100 lb. Club - I need YOUR opinion!
07-29-2011, 12:06 AM
Here's the deal. I am longing to find my way into the personal training world. I am really searching for what is next for me . I am ready for change of lifestyle in the form of ... (dare I say job?) well ...of something to fill my time, help me feel like I am doing something constructive with myself while helping others and maybe earning a little money all in the process.
My desire is to open myself up to people much like my prior self. To show them it is doable and achievable. To train them through example and been there advice. Not just stand there barking orders but be right there along with them even participating if that helps the client feel more comfortable.
I'd love to have someone or a couple of people to basically do a C25K with. To coach/support them along the way all the way till an actual 5K event. Completing your first 5k is such a thrill for those of us who at one time would get short of breath walking the mall!
Offering my support with not just exercise but nutrition and sharing my own struggles I faced along my journey.
I am looking into personal training certification classes which is such a scary step for me. I am not looking to get rich but some compensation would be needed to help my cover my childcare expenses ,gas, and so on.
The 24 hour gym close to my house has already approached me about possibly training there. It's a set rate to train there every trainer has the same fees , the gym gets small a portion of the training fee . They don't have a female trainer currently. Major drawback is when you are training you are working for the gym so you are obligated to assist anyone in the gym who needs it. I think this short changes the person paying for training. I have seen the other trainers just stick people on a treadmill or bike and leave them just to deal with someone questions . I'm not a fan of this at all.
What I am asking from you guys is what do you think. Is this something you would be interested in for yourself? Do you have any ideas how I could full fill this weird head space I am in? I haven't earn any sort of living in 14 years and it would be nice to see some sort of income I can say I worked for. I don't need this to feed my family but I am ready to do something else with some of my time.
Thanks for any input, you guys ROCK!
07-29-2011, 12:28 AM
I'm not where you're at right now but I feel like I can understand where you're coming from. My personal opinion is that a job at the gym might be a great way to get your foot in the door within the industry, maybe even meet some potential future clients for when you branch out on your own. Getting some income from the gym could also help pay for some of the certification courses you'll need.
Whatever you decide, it sounds like you need to follow your heart. I think you have a lot to offer the world and would be of particular inspiration to those like "us" looking to make a BIG change!
07-29-2011, 12:47 AM
You might use the Gym as a launching point. Work for them for awhile until you build up a reputation and a name for yourself and then branch out on your own. Also, seeing what you DON'T like about other trainers can be a benefit. When someone needs your help and you're working with a client you can give your client options like "Here's where we are with this. I have to answer a few questions because I'm working for the gym but you can do one of these options:" and give them a few to choose from. Enabling a person with the power to choose goes a long way in showing them respect and not just sticking them on a machine for maintenance. Then, when you go help the person in the Gym explain that you're currently working with the client and that you have a few minutes while they work, but your attention will be needed there again. Boundaries are great for people AND you can encourage them to make an appointment with you should they need more time than just a few questions.
I'm not a very good person about working in really structured employment environments, so I get not having to go by Gym policies and order of importance. I understand why you would struggle with that choice. This is just one idea of one approach. What is important here is that you've come a long way, Baby, and you're so willing and able to help others do the same. Let THAT be your north star and it will guide you on this new path.
07-29-2011, 02:41 AM
The trainer that I started with worked at a leisure facility in the city that I live in. She would randomly get assigned clients who would buy sessions through the leisure centre (6 sessions @ 1hour) - as a result she met a lot of people and many of the clients were so happy with her that they started seeing her privately in her home. She still had work through the leisure centre but was able to build up her private practice at the same time. So for her it worked really well.
07-29-2011, 03:22 AM
I think you should work with 24 hr fitness to get the experience then in a year or two find something better that you like. I think becoming a personal trainer is an AWESOME IDEA! I have thought abut it myself but at this weight can't do it. GOOD LUCK!
07-29-2011, 09:43 AM
I think I just want to parrot Wyllowbelle. She is absolutely correct on how treat the clients you are such an inspiration, I believe more and more people will appreciate your honesty and personal touch.
07-29-2011, 09:56 AM
The fact that you currently don't need the income is an asset. You can figure out the best way to start building your business. And I would totally LOVE to be trained by someone who has struggled with weight. Sometimes, I think the always-been-skinny people don't really get that it's harder for some of us. Anyone who only needs to exercise to get definition because they've always been skinny no matter what their weight tends to be someone who's not sympathetic to those of us who are, in their eyes, just too lazy.
Plus - I bet it would be way easier to maintain a weight loss if you're a trainer. I read somewhere that a huge percentage of people who maintain their loss do so partially because they're employed in the fitness industry.
07-29-2011, 10:00 AM
I just want to give you a HUGE hand :cp: :cp: :cp:
I think it's amazing that you want to try something new, something you're interested in!
I don't know if you've been down in the Maintainers/Exercise area, but there are actually a handful of 3FCers who ARE personal trainers and who might be able to give you a real idea of where to start or what they wished they'd known when starting out. :yes:
Again, go for it! You sound like you'd have the right combination of experience about weight loss and care for your clients!
