Anyone else personal trainers?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 03, 2009 6:35 PM GMT
    Whats up guys? So come October I will be a certified Personal Trainer from the National Personal Training Institute. And seeing how this is a queer fitness site I was wondering if anyone else is already a certified PT. I was just wondering how you like it? I really like the idea of working at a large well known gym such as Lifetime or Bally's, however after talking to a few of my trainers they said they didn't really enjoy it. So if you are certified, have you had any experience in working in a large gym? Also, any other advice you have for a novice PT would be greatly appreciated. Take it easy, fellas.
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    Jun 03, 2009 11:54 PM GMT
    I've got my NSCA-CPT certification but due to the economy, can't really find a job with it as of yet. From what I can tell, I've heard that at a lot of the bigger gyms there's a great deal of sales involved in the process.

    In all reality, that's kind of how it should be, because, as trainers, we're selling ourselves and our knowledge in order to help others obtain their goals. That being said, however, I have known some other trainers at places like 24 Hour Fitness and Bally that, in addition to selling their own services, they're also required to sell company products such as supplements and nutritional things, and are regulated to sell through quotas. This also applies to "Training packages," I.E. 5 sessions for X# of dollars, ect.

    This is one of the things that I think I honestly will either have to come to terms with if I ever work at one of those bigger gyms, or if I need to have one of those jobs. I honestly -loathe- sales, but in terms of training, that's fine. It's a clientele-based business and that's the nature of the beast. In terms of nutritional supplements and things though, that's not our job, and in terms of what most of those gyms actually sell, it's a load of sugar-laden crap anyways. If I'm selling something, I want to be able to actually say its a good product.

    If I'm selling myself as a trainer, then I know I'm good at it, but if I'm hawking a bunch of ineffective placebo supplements, then I think that it's more of a question of integrity and reality. I simply don't believe in gouging people for their money if they've got nothing to gain from it.

    In my honest opinion, beware of those gyms that are wanting to put you on a product sales quota. It's not your job, man. Gyms hire nutritionists and sales people for that. That way your conscience is clear, you don't have to question your own morality, and you can be sure that you're truly providing for the people you're trying to help.
  • silverfox

    Posts: 3176

    Jun 04, 2009 2:09 AM GMT
    I am a retired personal trainer....does that count?

    Anyway I worked in a small personal training gym, never a big gym.

    I chose to pay rent instead of working on commission.

    I hustled, worked hard....and proud to say in first year I made a lot of money.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 04, 2009 3:46 AM GMT
    This doesn't *really* answer the topic, but I have Personal Training qualifications, though I never worked as a PT. I got into it more for my own knowledge, and it has actually helped with my work (my PhD looked at exercise and steroids and stuff like that).

    It has helped in that people at work come to me for advice, and I also know what to look for in a PT (Im about to get one). If I can offer one piece of advice for working with clients: give them your full attention. You'd be amazed at the number of PTs who stand next to a client who is slogging their guts out but are looking at other people or themselves in the mirror!
  • JuanitoR

    Posts: 12

    Jun 04, 2009 3:57 AM GMT
    I am not a personal trainer, but know trainers with Bally's (my regular gym) , had trainers and from what i hear it sounds challenging to be one.

    First, if your hired, your paid , last I heard about a week ago, minimum wage for the first month and I believe $15-20 per training session. That's for each session you get per client. After the first month, no more hourly pay and your on your own to get clients.

    Then, eventually the pay more per hourly session you get, something like $30-$45 per session. My friend told me this as she was attempting to become a trainer very recently.

    This is what I heard, for Bally's, for Los Angeles area, anyway. I'm sure this varies from market to market. I assume its like any other business, and you have to sell yourself. It sounds like they have plenty of time to pursue other avenues, get a second job, second business, etc. I understand many trainers at larger gyms do work other jobs along with the Personal Trainer thing.

    It sounds to me that trainers are better off finding outside clients and charging their own rate, via a website, networking, etc...

    Hope that helps.
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    Jun 04, 2009 5:07 AM GMT
    I've had experience working at a variety of different places. I also write about the fitness industry and have had the opportunity to connect with some of the most successful trainers in the business. Here is what I have learned (through interviews and advice):

    Start at a larger chain gym. You won't get paid very well and the experience may not be what you hope for, but the knowledge you gain from doing so is irreplaceable. At a large gym you learn a lot about how to deal with lots of different types of people. Through that, you also learn who you work well with and who you don't. This becomes paramount to developing your own business.

    You also learn "sales" skills in that you develop your own flow in educating potential clients on what you have to offer them. In my experience this is tremendously difficult to do without practice or an innate sense of selling.

    Also, learning how to train people is a challenge. When you work in a gym setting you are exposed to many different trainers' styles. You get to observe how others do things. You get the opportunity to give and receive feedback which can be tremendously beneficial.

    Working at a large gym can be a pain and the pay is not always great. But the hands-on experience you gain will be invaluable.

    I suggest working at a large chain gym for at least a year. That will give you time to become comfortable and confident in your skills. Then seek out smaller "boutique" training gyms where you make more and are given a bit more freedom.

    Also, read lots. Not just about exercise science, but also about the nuts and bolts of what it means to be a trainer. There's so much that your textbooks and personal training prep classes don't teach you. Invest in organizations like

    I could go on and on about this, and if you want to learn more, please e-mail me. But what I've said already should get you started.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 04, 2009 5:26 AM GMT
    I'm studying for the ACSM test. So what I'm about to say is based on my own experience, people I've talked to and such. My thoughts are that a large gym is good for getting your feet wet, getting a client base, and some referrals while continuing to build credentials and choosing an area of specialty. If you're planning to make a career out of it, I would probably not plan to be at a large name gym for too long. The pay sucks, turnover rate of clients is high, and there are too many unprofessional trainers making you look bad. Be professional, listen to your clients, and treat everyone with the respect you'd want to be treated with. I think the most important thing for anyone in sales (and it is intensive sales) is to listen to your clients' needs, give them incentive (keeping a record of measurements, weight lifted, body fat percentage etc) and be able to motivate them.