Personal Trainer: A Terrible Career Choice

Yeah, I had to get this off my chest…again.

The majority of time you’re a personal trainer, you will not be training people. The “trainer” is mostly going to be sweeping and mopping floors, moving stuff, and repairing drywall. One of the few things you’ll be doing that is at all related to training people is making phone calls to other people. Many, many phone calls.

I would estimate that of the 100 or so phone calls I’d be making a day, maybe 25-30 would agree to doing a walk-through, in which I would take them on a tour of the gym, give them a sample workout for 30 minutes, and try to talk them into buying a package of personal training sessions.

Of those 25-30 that I would schedule for a walkthrough, I would further estimate that probably 5-6 would actually show up for the damn thing. So just to clarify, of the clients that I could even talk into doing a gym tour, I would only actually do the tour with 20-25% of those clients. So 80% of my labor was completely pointless, and I’d be desperately trying to sell to that remaining 20%. And since my base pay was 9 dollars an hour—with the rest of your salary intended to be made up by personal training services, well, looks like I’m going home with 100 or so dollars a day at most.

(Oh, did I mention that I’d often be working 10-15 hour days?)

It’s a commonly stated talking point that people who don’t work out often refuse to do so because they’re afraid of showing their ignorance of the field, afraid of going to the gym and getting mocked and bullied. This is in fact the niche that Planet Fitness caters to, as seen by their commercials.

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