I remember thinking about becoming a PT 10 years ago. I thought a. It would be a doddle and b. I’d be covered in riches and training everyone famous around the world whilst running my 12 studios and driving a Ferrari. Pah! What an idiot! It’s been nearly 10 years and I’m not even nearly there.
Personal training is rewarding. Financially and spiritually you might add. But it is a slog don’t doubt that. For any newbies thinking about jumping out of their jobs and starting this adventure please make sure you’ve got passion for it and you realise how much work goes into this.
I was lucky. I had a fitness family who taught me the ropes from baby to man. But once I’d qualified…JESUS. I worked my ass off and still do to this day. Sometimes we take amazing jobs and work with amazing and receptive clients. I have a client Joanna who I’ve trained for 8 years and she’d run through fire covered in petrol if I asked her. She trusts the method. Others, you need to actually threaten them with petrol and fire to move. That’s the job.
Think about going to meet your friends. You’re high on energy, chatting and engaged for maybe 2 hours. As a personal trainer, you have to do this for 12 hours straight and train yourself EVERY day of the week. For anyone married or going out with a PT you realise they give their soul every day and come home a broken, mute, cripple.
I’ve spoken to numerous PTs for this blog and will share their memories but first here are some of my lowlights as a PT:
- One client made me wear surgical gloves and bags on my trainers to train her and I wasn’t allowed to touch or go near her.
- I used to have to get up at 430am, get 2 buses and 1 one train to open Bootcamp pilates at 630am
- Running with a client once I kicked the curb and did what can only be described as a roly poly on the pavement eventually coming to a stop on my back
- Another time (being the self-proclaimed best TRX trainer in the world), my TRX opened the door I was doing a row on, I fell, the TRX metal clip hit me between the eyes and I skidded 5 yards on by bum across a wood floor. My client laughed so hard I thought I may have to call an ambulance to resuscitate her.
- I had a client not like the circuit I’d set up so he stormed off after 3minutes of a session and shouted “just fucking bill me”…
And now for the hero PTs around London:
Ashton Turner – Co-founder of EVOLVE – “Getting up at 4am to get buses because the tubes didn’t run then, rucksack full of kit plus a mat and kettlebell in hand to travel to multiple locations across London and teach Pilates 4 hours back to back.”
David Arnot Co-founder of EVOLVE – “Getting up at 6am taking buses to work at Pure Gym where he started with no clients, then trying to stay at 100kg of muscle to maintain a rugby career in the evenings.”
Shona Vertue Creator of The Vertue Method: “Having no clients and having to work 5am to 10pm trying to drum up leads and giving free sessions in Fitness First, Sydney
Zoe Shelley PT and one of the Amazons in Wonder Woman: “Having to tell a good paying client that I couldn’t train him anymore because he asked me out every session”
Jay Brockway Co-Founder of Equilibrium: A client released her TRX too early whilst I was supporting from behind. It fired back in my face and split the bridge of my nose open with 2 x PTs left to teach afterwards. Bleeding the whole time!”
Alex Castro Barrys Bootcamp Master Trainer: “Working in a cold, dirty bodybuilding gym, cooling chicken for the bodybuilders, cleaning the toilets and the shower”.
Dmitri Tkatchev Founder of Epoch Fitness: “Working all hours of the day possible and trying to maintain my own health and fitness!”
If you get time, ask your PT their story. Some of us having properly been through hell to get to you!