Work of a fitness trainer is very responsible and requires deep knowledge in this field. A successful fitness trainer learns all the time, invests in his growth and development, and the one who develops – attracts many clients, sells a lot of personal trainings and earns a lot of money. The path to high profits in this profession is lying through a constant increase of skills and knowledge. This article is a continuation and the third part of a series of articles about the work of a fitness trainer. For full coverage of the material, I recommend to you to get acquainted with the previous articles “Who is a fitness trainer” and “How to become a fitness trainer“.
So, let’s imagine that you already own a document confirming your qualification. You have experience in visiting gym either on your own or with an instructor, experience in sports and experience in sales. Now you are determined to get a job of a fitness trainer. The next step is to choose the club in which you would like to work. And now we will talk about how to approach this issue correctly.
For the beginning, it’s necessary to say that if you want to get a job of a fitness trainer in your city, or you are planning to move to a larger city or capital, your actions will be about the same – you’ll have to find (via the internet) and write in your pad all the clubs working in the city, then choose the ones that attracts you most of all. How to understand whether you like the club or not? Try to collect as much information about it as possible. Read customer reviews, read employees reviews, try to find information about the working conditions of staff, etc. Finally, just go to this club and become its client for at least 1 month. During this time you will be able to talk with the trainers and find out from them the information you are interested in.
TIP. Keep in mind that reviews on the Internet are mostly negative and not always correspond the truth. So where to find the truth? Answer: in different sources and the maximum collection of information. Read different websites and different forums, look for friends who visits this club, or those who are working there. Once again – collect as much information as possible and keep a very simple thing in your mind – you won’t find out until you try it yourself. Negative feedback can leave a really bad employee who deserves the fact that he was fired, which means that his review is not objective. Also, a negative review can leave a client who bought the cheapest subscription and insists on the maximum provision of services. In this case, the client is also wrong. Collect information and filter it. Work of a fitness trainer, just like any other, requires a preliminary collection of information about the future place of work.
Ways to be employed
After reviewing the market and collecting the maximum information about the specific fitness club, just call there or go there immediately. By the phone you can find out about open vacancies for a fitness trainer, if there is any. If not, choose (call or go to) another club. If you weren’t given specific information by the phone, go straight there and ask the administrator at the reception for an opportunity to talk with the manager or director of the club. He (admin / manager / director) will give you all the necessary information about how to get a job of a fitness trainer in this club. In any case, even if the personal visit gave no results, you can give your CV (printed in advance) to the administrator and ask him to transfer it to the manager or director.
Sooner or later your efforts will give the result and you will be invited for an interview. The employer will let you know about the following information. Any club is a commercial organization – a business, whose goal is to make money. Your main task as a fitness trainer will be the selling of personal trainings to the clients. Nobody cares how you going to do this. The club assesses the effectiveness of the trainer’s work very simply – if you sell personal trainings – you are a good trainer, if you don’t sell personal trainings – you’re a damn fool. Don’t be surprised, the manager is really not interested in your level of knowledge, skills, titles and the quality of the services you provide. It is important for the manager whether you bring money to the club or not.
You could work as a fitness trainer in two ways: either you officially get a job, or you work as a freelancer. How does it work in practice? 1) Percent. You get the job officially and your salary is the rate (pay per hour) plus a percentage from the amount of sold trainings. Most fitness clubs work according to the 50:50 scheme – half the price of a personal training goes to the club and half into your pocket; 2) Rent. In this case, first of all, you are not an employee of the club, and secondly, you pay a certain amount of money to the club for the right to use its equipment to train your clients. In this case, the price of a personal training that client pay to you entirely goes into your pocket. Rent can be monthly or single time. This is the same as in the first case, only you pay not for the whole month, but for each workout separately.
When you become employed officially, you get an occupational record, which means that you will have a vacation, pension, insurance and other various bonuses. In another case, there will be no occupational record, which means, that there will be no any salary, vacation, pension, etc. So how to proceed in this kind of a situation? The answer is to pay taxes as a private entrepreneur. Only you decide which of these two options will be more profitable. But experience shows the following. If you are a beginner, then it’s obvious that you don’t have any clients yet, which means that it doesn’t make sense to be on the rent, because the club will not give you clients, and you haven’t gained yet your own customer base. The way out in any case, is to start your career of a fitness trainer with official employment. So you will not bother with finding clients or paying taxes. You will have a rate, percentage, work experience, sick leave, vacation and not only. However, both ways have their pros and cons.
