According to the National Institute of Personal Trainers: “Personal trainers today are in increasing demand, and generally well compensated for their expertise. U.S. Department of Labor Statistics shows that the middle 50 percent of trainers, including part-time, earn between $20,000 and $44,000 while the top 10 percent earn $62,000 or more. And it is important to bear in mind that these figures do not reflect self-employed trainers which make up approximately 10% of the over 260,000 fitness trainer jobs in the U.S., as of 2008. Projections of 29% growth in the fitness industry have held true since 2008, which mean that over 330,000 trainers are expected to be working in this market by 2018.”
With such tremendous growth one has to wonder if the quality of personal trainers will decline. I have run the gamut when it comes working as a personal trainer. I have worked at a large corporate facility, a small independent facility, and owned a couple of gyms myself. I can tell you for a fact that finding a trainer that is not only educated, but continues their education and has the ability to apply their knowledge on a case by case basis is very hard to come by. So this begs the question “How does a trainer decided what exercise(s) is appropriate for each client?”.
Unfortunately very few trainers have the understanding of anatomy and physiology to understand and own an exercise program. Most of the industry simply rents the latest fads found on the internet and in the various fitness (and I use the term loosely) magazines. This lack of understanding leads to an increase in injuries and pushes many people away from exercise in general. So how does a trainer go from a renter to an owner? The answer is quite simple….STUDY. My goal as a trainer and as a business owner is to help lift our industry from its current fly by night certification standards to an industry that gets results based off scientific principles of anatomy, kinesiology, and physiology.
One of my favorite and most rewarding study habbits is to read an article, a chapter in a book, or listen to a podcast on a subject that I am lacking knowledge in and just try to absorb it. Don’t worry if you don’t know what a word means, or if you can’t grasp the concept right away. Simply absorb it and put it away. Soon you will start to see bits and pieces of what you studied show up in your clients. Grab the same article, book, or podcast three months later and take note of how much of this information you recall and have been applying. Look at it again in every three months until you own it.
So what’s the difference between owning and renting an exercise program? Experience. Once you can intellectually understand a concept then you can apply it. You can experience it directly in you own body and vicariously through your clients bodies. Once you have experienced anything it becomes a part of you. You don’t have to look it up, you don’t have to ask someone else, it is yours; you own it. So, I emplore all my fellow trainers, lets all make ourselves more valuable and lift our country out of this health care debacle that we are in. We must be more than trainers, we must be students, educators, motivators, and most of all leaders. Lets all take ownership for what we create in ourselves and in our clients.
BS Ex Science, CHEK 2, MTA 1