I am seriously considering taking the plunge and becoming a Personal Trainer. I think at this juncture in my life I have proven if I can do this I might be able to help others achieve their goals as well.
I also am really not looking forward to my career happenings in the next couple years. I work for doctors doing their billing and with upcoming changes in Oct 2013 I just don't want to be here anymore. This gives me a good year to develop a clientele to enable me to quit my day jobs, or maybe just do them part part time.
For those who don't know I'm not a spring chicken - I will be 53 in November. So wondering if younger people would be turned off by a PT old enough to be their mom or even grandmother (ugh) but then I thought since I live in AZ where a majority of the population is actually senior citizens, maybe build a business model around the "AARP" crowd.
So pros and cons- hit me!
My personal trainer's is 49. At the gym, I tend to see the younger trainers with the younger clients and the older trainers with the older clients. I see plenty of older people at my gym; they have more money.
I think you should take the plunge. Even if you don't make it a career, you will still gain a lot of knowledge. I did a certification course and while I never ended up working in the industry, I still learned a LOT.
I think that you would attract clients who know your story: you changed your body later in life through resistance training. That will motivate future clients to strive to be like you.
However, personally, I would hire a PT based on their experience and education. I would consider an older trainer only if they had years of experience training clients. I've only worked with trainers who were around my age; I found them more relateable to me on a personal and training level. This is just my personal bias.
Don't let you or anyone else use the age against you. It is getting hard especially for the women in my family 50+ in the work world and people being ageists towards them should not be tolerable. Our family has had women changed/reinvented themselves later on in life and it was/has been for the better. My grandmother told me when I was a little girl she didn't start living till she was 38 (as in just living not even career wise) and then later on she said her career started taking off was in her mid/late 40s.
Enough about the that. I think you'd be a great personal trainer!
Pros, your willing to learn and do not have a jaded view on people/working with people, you can be home based or facility based. You could really have a job you love, which not a lot of people can say/admit. Cons, just form what I have been looking up about per sonal training/trainers in my area, it may be a bit difficult finding a job or getting clients at first (at least in areas with lots competition) and you can make only so-so money depending on where you are and you client base or facility you work for.
Go for it!! You have my vote. I think you would make a great personal trainer and I agree with smashley23 -- older people have more money!! You should definitely consider building a business around older clients, especially since you do live in AZ.
I am 50 and would rather train with a woman my age who is physically fit and has a good physique. You, as an older, more experience person, would pay more attention to your clients and give them the attention they need.
I did a training session with a young woman and she really didn't give me her full attention, which I think someone with more experience would know to do. It was really a turn off. If she would have "tried" a little more, she might have booked future sessions.
Also, you might want to consider getting hired by a gym, at least part-time, in order to start to pursue your goals. Best of luck to you!
I think you should do it. Reading your posts on these boards is what inspired me to start NROLFW.
I think that your experience would work in your favor. I also agree with smashley. Older clients would see what you've done and realize that it is never to late to begin. Living in an area where there is an older population would work in your favor, I think. I'm 38, but I don't think I'd want to train with a 20 something.
Oh, just frickin' jump already. I'm sure there are people who would hold your age against you, and I'm sure there are people who are looking for actual smart personal trainers. Worst case, you pursue it, find (a) you hate it or (b) there aren't enough people to support your doing it full time. More likely, you have sufficient clientele to at least do it part time, which means you can ease off on your real job (work 30 hr/week just to get benefits or whatever).
Your posts sound like someone who is a real advocate of actual strength training. People would be well-served to have you as a PT.
DB- Actually age is an asset . I find the very young PT's unrealistic for goodness sake if we were all 20 again and could work out all day it would bve easy to be in shape and sexy.
I suggest a moderate jump I would
1. Keep my day job
2. Get all the certifications needed to be a PT
3. The main hours for a PT are after work or weekends. I would get a part time PT job working after work and weekends.
4. I would save all the PT part time money and grow my PT client list letting day job pay the bills. If you like being aPT and are good at it slowly the PT will get bigger and bigger. After a few months or year or so when you have a roster of clients and know for certain that you like being a PT you can switch to PT being your main job and the savings from working as a part time PT can be your cushion during the transition
Hey, I've read your posts before and I'd gladly have you as my personal trainer. You seem very educated and could help a lot of people.