TIP. For the beginner it is very hard to get a job of a fitness trainer in a prestigious fitness club. There are several reasons for this. The first one is that the “luxury” and “business” clubs recruit only experienced and reputable trainers. The second one is that these kinds of clubs are visited by wealthy clients, who are quite picky and want to see a “trainer from the glossy magazine cover”. Thirdly, even if somehow you will be hired, it will be difficult for you, as a beginner, to compete with other experienced trainers, which means that you will have problems with getting clients. Exit for you is to look for “standard” or “budget” clubs. The prices for subscriptions and personal trainings are lower there and usually, there are more clients and the requirements for the staff are lower. Respectively, it will be easier for a person without experience to get employed there. Another one tip for you is to get employed in the budget fitness club, gain experience there and after, find a job at the luxury club, where the stakes are much higher.
You can get a job of a fitness trainer only after passing the interview. At the interview, you will be required to submit all the necessary documents, which are prescribed by labor legislation, or which your employer informed you to submit. In addition to your passport or ID, you will also be required to submit all diplomas, certificates or other documents confirming your qualification as a person applying for position of a fitness trainer. In any case, either you have certificates or not, the main thing that you will need during the interview is your head. It usually happens that if the contender is clever enough and the employer sees it, he may not even ask to show the certificates.
In most cases, you will be interviewed by either department manager or the fitness director, maybe even with HR manager. Keep in mind that the higher the level of the club in which you are interviewing, the more difficult questions will be, because the requirements for the staff in such a club are quite high. At the interview in the mid-level fitness club it will be easier for you. The goal of the questions or tests that will be given to you, as well as the entire interview in general, is to weed out those who clearly don’t meet the level of the club at the initial stage. It is impossible to say what exactly these questions will be about. But definitely, it will be the questions about anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, biomechanics and nutrition. This is one of the answers to the question – how to get a job of a fitness trainer. You need to be deep in subject.
Also keep in mind that at the interview you may be asked about proximity of your living place to the workplace. And here you need to understand that if you live close or you will say that you live close, then most likely you will be twitched for any reason and even for no reason to appear at work. Whether it is your duty shifts, or in case to replace someone from the staff for a while or in case if everyone else is busy, etc. In such a situation, whatever you are busy and wherever you are, you will be called and persistently asked to come to the club immediately.
Remember that everything depends from the interview. At the interview you will have to show that you are an adequate person, a team player and a good seller. This is basically all that is required from you. If you demonstrate these qualities, then you may not be asked about any diplomas or achievements in sports. Usually the employer will decide whether to hire you or not just by one your answer to the key question for any interview – tell about yourself. The interview may last an hour, but the employer will figure out who you really are in less than 30 seconds.
Finally, after a few interviews, you were hired. This is where the “fun” begins. Now you are involved in a multifaceted and diverse work process of a fitness trainer, which, as we found out in the article “Who is a fitness trainer” will start for you from the position of an instructor. Let’s say a few words about who he is (no longer from a theoretical, but from a practical point of view) and then go to the analysis of trainer’s everyday working life.
So, the instructor is basically a serf, or dumbbell-bearer. In addition to the obligations described in the job description, his tasks are to collect scattered equipment after the clients, put barbells and dumbbells back on the rack, put athletic belts, straps, loops into proper place, and so on. The instructor, at the initial stage of his career, acts as a loader when it needs to bring to the club or take out any equipment or furniture. Also he acts as a handyman, when it needs from him to adjust the temperature of the boiler in the shower, to replace the light bulbs in the dressing room, to hang the shelves at the reception or remove the air conditioner for repair. The instructor is involved in the most unclaimed events, such as an open day, when he needs to spend all day conducting personal trainings absolutely for free or a trainer’s day, when he is required to hold a free master class. Also, all the duty shifts are usually lies on the instructor’s shoulders, when he needs just to sit in the gym and keep an eye on the clients. Regardless of your achievements, ranks, medals and knowledge, your career will begin precisely with such working days. You just need to get through this.
