kaizen Thu 14-Nov-13 09:57:43

This might be a bit long but I know a two women who have just finished their personal training certificates and I've used personal trainers regularly for over 2 years now so I have some experience of it.

I know the training courses differ in quality and price - that won't matter to most clients but it will to some. This is discussed on online forums so its easy for clients to check the quality of training and I've done it myself. Also, just a warning about stuff you have online - one newly qualified trainer i know put loads of stuff on her twitter account about her training and how crap her training course was - not a great idea when starting a new career hmm

I would now look for a personal trainer that does some sport themselves regularly - running, triathlon, cycling, weight training etc, or has a previous qualification in some kind of physical arena (like an ex army PT, sports coach, physio). i personally think the qualification is the starting point and you need to keep up to date with all the latest physiological research etc and how this applies to exercise. My current trainer has completely rehabilitated a shoulder injury i got from a cycling accident 18 months ago - (3 months ago i was looking at surgery). He was confident enough to build sometimes painful exercises into my programme based on his knowledge of weight training and how the shoulder works. My previous trainer was crap at this and had no idea.

You'll have a selling point in that you will have things in common with lots of gym clients in that you have reached your own goals first, you have a family etc etc. I think we certainly need more female PTs over the age of 25 as all the ones at my gym are male and I think there is a big market of female clients who don't want to work or aren't confident enough to work with 25-30 year old males. There is also a market in rehabilitation PT (level 4 i think) for people with health conditions - i think this market will grow in future as people want to stay active longer.

Also, getting off the ground might be difficult as you won't have any client testimonials. However, if you look good, and are seen working on yourself in the gym and getting results then I would approach you for training (this is how i chose my last trainer)

Good luck - I love my PT (not literally) and its one of the highlights of my week smile

Lazysuzanne Thu 14-Nov-13 11:12:11

Interesting points Kaizen, I agree looking as if you practice what you preach has got to be important!

Lazysuzanne Thu 14-Nov-13 11:16:59

I see lots of women in the gym who are clearly intimidated by the free weights area and could do with a female instructor to show them the way.

(rather than someone who tells them to do bench press with one kilo dumbells on a stability ball hmm )

Lazy - I bench press on a stability ball but with 10 kg in each hand......I do use the free weights as well though smile

Lazysuzanne Thu 14-Nov-13 11:29:38

I'd fall off and look a Pratt so I play safe and use a bench grin

Haha, I save myself for looking like a pratt when I do lunge squats on the TRX - wobble city if I am tired smile

Lazysuzanne Thu 14-Nov-13 11:36:17

They are very hard, that woman on the you tube video makes it look so easy, she must have some invisible wires confused

I am better than I was, I used to have to have something at the side of me to hold onto if need be and esp to get into position....I don't need that anymore so have no safety net, lol....am sure I will come unstuck one of these days. I do love the trx though, some exercises on it more than others smile

Lizzylou Thu 14-Nov-13 11:40:31

Op definitely go for it. I have a friend who has retrained as a PT recently and she loves it. She looks amazing and is a very warm and enthusiastic person. Pity she is in a different country or else I would hire her.
I also agree that a woman instructor in the free weights area of gyms would be a godsend.
I have done my own research and reading and been to body pump but would love some instruction from someone who is not intimidating.

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Thu 14-Nov-13 11:48:02

I was considering looking into the same thing OP.

I took up running early 2012 and love it. I love exercising and the buzz it gives. Im 34, but Im a little overweight (I could do with losing a stone) and need a bit of toning.

Can I just hijack to ask those that are on this thread if that matters? Obviously by the time I qualify I will have lost that stone and toned up more.

Bicuit - it depends. At my gym one of the best instructors for classes there is quite overweight but she is fit, very motivational and I love her classes.

However, in the gym if someone is giving me a programme according to what goals I want to achieve then yes, for some reason, I would expect my instructor to be fit and looking healthy and defined. If I was to pay out for PT then yes, I would def expect to have a fit trainer who obviously practice what they preach.

I may be in the minority though, I have no idea smile

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Thu 14-Nov-13 12:00:46

I understand what you are saying Betty. By the time I am retrained I would have lost that stone and be more toned so will look the part. Its just ATM Ive just finished a work contract and looking for something else so thinking if I should work in what I love and that's exercise. So right now is the ideal time to look into it, but right now I still have another stone to lose and I need to tone up.

It will surely be a goal for me.

Lazysuzanne Thu 14-Nov-13 12:16:17

Is there really that much of a market for personal trainers?

It seems to me that the die hards in the gym are the ones who've learned from years of trial and error and don't need a trainer.

So I'm wondering if those who use a pt are inherently fickle?

Whenever I see instructors training people in my gym they're doing (what I consider to be) daft gimmicky stuff rather than sticking to basic compound exercises

kaizen Thu 14-Nov-13 12:25:09

Interesting question - not sure if it matters to everyone what their PT looks like. My super fit triathlete friend has an older guy as a trainer but he's incredibly expereinced, done the rounds and she gets great results.

I know some people are put off PT because of wobbling around looking like a prat infront of a 'superfit' demi god!! I wobble around, sweat, and look like a tomato by the end of my session and i just want to feel comfortable around my PT whatever i look like, and whatever strange noises i'm making grin This might be easier if someone doesn't look 'perfect' but i think its more about personality of the trainer.

My last PT wasn't so much into weights and muscle building, and i didn't get results with him. My latest one is into it himself, reads about it, looks good and i think that helps. So maybe if you live it, you teach it better.

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