I passed the ACSM CPT exam and am ready to quit my job and get started! But how?!
A little bit on me; I have a strong athletic background, have passed my CPT and am currently working towards a Health Coach certification but now find myself in the what-the-hell-do-I-do-now point of the process. I'm ready to leave my job so I can immerse myself in the fitness world but am wondering the best path to take.
I understand its going to be slow to start building clients so am thinking about either looking at multiple gyms or doing front desk or something...it's exciting but nerve wracking too! I know there's not one way to get started and would love all of your experiences from those who've been at this long enough to own their own practice to those who have been training 2 months...Thanks for any to-dos or not-to-dos!
I definitely understand your dilemma. My advice depends on what your financial obligations are currently and how strong the "itch" to get on with getting practical experience is.
I personally continued to work my corporate "desk job" and started training clients before and after work. I eventually did stints at large gyms, but the environment was not for me, and I didn't feel like I was learning enough.
If your goal is to learn a lot about running your own business, you might consider becoming a trainer or assistant at a smaller/boutique gym, where you'll get a chance to see the BUSINESS side of training as well...
I would not quit my full time job, instead I would begin to slowly build my clientele.
Once you have enough income or not enough time to do both jobs, you can them move ahead!
It can take months or even years to get established.
I suggest getting into a local gym, or starting a bootcamp before work? or possibly start a workout program at your current job
My opinion is that it depends on what your current job/financial situation is. I can tell you my personal experience was that I quit my job and found a personal training job at a large gym that could "feed" me clients to get my client base built up. I learned a lot about how to effectively train people while working there and studied up about how to run a business in my own free time. After about 2 years, I had exhausted the knowledge I felt I could obtain from others at the gym and done a lot of studying on business. So I made the leap to doing business on my own. This worked for me but it definitely wouldn't work for everyone, especially if you can't financially stay above water while you start out your first training job. It wasn't hard for me though because I didn't have many financial commitments and was already not making very much money.
Good luck to you,
Good luck whichever way you decide to go!
Years ago I came from the corporate world but I had years of being an athlete and coach as well. Then the day came that I made a career change to personal training. Basically, I just jumped right in both feet into the water. I bought a fitness studio that another trainer was selling that included active clients. Plus part of the purchase was that I shadowed him for a couple months. He was a great mentor! The rest was up to me.
Granted, I was lucky to have a turnkey operation to get into with existing clients.
My advice: Always keep learning, be prepared to take calculated risks, and find a mentor is possible. It helped me greatly to have someone to learn from. Also, one mistake that I made early in my career was lack of networking. My ego got in the way and I didn't network with other trainers in my area. I ended up paying dearly for that later on. Lesson learned! It is important to network with other trainers. You never know when a referral relationship can come into play. Hope this helps.
needless to say I am very intimidated but he does know I haven't had professional experience training or leading before.
I'm not sure the details (wants me to think on my feet) but I'm more concerned about if i need to take them through a physical assessment or just discuss past history and goals and design a session from that. Also if they throw injuries at me, like a knee injury I feel I should voice what we will not do like single leg squats but that it's still important to work those muscles to make them stronger and do modified exercises like not as deep squats with no weights. I'm really excited but feel a little over my head!
First great job on passing the certification. This is a great industry to be in. I agree with those who've suggested on keeping your current job until you start making enough money to support yourself. It takes time to build enough clients that will get you the income you need to survive.
My advice would be to start at a gym and not as a front desk attendant. You need to devote your time in training as many clients as you can, so you could gain enough training experience. The more clients you train, the more experienced you will become. You could start as a part-timer until you are training enough clients that will bring you the money you need. Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that unless you are hired as a full-time employee at a gym you might not have an access to any benefits (including health insurance). You will also need to get a liability insurance for yourself to be legally protected by any mishaps with clients. IDEA has access to a great insurance company (http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-insurance).
Always perform fitness assessments on new clients and check their health history before starting training them. Signing a Par-Q is also another mandatory step. I hope this helps and good luck.
I quit my job last May and began working with a small company that partnered with high rises for one-on-one training to get my feet wet and see how the business side of things worked.
During that time I met up with a few area trainers to pick their brain and make more connections. In September I launched my own independent training and site (www.sjkfitness.com) and have 8 clients of my own!
It really does just take time to feel comfortable but so far I'm really enjoying it and have gotten my Health Coaching cert (ACE) and last week completed my RRCA run coaching cert!
Thanks for asking, I love this site and use it often, even going to the conference this week :)