I am 60 years old and have been NASM certified for one year. I have been trying to get a foot in the door at local gyms and fitness centers but am running into brick walls. I have chosen fitness and personal training as a career that I will continue for the rest of my working life. I am in excellent shape and look younger than your typical 60 year old. I have also just been certified for Silver Sneakers classic. Any ideas to get this thing moving forward?
I’ve been in this industry a long time, I’m in my 50’s, and have never come across age discrimination. If anything I’ve noticed that this industry is more open to older trainers. That said, it’s not impossible that it’s happening.
I’d look for gyms that have a more seasoned clientele. Rec centers and Lion’s Club sometimes have a little older population than the chain gyms. Look at your demographics when choosing. I own my own business and focus on older more financially established clients. And they come to me partly because of my age and ability to relate to them.
Don’t give up
Paul gave you some very wise counsel.
I, also, am in my 50’s. It’s hard for me to say whether I’ve received age discrimination, or weight discrimination, or gender discrimination. I can’t look into the brains of the people who don’t hire me, so I can suspect but I can’t know.
What demographic of member do you wish the most to work with? It might be more challenging to get on the staff of a firm that caters to 20-something singles than on the staff of a facility that caters to 50-something marrieds.
For me personally, with 27 years of fitness career behind me, my experience is that I’m just as picky about where I take on a job as the people hiring me are about whether they will hire me. I’m hiring them, too. As I’m looking at the facility, I consider who I would want to work with, what I would want to do to enhance their lives, and how much I am worth in that role. I work best with middle-aged clients with injuries and with seniors. I love working with these groups. They trust me. They don’t have as many of the prejudices about age, weight, beauty or “the fitness look.” I have more work than I can handle, and I’m paid very well for it.
You can do this. You might just be looking in the places that aren’t best suited to your skills and personal style.
Let me say this as well, in case I came off in a way that seemed like the only people you should work with are older clients. Up until last year, I had one of the highest intensity bootcamps at a particular club and I held that class at near-top attendance for 8 years. That demographic was 16 to 70 (I also teach well in multi-level classes).
The key is to match your personal passion, energy, and skills to a gym that has the right member demographic. And then SHOW UP rocking that demographic.
Hello Brett Reatherford,
Hang in there, you are still relatively new to the health and fitness field. It takes a while to get your expertise noticed. Apply at the places you hope to work and offer to apprentice for experience and to prove you are the right person for the job. Do your best and have faith.
Personal Trainer~NAPS 2 B Fit…
Paul gave you a very good answer. unless you have an established presence in the industry then you are competing with the younger newcomers because fitness centers think they are the answer to their problems. But being an older trainer it means you can relate to older populations and in my opinion there is a lot of demand in that age group today. I believe this might be the best way for you to approach.