3 Things You Should Know Before You Become a Personal Trainer

man being personal trainer

If you’ve always been active and live in the gym, becoming a personal trainer might sound like a dream job, and in many ways, it can be. You can set your own hours, choose your clients, and do the thing you love the most as a career. Some people have misconceptions about what it is to be a personal trainer, however. Not everyone truly understands what personal trainers do or what the day-to-day life of a personal trainer is like. Or they’re completely unaware of what it takes to become one. Here are some of the things you should do before you become a personal trainer.

Clients Can Be a Huge Headache

One of the things people get wrong about being a personal trainer is that all the people they’ll work with will be pleasant and motivated. They have this idea that if someone hires a personal trainer it’s because they’re excited to work out. But a lot of the clients you’ll come across will be rude, unmotivated, and might even blame you for their shortcomings. This is why you need to be very patient, as having a short fuse might land you in trouble.

You May Need More than One Certification

If you want to become a personal trainer in the UK, you must be certified. And, to become certified as a personal trainer, you will usually have to go through a gym instructor course first. This will allow you to instruct people in a gym environment but not one-on-one. If you want to officially be a personal trainer, you will need to get your level 3 qualifications, too.

The good news is that you can do all these qualifications online full-time or part-time if you want to. Online academies like Study Active offer online personal trainer courses and they will assign you a tutor the minute you start. You will then be able to study your course online, follow Skype tutorials, and attend workshops if you want to. Once you’re done, you’ll get your certifications, and they’ll even connect you with a national gym for interviews.

Portrait of personal trainer at the gym

You’re Not Being Hired to Be Your Clients’ Friends

You should never let the lines get blurred in your relationships with clients. You are not their friend or even their confidant. You are there for one thing and one thing only: to help them reach their fitness objectives.

One of the things that happen too often with clients is that they will want to talk between sets. A one-minute break then turns into a two-minute or three-minute break. This is bad news in an industry that is driven by results.

The conversation might seem nice, and your client may enjoy not having to work as hard during their sessions, but once it’s all done, you are the one who’s going to have to deal with the backlash if they don’t see any progress over a few months.

So, you must be ready to instil rules during sessions. If you have difficulty being assertive or are too much of an empath, you might be a bit too lenient at times. If that sounds like you, either consider another option or start building the backbone needed to set clear boundaries.


Working as a personal trainer can be extremely fulfilling and fun but it is still a lot of work. So, make sure that you know exactly what the job entails before you embark on that career path and be ready for everything that might come your way.

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