When you first became certified as a personal fitness trainer, you were excited to share your passion for fitness and the benefits it brings, not just to your clients’ health, but to their overall quality of life. But for many newly certified trainers, getting career traction can be a challenge. Big box gyms often underpay, or can guarantee only part-time hours, and striking out on your own can make huge demands on your time and financial resources.
Yet, the demand for personal training is high, and continues to grow. If you really want to pursue your dreams of success as a fitness professional, consider some of the common reasons trainers don’t make enough money to succeed.
- You’re focused on the money: This one is tough, because it’s hard NOT to think about money when you are trying to establish your career. Nevertheless, many trainers scare away clients by focusing on the money instead of the benefits. Stay focused on analyzing and meeting your clients’ needs, deliver amazing results, and watch the money roll in!
- Your thoughts are self-limiting: When you decided on a fitness career, you may not have considered the business end of the equation. Many novice trainers are dismayed at the need to sell themselves to potential customers. Others fear they cannot make it as an independent contractor. The truth is, if you think you cannot do a thing, you are right. Take time to identify self-limiting thoughts and attitudes, and work to overcome them.
- You’re not managing your business: This goes hand-in-hand with #2: as a personal trainer, it is imperative to keep accurate records, monitor your clients’ session packages, regularly re-evaluate their progress, and review their goals. To put it simply, there is a lot more to personal training than the actual training sessions. Step up your business game, and you will see your profits increase.
- You lack self confidence: Let’s face it, the competition for personal training can be stiff. Colleges and universities turn out thousands of newly degreed job candidates each year with advanced degrees in exercise science. To build your own confidence, keep your certification current, take continuing education courses, and think about working toward more advanced credentials. Learn everything you can, and leave your competition in the dust.
- You work for low wages: As mentioned earlier, big box gyms and smaller training studios often underpay their trainers. Basically, you do all the work, and they reap the rewards. In addition, many trainers who take on private clients grossly undercharge. This is largely driven by fear (see #4 above), but undercharging or undercutting the current market rate will hurt you in the long run. In the eyes of many clients, your session fees reflect your value as a trainer. Low-paying clients are more likely to skip sessions, meaning they don’t get results. Clients who invest in training have more skin in the game, and they are more likely to reach their goals and buy more sessions.
- Your clients are not seeing results: At the end of the day, the fitness business is, and always has been, about results. Successful clients are your best advertising, and if your clients are not reaching their goals, that is negative advertising. Hold your clients’ feet to the fire, review goals regularly, change what’s not working, monitor food and activity logs, and use behavior contracts to keep your clients moving forward to remarkable results.
- You lack professionalism: Personal training is considered a high-ticket luxury item by many clients, and they expect a lot of bang for their bucks. That includes professional conduct and appearance on the part of the trainer. Good grooming and hygiene are fundamental. Clean sharp-looking fitness wear, clean athletic shoes in new condition, and showing up for sessions on time, prepared and organized, are all elements of your professional image. Step up your professional game, and step up your income!
- You’re staying in your comfort zone: In case you haven’t heard, you cannot grow without facing and overcoming obstacles. In fact, “no pain, no gain” is the mantra of our profession. To make more money, you may need to take on challenges and obstacles that are over your head, take risks on opportunities that do not guarantee success, and be willing to fall flat on your face. Take the advice you give to your clients every day, and push yourself beyond your comfort zone to get the results you desire.
- You’re not seeing the big picture: It may be difficult to imagine yourself making large sums of money as a personal trainer, but you have to look at the big picture. Personal training opens doors to one of the hottest industries in history. Online training, group training, celebrity training, niche training, athletic training…the sky’s the limit! Use your imagination, keep your eyes open for opportunities, and create the career of your dreams!
- You need more education: Knowledge is power, and in the fitness business, it can mean the difference between success and failure. Lucky for you, W.I.T.S. has everything you need to succeed, right at your fingertips! Check out our current offerings:
Making more money as a personal trainer is completely up to you. Work hard, help your clients get results, keep your head in the game, and we’ll see you at the top!