I am NASM certified. I am thinking of starting an In home business. What are your thoughts of starting with out prior personal training experience. Do you think I should do the gym trainer route first? I have been a professional horse trainer for 20+ years, so working with people at their goals is comfortable for me. I can not however say, I have helped x people achieve their weight loss or body muscle goals.
Thanks in advance
Hi Lisa. Quick question before I get into my answer to your question. As a horse trainer, were you in business for yourself or working for someone? The reason I ask is that this ‘may’ have an impact on how I answer YOUR question. If you’ve been in business for yourself before, then I could probably dispense with trying to give the typical admonishments that I would give someone totally new to having a business. I’m going to answer assuming that you have been in business for yourself so please correct me if I’m wrong.
I think that given your long history of working with clients in the past, given your business history, and given the fact that you’ve already honed your ‘people skills,’ it MAY not be necessary to go the gym route before starting your own practice. Some of the reasons many new trainers start in gyms are 1. to learn the ropes of dealing with people, 2. become more proficient in programming and training for fitness, 3. costs (it’s much cheaper to work in an already equipped gym than purchasing your own equipment) and more. It sounds like you’re already beyond #1, and perhaps #3 if in your previous career you’ve been able to sock away some funds to help you now. The type of equipment you will want/need for a home-training business is NOT as costly as if you were opening your own studio, so that’s a good thing. Where you may need help is with #2! What if any previous exercise and programming experience do you have? You say that you cannot say that you’ve helped x number of people in the past, but do you have ANY experience in this area? In-home training requires more creativity in the way of programming (in my opinion) because you have less equipment to rely upon. I’ve done a lot of in-home and outdoor training, and while I LOVE both, it’s definitely not for everyone since some trainers are more comfortable working with actual machines. What’s your preference/
I hope that some of my answer, and some of my questions will be helpful to you.
As a horse trainer, I did have my own business where I oversaw the whole business end and taught lessons and trained people. I have dealt with many types, personalities, wants and needs of people, so I feel comfortable dealing with people and what is involved in running a business.
I am leaning towards my own place. I have looked around a bit at rents and the going rates. The equipment part will be the biggest nut.
I do not have ANY experience with training in the fitness world. I just received my certification and before that I was doing graphic design.
My thoughts were to do some in home training, then build up a clientele and then open my own place.
I have alot of info from NASM about exercises routines and what would be good for what type of person. I know that is just book info and not real life info. But I figure between NASM and you guys here. I have a good support system.
I remember starting out my horse business and learning the ropes. Im sure it wont be too different.
Congratulations and good luck with whatever route you choose.
I like to do a little of everything but mostly train clients in their own environment. LaRue is right about needing a creative mind to train clients at home; but that keeps things from getting boring and is rewarding.
The gym I was working in closed; now, I am trying to work in another gym. It is nice not to have to haul all the equipment around with me; but, then I just look at it as another workout for me.
If you are leaning towards your own facility, it can’t hurt to look into it. You definitely have the business background and are comfortable with people. This is a great place for you to lean on since the personal trainers are professionally well trained and educated with extensive backgrounds.
Good luck to you, and go with your gut.
Hi Lisa, there is a lot of wisdom to be gained by working in a gym first if your goal is to go in business for yourself. The gym is of course a business so if you work there you can see how they do things. What do you think works and doesn’t work? All this can help you.
Also, in a gym you get to interact with many different types of trainers – not just NASM trainers. What do they do that you like – and dont like. NASM is a fine organization but there is valuable lessons to be learned from other professionals. you wont learn this if you go directly to being self employed.
Also, it sounds like you have only trained horses so far. Yes, you have worked with the horses owners but that is still different than working with the people themselves.
I understand a lot of new trainers may not like working in big box gyms -because of the pressure to sell – so if that is you, then apply at a YMCA or JCC as these are less sales-oriented.
I hope some of this helps Lisa.
congratulations on your certification! I am NASM certified myself and know that you had to study pretty hard to pass.
Getting started is not easy, and it will take a while to get a business going. Since you describe yourself as inexperienced in training, having an association at a gym is usually a great way to get exposure to potential clients. At the same time, you really do not yet have to make any investments and will be able to get your feet wet in somebody else’s water. It will also give you an opportunity to decide which population is drawn to you as a trainer, so you can begin to hone your skills towards that.
I would definitely caution against opening a studio until you have more experience and more people know about you. I saw in your previous answer that you are used to run a business so I do not need to tell you that bills have a way of continuing to come whether your income does so or not.
Training people in home is another way to start but for that you will at least have to have a business registered, and you will also need professional liability insurance.
I wish you success and happiness in your new endeavor.