What You Should Know Before You Become a Certified Personal Trainer?


There are many different paths you can take to become a certified personal trainer. Some courses can be taken from home, others done in person or there are even options to do a mixture of both.

Due to our partnership with Bluestone college, we are very familiar with the benefits of the classroom experience and learning model. Nothing quite beats being in a class with others, working towards your level 2 & 3 certification. But learning aside, what else do you need to know before you become a certified personal trainer?

1) Your own health & fitness could take a back seat

It may be true that you want to get into the industry because they love training, being in the gym and are passionate about fitness. You love training, meal prepping or buying all the latest gym gear. When you become qualified it’s probably going to feel like a dream come true. Training around the clock, full access to the gym and fresh new clients to train with too.

Think of it as the honeymoon period of becoming a certified personal trainer. Slowly but surely, as the diary fills out and clients are turning up for sessions at 6am, 3pm and 8pm, the days become long and drawn out. Working around the clock becomes tiring, energy gets funneled to clients & admin leaving very little in the tank for your own training. It soon becomes tough to focus or have the energy to train unless the right systems and boundaries are put in place. Something I can show you how to structure of course.

2) Be prepared to WORK HARD to build your client base

When you become a certified personal trainer (unfortunately) people are not going to just flock to sign up with you. If you’re self employed, it’s on you to be the head of marketing, sales, client acquisition, retention and accounts. Just like any other business, it takes hard work and graft to build a solid client base of loyal paying clients.

Unfortunately, 99% of the mainstream personal training course providers DO NOT teach you any of the business stuff. Most trainers wonder why they are struggling to grow, but fail to see that they only got taught half a business model. The coaching, programming, training and nutrition is essentially the product. But in order to sell products (effectively) you’ll need an understanding of business, marketing and sales.

3) People are unpredictable

When you become a certified personal trainer, be prepared for the unpredictable nature of people. You’ll be having great conversations with potential prospects and be certain they are going to meet you for a scheduled consultation. Then right at the last minute they cancel or are nowhere to be seen. Even paying clients will chop and change on you, miss sessions or cancel at the last minute. It comes with the territory in the early days, but  there are ways to limit this happening oncee you know the tricks of the trade and over time you find more committed clients.

4) It could take you year to build a client base

Let me be blunt, if you run your business like everyone else, it will be a year or more before you’re making satisfying income for all the work you are putting in at the gym. I have to stress that if you don’t invest in learning how to build the business, it’s no different to a client trying to lose weight without any nutrition guidance or a structured plan outlining exactly what to do.

When you do become a certified personal trainer, be self-aware enough to acknowledge whether you are growing fast or painfully slow . If you’re less than satisfied with the pace of growth, that’s your signal to reach out for help, spend more time learning about marketing and improving your sales frameworks.

5) Going on holiday will mean extra work

When you first become a certified personal trainer you’re not really thinking about holidays. If anything, it almost feels like you’re on holiday getting paid to be in the gym all day doing what you love. But when it comes time for a week in Ibiza or trip to Thailand, you’re going to have to work double time or be prepared for when you’re not in the gym. If you’re not face to face with clients then the income dries up. So anytime you want to take a break I encourage you to factor that into financials and overheads.

6) Not everyone will like you (unfortunately)

Tough one to hear I know. But when you become a certified personal trainer, you’re going to come into contact with some people who just don’t like you. That’s a fact. Simply put, the market is broken down into three segments. 5%, 50% and 45%.

5% of people will like you and want to  do business with you right now, today, immediately. They have a problem and they want to fix it urgently.

50% of people will like you and perhaps do business with you in a few weeks, 60 days, 90 days or maybe at some point next year. This group of people just take a little longer to realise that they have a problem and want to fix it.

45% of people will never buy from you and this can be for a number of reasons. They don’t have a problem that they want to fix, perhaps they already have a trainer, or they don’t like the way you walk, talk, look or act. Sorry, but this is just how life works. Don’t take it personally.

7) It’s going to be very rewarding (if you stick it out)

Working with people on such an intimate level is very rewarding. When you become a certified personal trainer there won’t be a shortage of interesting people that you meet on a day to day basis. You are going to be an integral part of people’s lives. You’re going to be a shoulder to cry on and many people’s support network. That responsibility brings with it lots of fulfillment and rewards. Be sure to stick it out long enough to start seeing these rewards and the reflect on the impact you are going to have on people’s lives.