Martin became a YMCAfit graduate in 2011 and now has over six years’ experience as a personal trainer at the YMCA Club, Central London. He knows our courses inside-out, working part-time as a Course Sales Advisor, but what did he wish he’d known before he became a PT?

It’s not too difficult getting a job!

In the majority of cases commercial gyms employ personal trainers to operate on a self-employed basis and advertise these positions on recruitment websites such as LeisureJobs. This means you will pay a monthly rent to run your business from their space and your clients will pay you directly for your services. In some cases you won’t pay a rent and you will be employed by the club and they will take a percentage of your personal training sessions.

When applying for jobs I would suggest you pick clubs that are easy enough for you to commute to, align with your training ethos and have enough potential clients per trainer to ensure success. 

It takes time to build a client base

As a newly hired personal trainer your first goal is to gain a handful of clients. At the beginning appear busy, walk the floor and talk to members, deliver classes and do the occasional freebie session for friends and family during the clubs busiest times and the enquiries will come!

Be flexible

You’ll need to be prepared to change well planned sessions at the drop of the hat. Your client might turn up late, stressed out from a day at work or they might even mention their knee is hurting. You will need to learn to adapt your well planned sessions to calibrate your workouts to give your clients a workout that is possible, and appropriate for them that day.  

You will (and should) constantly be learning

Your client might ask you about a diet they’ve read about in a magazine or a new piece of equipment that is going to revolutionise the way people train. In order to keep up with the changing face of the fitness industry, you will need attend courses, seminars and read articles, books and studies. 

Most clients can only handle one change at a time

Bombarding your clients with everything you know is a sure fire way of boring them and making them feel overwhelmed. Implementing too many lifestyle or habit changes too soon can lead to clients following none of the steps they will need in order to reach their goals. If your client is new to exercise and nutrition then you will want to drip feed habit formation slowly and allow them to master one habit at a time.