The Truth About Being a Trainer

Hey. Hi. Hello. I hope it’s a beautiful, sunny Friday wherever you guys are. It’s Thursday as I type this and a pretty crappy one at that. Yesterday was absolutely wonderful, a nice little glimpse of Spring here in the city, but of course, that didn’t last long! As we’re getting closer to March I hope that means less snow and more sunny days, so fingers crossed! Today, I thought I’d tackle some truths that I’ve found so far being a personal trainer.

As most of you know, I started working at a gym here in the city about three weeks ago now. I’ll be honest, when I accepted the position I thought it would be easy. I’m the only female trainer there besides the Fitness Manager, and my specialties are legs and booty. Put those two together and you think I’d have clients lining up to train with me. However, the exact opposite is true. The pace of the city is very fast, and that tempo certainly transitions into the gym as well. People want to get to the gym and get out without being bothered by someone trying to take their money. And, many of these people have been coming to this gym long before I started, which means they’ve all had the chance to establish routines that they’re comfortable with.

Of course, our job as fitness professionals is to disrupt that routine in order to help them actually start to see results, but I’m been finding it difficult to even get clients to listen to me. I’m not writing this post to whine about my struggles, but more like to present them in a real way, because frankly, I don’t think any of the trainers at my gym have addressed how hard it is. They all just keep saying, “You can do it” and whatever other crap they can think of, but none of that has helped me get any clients over the past three weeks. So, here I am talking about my struggle in all honesty.

The hardest part of the job is walking the floor. When you walk the floor you’re supposed to approach people while they’re resting. That’s great but how are you going to approach someone that is blasting music through their headphones and clearly doesn’t want to be bothered. And, if they DO give you the time of day I’ve noticed that most people don’t listen to what I say. It quite honestly seems like people don’t want to take advice from a 22-year-old girl because everyone thinks that whatever app or YouTube video they’re following can teach them better than I can, and for less money. Whatever.

But, in all honesty, I think the biggest hurdle I have to overcome is myself. I do stands at the front desk to attract people, but whenever someone walks by I wait for them to ask me what I’m doing, rather than taking the first step and approaching them. I don’t know why. I literally will stare and them and smile and hope they ask me questions, but more often than not they just walk away.

For me, being a trainer is all about stepping outside my comfort zone. For essentially the last 22 years of my life, I’ve sat at a desk and completed tasks that someone else has told me to do. Whether it be at school or at work, I’ve always been told what to do, and have completed these tasks to the best of my ability because I had a lot of the guesswork taken out. School was always easy for me, and every job I had was always easy because I knew what I needed to do. Now, however, I’m struggling. I know that I need to sign two people a day for a session, but somehow I can’t do it. I’m out here pretty much all alone and I’m finally struggling. And quite honestly, I love it.

I recently turned down an internship with a great skincare company and honestly everyone around me was SHOCKED. I still think people are disappointed in me for turning it down, but I stand behind my reasoning for doing so, which is this: I’m not going to grow as a person sitting at a desk. I just left one internship position where I sat at a desk and did what I was told. Yes, this new company claimed they operate like a “start-up,” but as an intern, I knew I would be sitting at a desk or walking around an office and doing what I was told. Sure, it would’ve been an incredible experience for the industry that I eventually want to get into, but how was I going to grow as a person from that?

I understand that the internship I turned down was in an area of the cosmetics industry that I really wanted to study, but I knew from the beginning it wasn’t going to turn into a full-time position, and I didn’t think I could handle another 6 months of following someone’s orders. With this personal training position, we’re out here working to build our own businesses. While we work for a larger company, we have to do all the grunt work ourselves. Clients have not been handed to me, and as such, I don’t have anyone yet because I haven’t put the work into getting them. I’m WAY out of my comfort zone here and it’s been a struggle to overcome every nerve and hesitation in my body in order to hop on the floor and grind it out.

So, what have I been doing to overcome this? Well, as of right now absolutely nothing. BUT, I received some wise words from our Welcome guy on Saturday, who told me to Google, “Ways to Become a Successful Personal Trainer.” I don’t start until 2 today, so I’ll be spending the next couple of hours reading through these articles, taking notes, and listening to motivational speeches in order to pump myself up for the next 6 hours to book clients.

I recently heard a Froning and Friends podcast with Katrin Davidsdottir who said something to the effect of, “You haven’t failed until you’ve given up.” While she was talking about her performance in the Crossfit Games I think it applies to this PT job as well. There have been many times recently where I considered throwing in the towel and taking that internship because I was clearly failing at getting clients, but quitting in and of itself would’ve been the true test of failure. So, today, February 22nd, I’m going to walk the floor, talk to clients, stop them at the front desk, and sign up everyone and their mother in order to prove to everyone that turning down that internship was not in vain, and that I’m truly going to be successful in this industry. Until Monday, xoxo.



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