I am looking at the choices in certification. I want to work with seniors; I’m in my early 50’s myself. But looking at the different programs, I don’t know if it’s best to do group training or personal training? I would like to do both, but I can’t find the right combination geared toward seniors. Group training seems to be focused on classes for younger folks, not what seniors would do.
I am also in my 50s. I used to do personal training and group ex. Now the only individualized training I do is with yoga, which is my main area.
It is a good first step to know you want to work with an older population. While the flexibility to meet diverse needs is good, really deeply understanding a specific population can be a great way to build your business.
One thing which I would suggest is to look at opportunities in your community. Unless you have the flexibility to move to where the work is, you will need to consider what work is available where you are. Look at gyms, senior centers, exercise studios, personal training studios, YMCAs or JCCs, and hospital based groups. How saturated is the market? How full are the group ex classes? What is the pay rate? What is the local standard in terms of what sort of training/certifications people are expected to attain? Knowing the lay of the land may help you make some proactive choices as you position yourself to enter the market.
Also, down the road don’t give up the idea that you might wish to do both one on one and group. The trainings and certifications both cost, so you will probably want to start on one end, but having both can be useful. If you have difficulty getting enough clients to do training full time teaching some group classes can help bring in money. Also, teaching group gives you exposure and sometimes brings in individual clients.
The main thing with an older population is that you can try to market toward the highly fit older population, but if you do not you will need to have enough training to understand, with some depth the health issues that tend to arise in that group, about medications, about arthritis, and so on.
Actually group classes for an older group are fun to teach, and (I have found) often well attended.