07-29-2011, 10:09 AM
Count me as another vote for using the gym to get some experience and get your name out there. I understand about not wanting to have disruptions when you are working with someone, but if you make sure they know ahead of time that is the gym policy and you use Wyllowbelle's suggestions then it should be ok. Also, I am so glad that is not my gym's policy because that would have driven me nuts when I was working with my trainer and right now my plan is to eventually work there as a trainer. That is another option as well, you could hunt for a different gym with different policies about trainers.
07-29-2011, 10:18 AM
Good for you!!! My former boss went back to school in her 40s to get her PhD and two years later quit her job to be a full time trainer. She had started by having a few clients while she was still working her old job, then she started doing boot camps, and now she does it full time. Maybe you can start out with a few guinea pigs (friends or acquaintances, maybe?) build a "portfolio" so to speak?
07-29-2011, 11:12 AM
First, I will say that I completely agree with everyone above. But, let me play devil's advocate a bit with you. If these negative things are okay with you, it might make it easier for you to decide to do it. I am pulling this from my time several years ago when I worked as a trainer.
1. Training is a sales job with pressure from your boss to sell. (This might vary in your gym, but I doubt it.) Training is expensive and most new members are already feeling tapped by the enrollment fees and new monthly bill they just agreed to. Most people are very sensitive to a sales pitch and will avoid you like you probably avoid the people who sell the newspaper subscriptions at the grocery store. The best way to overcome this is by spending time at the gym getting to know the members. Once they see you as "Nikki" and not that annoying skinny girl trying to sell me something, you will do better. Be genuine and don't let the gym let you turn your members into walking dollar signs.
2. Training gets in the way of, not adds to, your ability to do your own workouts. I thought the same thing you are - I'll be in so much better shape because I will be exercising with my clients all the time. Nope. You really shouldn't work out with them. The focus should be on them. What exercise you do get, would be at thier level and not at a level that's pushing you to improve. It's easy to start making excuses about having already done your cardio for the day because you ran with a client. Also, you will find that after spending hours at the gym training, when you are off duty, you will want to go home and get away from it like anyone else does of thier job. Just like having any other job, you will need to make it a priority to schedule your own time to workout. (I will say that the time members would see me doing my own workout, were probably the best prospecting hours as they saw me for being a real person.)
3. Being a female trainer can be frustrating because most men won't want to work with you to actually train thus limiting your potential sales. Men may want to work with you to flirt, but they won't take your abilities seriously - even the beginners. I would always tell them the Two Finger Rule - If I have to spot you with more weight than I can pull with two fingers, you are lifting too much. (I will say that I got a lot of pleasure from putting a guy on a free weight and demonstrating the exercise and then without changing the weight watching him struggle to lift it - only the ones that had been doubters.) The best way to overcome this is by again, building up a reputation. Get a few guys to work with you - maybe even some of the male trainers at the gym. Let the members see you working them out.
4. Those "You changed my life and I love you" moments are rare. BUT, they make all of it worth it. Few people will stick with you through thier whole journey because they either can't afford that or they won't finish thier journey. It can be hard to see that happen - but it's not your fault.
Depending on how you feel about sales - you might consider getting a physical therapy assistant certificate. You'll make more consistant money, won't have sales pressure and will get to work on clients that are rewarding as well. It won't be for weight loss, but for regaining thier strength after surgery or so forth. I had a chance to work with a few clients that were post-physical therapy and loved it. If I had to do it all over again, I would have seriously considered this option. Good luck to you! Congrats on wanting to give back! The fitness world needs people like you! :hug:
07-29-2011, 11:25 AM
I think it's a fantastic idea. I'd love to be able to do that as well. I'm not a member of a gym currently, but I've always toyed with the idea of being a trainer. Since you aren't going to have the pressure of having to sell to get clients as you don't NEED the money, it could be a very rewarding path for you to take. Congrats on coming so far by the way, you've done great!!!
07-29-2011, 12:08 PM
Nikki - my gym is women only with just one guy trainer/instructor. The trainers and class instructors have to be certified before they can teach. If this is the case with you, I can see where the expense of getting the certification could be a stumbling block. If this really is your dream, look into loans from local lending institutions to cover the cost of certification and pay them off immediately with your earnings. I hope you find a way to do this. I agree that a lot of people would benefit from working with someone who "has been there." I'm very encouraged by your progress. You really have made this a lifestyle.
BTW - I can't read your screen name without thinking of the bass player from Motley Crue (Nikki Sixx) and want to say - you look nothing alike!
07-29-2011, 03:51 PM
What if you approached it in another way and ditched the gym idea and went with more of a business for yourself? You could use Facebook and Craigslist as advertisement; even just fliers. In such a success case as yourself, word of mouth would be very powerful.
Maybe take a class or two (if such things exist) on how to be a personal trainer. There must be certification for such things right? "Certified personal trainer" is a 'thing' I think.
There are lots of networking opportunities out there to get your business going. My mother is part of networking groups of women who all are in business for themselves and help each other get clients . I think "heartlink" is the name of the network group if you want to look into it.
The way I see it, why give them a percentage of your money for your success when I bet you can make a go of this on your own?