For those of my readers who have learned much from me and become true physical culturists, there may come a time when you decide to possibly profit off of your passion—a time when you walk away from whatever unheralded bitch job you work at and try to become that most respected of things: a certified personal trainer!
“After all,” you may think to yourself, “the trainers that train movie stars make millions, and even if you’re not getting actors ready for some superhero movie, you’ll still be in a field where you actually get respect from your clients (a non-physical but tangible fruit of labor) and hey, the lonely housewives in yoga pants are a nice fringe benefit, eh what?”
This is largely what my thought process was when my career in academia as a literati hit a downturn, and thus I decided to become a personal trainer. I studied and passed the test in about three weeks of hard studying; apparently my fellow trainers needed several months to do the same. As useless as college ultimately was for me, I must admit that it did teach me how to knuckle down and focus on one task, and after a brief job hunt, I found employment in this field. So what downsides could there possibly be?
Let’s make something quite clear: the typical gym job you’re going to get, especially if you don’t have a specialty such as a Crossfit certification, is a lot less “voluptuous, sex deprived housewives in yoga pants” and a lot more “glorified janitorial work”. The majority of your time will NOT be teaching classes, banging cougars, or even training clients—no, you’re probably going to be dusting ceiling fans, re-racking weights, tightening this or that nut or bolt, and repairing jammed machines. And in case you’re wondering, I’ve only had three man-hungry females explicitly throw themselves at me, two of whom were elderly and the other a pre-pubescent, neither category of female being one that I’m attracted to.
Secondly, most jobs you’ll get will not be full time. I myself work a full 40 hours a week by working a combined 30 hours at two regular gyms and the other 10 teaching martial arts classes in yet another location, with clients booking private training and the occasional bit of modeling at two art studios where I’ll usually work an additional 5-6 hours a week. So I have five jobs.
While the hourly wages I make are pretty good—ranging from 18-30 depending on the job—the intermittent nature of the work means benefits and job security are not likely, unless you work at a big national or international corporate chain—which are incidentally more likely to have those aforementioned yoga pants clad beauties, so if that “fringe benefit” is what you’re looking for, you may have more luck there.
Thirdly, you have to deal with some bad people—and I am of course referring to the customers. Contrary to what all of the 80s movies said, there are no gyms full of snarling hardass trainers that will allow you to make ingrates feel bad (this topic may provide fuel for another article).
Quite the contrary, you have to be a smiling salesdouche and enjoy all the “fun” of retail with added dollops of entitlement, mood swings, ignorance, and general stubbornness. Enjoy fat women arguing with you over nutrition, children crying and parents scolding you because you dared to discipline the smug little bastard, old people angrily telling you that “…[they’ve] been doing this for 40 years, junior!”, angry teenage boys venting their high school rage and involuntary celibacy on the weights, and more!
“Well Golly Gee, Larsen” you might be saying, “being a trainer sounds like a real shitheap!” It is indeed not as glamorous as I originally thought, but…
I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a lot of good to the job, not the least of which is, hey, you can work out for free and to your heart’s content! In addition to that, you can get a remarkable amount of free stuff should you sign up for public events and the like—and I always consider that to be a plus.
For those who are more gregarious, the opportunities for friendship, sex, and romance are there—perhaps not as abundant and easy as Hollywood has told you, but they are still there. After all, I did refer to the only explicit instances of women throwing themselves at me.
Most importantly, it’s rewarding in the same way that a public school teacher sometimes finds their job rewarding (yes, such a thing does actually happen)—when a client tells you how happy they are to have lost weight, or how their newfound muscles gives them newfound confidence in life, or how you gave them the ability to walk again with bridging and twist stretching, that is more than anything else why I do this job. I do it for the good people that need help, and are ecstatic when I give it to them.
For those who think the job is nothing but a cavalcade of easy sex and money, I would think otherwise. It may very well become that once you’ve established yourself in the field for a few years, but it won’t start out like that.
However, provided you can find a good gym and a clientele that doesn’t suck, personal training can be a great and rewarding field once you get past the admitted drawbacks. At the very least, it’s not any worse than any other job I’ve had in my life, and in fact is the best I’ve had either in terms of payment, ease of work, or both. Consider it!