1. Time spent at the gym
This might be the biggest thing that has helped me in my first year as a personal trainer. When your only getting paid when your training & have no clients it makes it very easy to not want to spend time at the gym. Many new trainers will only want to spend time at their gyms if they have a client, so for myself, I set a set schedule from 9 am-7pm every day regardless of if I was training or not. I took a total of 11 days off my first year as a coach. So, what did I do for 10 hours with no clients yet?
2. Keep learning & filling in the gaps of knowledge
I didn’t go to college for personal training. So I had basically no knowledge of how to help someone get healthier or change their lifestyle. So, for the 10 hours, I was at the gym most of it was spend learning. The director of personal training & my fellow trainer played a big role in filling in my knowledge of training. Online resources such as The Personal Trainer Development Center (theptdc.com) & blog articles from Tony Gentilcore (co-founder of Cressy Sports Performance) helped expanded my coaching abilities. I continue to still read pretty much every day as I develop my coaching.
3. Set up organizational structures
I generally prefer having things set up in an organized manner. So, knowing that I pretty much defaulted to electronic software for tracking my clients rather than a bunch of loose paper floating around. Unfortunately, without a set monthly structure I soon started missing weigh-ins & their food was running unchecked. A set monthly structure soon took form make sure of my clients were being weighed & measured the first week of the new month followed by a nutrition assessment & sit down the 2nd & 4th week of the month.
4. Find your way to get new clients
When I first started, I was the only new trainer. My schedule was getting filled by the director with each new person to sign up for the gym with a complementary initial assessment. However, once the team hired the next new trainers the initial assessments slowed down. Realizing that keeping the initials coming in was becoming more & more on myself to find. Phone calls to returning members became my niche for finding new clients. It’s important to find what works for you in keeping your roster full so your now out starving, whether it’s with social media, walking the floor, referrals or cold calling.
5. Find the clients you enjoy training (& the ones you don’t)
When I first started, I was willing to train anyone that even had a remote interest in working out. Soon I had a roster with clients I loved training & seeing every week, but I also had a bunch of clients that were the equivalent of being dragged through the mud. When you first start your taking on anyone interested just to gain experience & pay the bills. Although the drainage of working with clients that were negative or just looking for a babysitter to staying with them took its toll. Meaning I wasn’t running as optimally as I could for the other clients. I would recommend that once you can pay the bills. Focus on making sure you aren’t filling your books with clients that drain you. You’ll be a better & happier trainer in the long term.