I’ve been a personal trainer for 8 years and like many, phases of burn out happens and then you get over it and move on. I’m at the stage where I feel like clients are just going through the motions, putting in their two sessions and then going on about their normal routine. I feel as though I’m burn out on excuses and not making a difference in people. Tired of the monotony in people. I really love to teach fitness and nutrition and I love speaking on it. What career path could I go down that highlights that? What can I do to fire up the pt spark again? Thanks!
If you still like being part of the industry you might want to move into a management position. From there you can help not only the clients/members but also other trainers who are new to the business and could benefit from your experiences. If later in your life you would like to come back and train you can still do it since you wouldn’t have lost your contact with this part of the business/industry. I have been in the industry as a trainer for 25 years now and I’m still enjoying all of the moments of the job (good and bad). You could also seek a different certification so you can add or move on into a different type of clientele and challenges. This could help with the “monotony”. Of course tapping out and moving on into a different career path is always an option. You are not alone in that situation. Many have come and gone, some with good memories and others with bad ones. Good luck to whatever you decide to do.
Before you make any changes, perhaps it might be of use to take a vacation…. not just to vacate or play, but to take an inward trip. My favorite place to go is a yoga center in the Berkshire mountains…. I am sure there are places like that near you….. go someplace, take a notebook and do some journaling, meditate, walk, think about what matters to you, what you want out of life, what your strongest gifts are, and what you want to give back to the world. Then get very practical and write down the nitty gritty stuff about what specific experience/education/skills you have, what the job markets offer near you, ….
Vision first and then the practicalities.
There is a great book called “After the ecstacy, the laundry” you might like. It is about spirituality, but has some good points about self discovery.
I could give a lot of practical suggestions, but you kind of sound like you are in that place where you are hearing the storm warnings and it is time to figure out not just what you want to do, but who you are.
If I understand correctly, you train a lot of clients who are new members, so they take two sessions with you and then you either sell them a training package or you don’t see them again as a client? At some clubs, I’ve seen this as a “healthy start,” where the goal isn’t to sell anyone anything, it’s to get them going along the right path. Other places where I’ve worked, we were not supposed to actually teach them anything, just assess them and tell them that we could help them if only they would pay us (I’m a big cynical about that methodology…).
Until you decide what to do next in your career, maybe re-frame the way you teach those two hours. You might not be able to change someone’s life in 2 hours, but you might light the spark that becomes a flame down the road. What value-added things can you teach them in that short time that they will be grateful for and will use? Maybe think of it as, “I know this person is only with me for two hours. What are the 5 things that are do-able that would have the most impact on them right now?” That may give you a different energy.
In the longer term, I like Harris’ idea of taking a different certification / specialization.
Another thing that might really suit you is corporate work, i.e. doing lunchtime speeches at business locations. That way, you know that the people who showed up for your “lunch and learn” actually want to be there so you have a base of people who want what you’re offering.
I like all of the answers. I’ve been in the so-called fitness industry for several decades and can certainly understand your feelings. In addition to the great ideas shared with you I would only add that you can’t depend on your clients’ responses to your training, eating, living guidelines, just depend on your own. Share your ideas, your guidelines, your beliefs, but do it in the spirit of what you follow. Don’t expect that your clients will necessarily agree, and don’t be disappointed if they do not. Just enjoy each day for what it brings to you as much as it brings to them.
It is easy to get burned out in this field. I go through the ups and downs of this as well. With regard to your clients and the monotony, for them it depends on if they are really ready to make a change. They are the ones that have to put in the time and effort and make those changes. You are there to provide them with their program, support and motivate them–and move them toward their goals.
Here are a few things you could do to add a little spark to your routine:
–Teach different classes
–Speak and give presentations at local businesses/churches/schools, etc…
–Put together your own 6/8/12 week program that includes the things you enjoy and make it a package deal
–Continue to educate yourself and/or focus on another certification
–Take what you already do well and do it better. What is your niche? Focus on it and be the best.
–Strengthen your mission and training philosophy. Does everything you do right now support your mission?
Also, make time for yourself! 🙂 It’s easy to get lost in other’s goals and workouts–but make sure you get your own in!