The benefit of being a personal trainer with a healthy lifestyle is that you can probably expect to enjoy a long, active life. While it can be possible to teach group fitness classes or train clients well into your 70s, it’s important to make a decision now: Do you want to have to work that long, or would you rather have the choice to work simply because you enjoy helping others? Do you know the age at which you would like to retire? Are you on track to accumulate the money you will need to support your retirement?
It’s one of those days. It’s bleak and cold outside, and my mom just called to let me know that my dad left on another biweekly, 10-hour bus trip to the cancer clinic for treatment. I am driving to the studio to instruct an early-morning cardio blitz class. My thoughts drift, and I feel a familiar heaviness in my heart. The last thing I want to do right now is teach . . .
newsletter_teaser: It’s one of those days. It’s bleak and cold outside, and my mom just called to let me know that my dad left on another biweekly, 10-hour bus trip to the cancer clinic for treatment. I am driving to the studio to instruct an early-morning cardio blitz class. My thoughts drift, and I feel a familiar heaviness in my heart. The last thing I want to do right now is teach . . .
Surf around on any of the major social media networks these days—Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and especially Instagram—and you’ll likely get an eyeful of fitness selfies: photos of chiseled physiques or people staging “caught in the moment” snapshots of themselves at the gym or just after they’ve finished exercising. Social media’s eye-candy culture has become a perfect platform for fitness pros and enthusiasts to inspire others to get in shape and show off the physical outcomes of exercise with “selfies.”
You’re passionate about the value of fitness in a wellness lifestyle. You’ve educated yourself on exercise science and leadership. Perhaps your training is in yoga, Pilates, tai chi or another approach. Now you’re ready to help others gain the benefits of your knowledge. It’s time to get to work.
Do you deserve a raise, but your manager says, “No way, it’s not happening; our policy limits us”? Have you heard no to higher pay once too often? Fantastic! You now have one no out of the way and are closer to yes. Come out on top by looking past pay-per-hour to other types of compensation. Remember, everything is negotiable. Get past pseudo obstacles such as the idea that no to more money means no to more rewards.
I“I want to take [my education] to the next level and do some type of study in fitness,” said the Facebook message from IDEA member Melissa Spraul, a group fitness instructor in Los Angeles. Her passion for fitness is clear from all the workshops and conventions she attends, but she wonders how to go about starting her academic career. “We have a lot of community colleges and universities out here, but I’m a little overwhelmed,” she wrote. “Can you provide any insight?”
When you started in the fitness industry, what would you have given to have access to a well-organized treasure trove of career advice prepared by experts? What about resources and tools developed with the feedback of experienced professionals? Would having access to the most comprehensive, clickable guide to certification and training organizations ever assembled in one place have made your decision-making process clearer? No doubt it would have significantly focused your career trajectory. You likely could have saved a lot of time and perhaps even prevented a few missteps along the way.
As a fitness professional, you’ve read hundreds of articles on health and fitness—many in professional publications like IDEA Fitness Journal and others in general magazines like Shape or Health. Who writes these articles? Famous fitness pros? Professional writers who work full-time in the writing business? People with connections? newsletter_teaser: Check out this great article from the IDEA Online Library, and learn how to boost your career—and earn extra money—by becoming a published fitness writer.
After three decades in this industry, we can say confidently that the majority of professionals don’t get into fitness for the money. Most of you became instructors and personal trainers, or advanced into management or ownership, because you truly desired to help others and found joy in teaching fitness. This industry is full of passionate people who get more fulfillment from seeing clients and facility members grow and achieve than they do from the numbers on their paychecks.