Hi, I’m a newly certified personal trainer and I’m certified through ACE. I’ve considered starting a personal training “business” online, although a would like to offer my services at no charge so that I can gain experience. I would like to do this for two primary reasons: one, I have a lot of friends and coworkers who have asked me to help them reach their fitness goals and two, I would like to help my friends/coworkers but I have a very tight schedule and do not have a gym or other practical location where I could train clients. Does anyone have any experience with this? I’m sure that I would need everything that is usually required for a business, such as liability insurance, advice from a local attorney, business contracts, liability waivers, etc.
Is it possible to have an online nonprofit personal training business and is it a wise career decision? Are there any possible negative outcomes that I should be aware of?
Starting a personal training business online as a your first step into this industry might not be the best route to take. There are so many things that can go wrong and stop you in your tracks. Online PT can be challenging even for trainers who have been in the industry for many years. Personally I would consider starting at a local gym or at least put some hours into face to face training before going online, so you can learn the ropes of the industry and get some real person interaction.
The second thing I’m wondering about your idea, is why offer a nonprofit business? Unless you have other income that can support your lifestyle, going into a nonprofit model would not be smart. Not to mention that IRS will raise red flags when you file your taxes.
I hope this helps. Good luck to you either way you decide to go.
I do not want to discourage you from growing professionally. But…
Your clients will be exercising some where. I recommend that you go to that place and train them. Online personal training is not personal training. You are not there in “person”. If you are connecting via video like skype, you cannot see the client in all planes of motion. And as you are new to training, I would recommend against this even more strongly. Even some of the best and brightest cannot provide this service properly, effectively, and in my opinion ethically.
The boom in online businesses such as personal training is very disturbing to me. Next there will be online haircuts giving instruction on how to cut your own hair without the need to go to a stylist/barber. This is personal training, in person. You can use the internet to help support your clients’ efforts to stay motiviated and track activity. But I am against actually directing exercise sessions when you, the instructor, are not present.
Even for professionals who are experienced, online education (CECs) is often a challenge. How could anyone possible feel that inexperienced exercisers should be trying to follow instructions solely from a video or pictoral format. These types of “businesses” are really just profit sources. If they truly were only trying to help people improve, they would recommend finding an instructor in their community. To keep their fitness dollars in their community where it can benefit their community. Not “send your fitness dollars to me and good luck with doing the exercises correctly on your own”.
Can you tell that I am strongly against the prepackaged program marketing? Maybe just a little.
I had the same reaction as Harris and Martin. I have been a trainer for more than 20 years, and I am very uncomfortable with the idea of training somebody when I am not actually there to see them. I would only entertain the thought if I had seen the client and had worked with him or her for quite a while.
Hi everyone, thank you for your responses.
Martin, what you said about the “boom in online training businesses” makes sense. I hadn’t thought of online personal training in that light before. I think that what I am looking for is not so much an online personal training “business” but a free website or blog that I can use to share exercise tips and healthy recipes, and also to communicate with and encourage clients and friends, much like what I already have with my Idea profile. I am just curious about the extent that I should use pictures or videos to explain a type of exercise. Today, books and videos about exercise are everywhere, so it’s really good to hear the opinions of experienced fitness experts concerning them and their helpfulness and safety. To me, being able to help others in a safe and ethical way is paramount.