TIP. Even being on duty shift – don’t take the phone with you (or a tablet, or even a laptop). Despite the fact that the duty shift is quite boring, and almost no one contacts with you, you don’t need to close yourself from the outside world and go deep into your mobile device. First of all, the employer doesn’t approve this and may give you a warning. Secondly, don’t forget where you are and why you came to work. You will not be paid for digging in the phone. If you are already on the duty shift, follow this rule: if you can’t change the situation, change the attitude to it. Don’t wait for clients to contact you, go to them and start a dialogue. Most of the clients are shy people and even in case of need they will not go to you. Your task is to break this barrier first and start a conversation with them. As a trainer, you know more than the client, which mean that in any exercise that he makes, you can find omissions, which are your direct responsibility to correct.
How to get a client
Well, you managed the task of getting a job of a fitness trainer. Your next task as a trainer is to get a client. A win-win option at the start of your career is constant communication. With everyone. With employees of the club, with service personnel and especially with guests and visitors of the club. With free clients, with clients of other trainers, with the trainers themselves. Meet, talk, learn, ask, advise, consult and so on. Try to make friends with clients, find out how they are doing at work, how they feel, how did their children succeed at school, etc. The most important thing here is sincerity. You need to be interested sincerely, without any falsehood. You really should be interested, in the opposite case, you need to know that everyone feels deception very well, and if you will try to curry favor and gain confidence, people will most likely try to avoid you. Be sincere and not intrusive. Be at the right time in the right place. Keep an eye out for all who are in the room. As soon as you see that the client is experiencing difficulties – go to him immediately and help him solve the problem.
TIP. Not always people come to the club for the result. Often they come to quarrel, put up, make friends, look for a soul mate, kill time, get away from problems, update photos on instagram and stories on Facebook, be in trend at work and so on. The work of a fitness trainer in some way is work of a psychologist. Your task is to understand the purpose of client’s visit and fill his need. It often happens that the trainer is just the ears for the client. The result is not important for him, but he will not tell about it. He will buy your services over and over again to tell you that the boss at work is a fool, that the wife brainwashing him, that the children are score bad at school, that the mother-in-law forces him not to buy a junk food, and so on . This is the features of the work of a fitness trainer – to sell personal trainings. If you want to talk for life – buy a personal training. Want to get acquainted with that brunette – buy a personal training. You want me to tell you or you want to tell me something – buy a personal training. Within the walls of a fitness club you are a trainer. The job of a trainer is to sell the time. Your time is worth money, which means that if a client wants to take your time, he must pay for it.
For what else fitness trainer is valued by the manager, besides being able to sell? – For being able to keep clients. Everything is extremely simple. From the point of view of management, each client is a source of income. If the client leaves after a month, he will leave the money elsewhere, and this is not profitable for them, so your task as a trainer is to give the client such level of service that will satisfy him enough to continue going to this club and leave his money right here. I repeat – give the client what he wants, be interested, sincere and keep in touch with him. Lead the client, track the result, take measurements, make photo fixation. The client will feel that he is needed, that he is cared for. It will make you unique to him. Such a client will stay with you for a long time and will not want to train with anyone else.
From this article, you learned how to get a job of a fitness trainer, how to choose a club, how to start when you were hired and the most important thing is how to get clients and keep them. Don’t be closed, fight shyness, remove fear and stiffness and strive to improve your communication skills through the constant communication. That’s where the secret of the work of a personal trainer lies. On duty shift, don’t sit in the corner, don’t stick into the phone, even if there is only one person in the gym at the moment – go to him and start a dialogue. The time will pass faster, and perhaps this person will buy your services. Maybe, he will also advise you to his friends, relatives or acquaintances. But this is by far not all that a beginner needs to know. We will continue the topic and in the next, fourth part of our cycle of articles I will talk about the secrets of the work of a fitness trainer.
Author – Felix Palmer