5 Things You Should Know Before Starting Fitness Career

If you’re anything like me, you eat, sleep, and breathe fitness. You love being in the gym and yoga pants are your outfit of choice. The natural next step on your fitness journey is to delve into the instructional side of the industry and start teaching. The only problem is that you have no idea where to begin. Should you teach classes or become a personal trainer? What is the difference between being an independent contractor and an employee? Do you really need liability insurance? There are a multitude of career options under the health and wellness umbrella and it can become challenging to find reliable information. Over the next few weeks I am going to be doing a series on the ins and outs of breaking into the working world of fitness to help novice instructors or trainers get started, while making sure seasoned fitness gurus have all their bases covered. Please feel free to reach out with any questions, concerns, or comments.

1. There’s no better way to earn money.

No other career offers the rewards that the fitness industry provides. Each day brings new challenges, adventures, and friends. No two clients and no two days are exactly the same. Each day you have the opportunity to reinvent yourself, improve your current skills, and learn new ones. Watching a client or class participant progress on their fitness journey will warm your heart and nourish your soul. It is a privilege for someone to trust you with their wellness concerns and ask for your help. There is truly no better way to earn money.

2.  It takes a while to break even.

Launching a career in the fitness world is not a one time cost. Right from the beginning you will need at least one certification (hopefully more as time progresses), liability insurance, continuing education credits, correct shoes/clothes, and fun music. Those certifications will require renewing, new courses will pop up, old shoes will have to be replaced, and the stream of new music is endless. The time frame for breaking even is different for everyone but it usually does not happen immediately. It is not impossible to recoup your initial investment, especially if you plan ahead. A fitness career isn’t cheap to maintain but it is absolutely worth every penny.

3.  Working out for a living can be exhausting and distract from your personal training goals.

If you have a dream of going to the Olympics, becoming the next rock star power lifter, being a movie star, or anything else that requires large amounts of training, choose your fitness career wisely. Even on the lightest days, as a trainer you would will still be required to load weights, carry kettle bells, hoist dumb bells, and demonstrate for your clients. As an instructor you would have to demonstrate correct form to ensure the safety of your participants. There are always helpful ways to conserve energy but at the end of the day you will be tired. Don’t ever assume teaching a class will be your workout for the day. When you are a fitness professional it is your job to make sure everyone else is getting a great workout, not you. This may mean that after several classes or sessions in a day you will need to rally the energy to finish your own training session.

4.  You will go through workout clothes and shoes quickly.

Depending on the career path you choose, you will go through workout clothes and shoes faster than you could ever imagine. A great way to prolong inevitable wear and tear on your gear is to have several of everything that can be alternated. This way you can rotate shoes every day/week/month and not have to buy a new pair as quickly. This also brings us back to the “breaking even” point. Personally, I love athletic wear so I usually get excited when my old yoga pants wear down and I “need” to buy a new pair.

5.  Success does not happen over night, but it does happen.

Beginning a career in fitness is just like starting a job in any other field, you have to gain the knowledge and  experience first. Everyone starts at the bottom of the pyramid and works their way up. Success in the fitness industry comes from hard work, sweat, dedication, and patience, If you are willing to put in the work, the results will follow.

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