In the eyes of many people, fitness instructors and personal trainers are doing God’s work.
They motivate entire classes, draw up long-term personalized plans that would otherwise confuse and overwhelm beginners, and, as a result, help people achieve their dream fitness goals and physiques.
Fitness can change people’s lives – and that’s a big deal.
Still, if you’re thinking about becoming a fitness instructor or PT, there are a few questions worth asking yourself beforehand.
No matter what stage you are in your career, here are eight questions to ask yourself before you become a fitness instructor – sure to help you figure out if you’re making the right decision.
1. Am I Knowledgeable Enough?
Are you knowledgeable enough about general fitness, or are you willing to learn?
You might be in good shape yourself, but being a fitness instructor is about dealing with others.
That includes knowing a good amount about effective exercises and routines, dealing with injuries (physiotherapy), nutrition and sleep advice, supplementation, and more.
Whether it’s a full class of students or a single client, fitness instructors and personal trainers need to be able to assess individuals from the get-go and know what’s best for them to achieve their goals.
2. Am I Good At Motivating Others?
It’s a fact: personal trainers and fitness instructors need to be able to motivate and inspire.
As part of the role, not only will you need to motivate others, but be passionate about motivation as well.
Some people are naturally drawn to career paths for a reason. And for fitness instructors, it’s about helping others.
So, if you take satisfaction in that, no matter what it involves, there’s a good chance that being a fitness instructor or personal trainer is your calling.
3. Will I Stay Fit And Motivated?
Fitness instructors and personal trainers are role models for their students, after all, so it’s worth asking yourself whether you can stay fit and motivated—long-term—as a reflection of what the role represents.
Sure, not all fitness instructors or personal trainers have to look like professional athletes or bodybuilders, especially after a certain age.
But for some clients, it can be a motivating, deciding factor for whether they can look up to you as their teacher.
Ultimately, it comes down to how passionate you consider yourself.
4. Am I Patient?
Fitness instructors and personal trainers are teachers, and that requires being patient – especially when it comes to training individual clients.
Some clients won’t be consistent with appointments, exercise form, or even the fitness plan you’ve created for them.
You have their best interests at heart, of course, and want them to achieve their goals, but that also requires patience when due.
5. Am I Sociable?
Whether you’re taking on a class or client, being a fitness instructor or personal trainer requires a certain amount of sociability.
You’ll have to be confident enough to run classes and/or sociable enough to regularly check in with clients.
Being sociable as a fitness instructor includes being friendly, relatable, and encouraging at all times.
So, if you consider yourself extroverted, outgoing, and hospitable, this a good sign you’ll be a good fit as a fitness instructor or personal trainer.
6. Can I Be Nice But Tough?
As touched on above, some fitness clients won’t be as consistently motivated as you’d like them to be.
They might also have unrealistic expectations, a lack of enthusiasm, or a poor overall diet and lifestyle that will counteract what you’ve set out for them.
Due to this, there are times fitness instructors and personal trainers have to be upfront and firm.
In some cases, this can involve tough love and hard truths that some clients won’t want to hear.
These instances can be rare, but it still might be something you have to do at some point.
7. Do I Have A Specialty?
You might be an expert in one sport or area of fitness or a jack of all trades.
Either way, considering your specialty can help you decide where to focus your expertise, your clientele/students, and generally how much you might be able to earn.
There are different career paths within fitness, such as becoming a spin class instructor, school PE teacher, gym trainer/fitness instructor, or personal trainer.
So, before everything, consider whether you have a specialty that you’d like to center your career around.
8. Can I Manage Multiple Students?
Whether you’re leading a group fitness class or taking on individual clients, it’s worth asking yourself if you can handle multiple students at once.
Even classes involve some degree of individual interaction to help each participant do their best, and this will apply even more if you choose to run intimate classes as your own business.
Similarly, personal trainers need to juggle different clients at the same time.
This includes managing weekly appointments as well as tracking individual client progress, requiring good organization and sociability.
After asking yourself the above questions, you should have a good idea of whether or not becoming a fitness instructor or personal trainer is the right choice for you.
After all, there are certain qualities that all fitness trainers need to have, in addition to having the necessary qualifications.
Ultimately, if you are passionate about fitness, good at motivating others, and find genuine satisfaction in helping people achieve their goals, there’s a good chance that becoming a fitness instructor or personal trainer is your true calling.