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Challenges That Affect Fitness Pros

Like others who pursue helping careers, those of us who are trainers and instructors are professional givers, and the issues that affect this group are unique, varied, and sometimes even detrimental to our own health. Lack of self-care has many consequences. This list of the challenges that fitness pros may encounter was derived from our experts’ own experiences.

Possible Adverse Outcomes:

  • injuries to the vocal cords and auditory system
  • mental stress from multitasking
  • physical stress and injury from overuse
  • catastrophic injuries that prevent us from working for extended time periods
  • burnout

Challenges That Arise:

  • maintaining a work-life balance
  • establishing strong boundaries: being “off the clock” via email, phone and social media
  • managing time, including time spent on social media
  • feeling pressured to be a role model
  • caring safely for our own aging bodies
  • feeling selfish
  • tending to accommodate others’ needs before our own
  • interrupting our own workout to assist people with questions
  • having to educate clients so they know that saying no to them and yes to us actually serves them better in the long run
  • finding time for a social life when our teaching/training schedule is evenings and weekends
  • balancing the need to make money with the need for downtime
  • staying up to date on trends, fashions, research and business practices
  • needing 48 hours in a 24-hour day to fully assist staff, business clients and club members
  • working at competing clubs
  • having no health benefits or paid time off (i.e., for vacation, injury or sickness)
  • negotiating corporate politics and policies
  • needing to network
  • successfully sticking with our value systems
  • pursuing happiness, recognition and self-discipline simultaneously
  • placing a high demand on ourselves to be altruistic
  • sacrificing our own health and even our relationships in order to make others happy
  • needing to attend conferences for an “injection” of energy, enthusiasm and education

To read the full article which was published in the July-August 2014 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal click here.



Alexandra Williams, MA

Alexandra Williams has taught fitness for 17 years and has a master’s degree in agency counseling, with an emphasis on marriage and family. Her professional training has forced her to scrutinize her own value system, especially as she attempts to raise ethical children. The author wishes to thank Jack Raglin and Jim Gavin for their helpful insights and suggestions.

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