Personal Training: Career or Hobby?
It's time to talk about the state of the fitness industry and those of us who work in it. This article is dedicated to personal trainers, strength coaches and fitness professionals alike. Specifically, anyone who intends to retire from the health and fitness industry could benefit from this article. Personal training is a relatively new career, gaining popularity in the 1980s. One could argue that this career is still in its infancy. Without a doubt, the fitness industry is currently experiencing growing pains, struggling to define itself, and evolving as we speak.
Before we get started, let me share some of my stories. For those of you who do not know me. I worked in the corporate gym setting for about 5 years filling all roles ranging from wellness floor attendant, personal trainer, and small group instructor. During that time I opened up my own independent training business and worked as a private contractor and later opened up my own gym, Evolve Fitness Nashville. I'm telling you all this because it is this path that has opened up my eyes to the greater problem, the ailment from which the vast majority of trainers suffer, and need a remedy. If you're looking to make a career out of fitness, my goal is to save you time, money, and stress and to prevent you from making the same mistakes that I have.
So what are the problems with the current personal training industry?
First off, this is not a job that can be done for 8 hours straight, and even if it was, it is not a 9-5 job in the sense that you could train during those hours. The majority of your in-person training sessions are limited to early mornings and evenings. Basically, we work whenever the rest of the world is not working. Many of us receive no compensation packages. No paid sick leave or vacation time. No health benefits or retirement plans. We are capped out on income, burned out from back to back one on one sessions, and suffer from an inability to scale our passion for health and fitness.
To my knowledge, there is no established degree or certification that encompasses all the needs of a fitness professional. Additionally, there is a lack of regulation of acceptable standards and scope of practice in the industry. Most health and fitness related degrees and certifications are divided between application and theory, and nearly all fail to address the business and online or virtual coaching aspects. I propose to reach beyond the personal training and industrial complexes in lieu of evolving into The Complete Fitness Professional.
Defining the fitness professional
A fitness professional's primary goal should always be to help as many people as possible through a combined fitness, business, and communication effort. At GymCloud we believe that it is our duty to support others in the development of the fitness skills required to respond effectively to the demands of real-life situations. We are always looking to progress clients toward a self-sustainable fitness program with minimal guidance. The total time spent with each client should ideally decrease over time. In addition to fitness prescription, your skills should include client acquisition, progression, and retention. This is where your business and online skills are of the most value and will help you properly structure, scale, and progress clients through beginner, intermediate, and advanced fitness programs.
Currently, most fit pros are aware of the growing need to more effectively scale their businesses. The problem is, the majority don't know how (for reasons I've listed above). Technologies like GymCloud are devoted to arming fit pros with the tools and knowledge required to grow their businesses, such as fitness programming, client management, outreach, billing and professional development. GymCloud is dedicated to offering the career fitness professional the easiest to use, cost-effective platform and community, centered around continuous fitness, business, and communication improvement.