Thanks everyone! Looks like I will be hitting the books - at least this will be for something more enjoyable than "work" stuff!
I think I'll go for the ACE exam because they also have an additional certification available strictly through AARP I think that would be an added bonus for my area.
Good choice. You'll be great.
there is absolutely a market for you. strength training is gaining in popularity; other late-summer chickens know more about how strength training can mitigate degenerative diseases, & are prevention focused. & no one wants to go gentle into the good night.
pro: you'd be (are!) inspirational. you don't need to have been an olympian; people respect & relate to stories of transformation. also, agree w attention/client service emphasis - you understand what it's like to have to work around injury... maybe picking up extra knowledge/certifications around that, later, would be good. (& maybe, informally, some business courses)
possible con, depending: schmoozing, if you don't enjoy that sort of thing.
con: finding a more-or-less ethical, not-entirely-sales-focused gym to work at. if you could live with making a modest salary, maybe you could focus on community outreach / public health (YMCA, or community/seniors' recreational centres)? or maybe, gyms tied in with insurance companies?
pro: a lot of your existing toolkit (the metabolic workouts, fit deck) is super portable & doable outside - i remember you saying you live in a year-round warm climate? conceivable to cheaply register a business, & then claim the cost of a couple of sets of adjustable dumbbells - overhead needn't be nuts
you live and breathe this stuff; you could help people; it'd be a lot more fun than a load of other things. another yes vote :)
eta: lol, i remember you saying you live somewhere warm bc i read it seconds ago. anyway, do it, save womankind from curves
I like Balt's approach. Maybe "get used" to the water before you plunge right in. I would think (as many of the others) older clients would be a better market. With this in mind I think you'd be well served to spend a little time focusing on other aspects outside of strength. Your passion is in strength training but not everyone shares this. You'll need to "round out" your skills. I think your probably pretty strong in nutrition so that works but things like flexibility, biomechanics, and (sorry db) cardio will also come into play.
You might even want to think of additional services (massage) to make yourself more marketable. Around here there are plenty of training opportunities for massage.
Keep us informed! Good Luck.
Yea, Kevin I know cardio is important, however I don't think PT time should be spent learning to walk, bike or use the elliptical or rower and what not. I would tell them on non PT days they need to "supplement" with this kind of activity. I like the Cosgrove's philosophy "Steady state cardio should be done, but preferably outside!" Living where I live hiking, biking, walking and running can all be done outside most of the year. In the summer you will either have to do it early am or after dark - which could prove difficult for some activities.
Also massage therapists around here are a dime a dozen. There are so many due to a school nearby. I guess maybe working with one and forming a partnership would be better for this area at least. I don't want to go to massage therapy school if the supply and demand aren't there.
I will not be quitting my day jobs anytime soon obviously, but I would like to get out of the business at some point.
DB, As someone already said, there are going to be people who will not hire you because of your age, but there will also be people who will see your age as an asset. As far as the others. as you already know, not every PT is a good match for every client. Your personal experience will be an asset, because you have experience with a lot of different programs, with a variety of trainers and you are an open-minded person.
I think you are wise to look at who will be your target groups for marketing purposes: people new to gym exercise and/or weight training; middle-aged and older trainees; women who are looking to decrease body fat; newly divorced women (there's an interesting target for you), who are looking to get back into the dating scene.
I would love to be in a position to do this as well, I think you should take this opportunity and run with it. It's going to be a lot of work, but I think you will love the whole process!
Keep us up to date on your progress!
dee-- for some reason your post just made me think of "The Gay Divorcee" LOL guess I could be the F@g H@g divorcee trainer of the Old, the Gay and the fat" LOL
That could make for some interesting t-shirts...
dbackerfan, like what others said, you'd make a great pt!!! :) There's a trainer i know who was a police officer, retired then took up training....and loves it! Also, you'd probably already have lots of contacts to draw from to help get potential clients.
As a trainer who's still pretty green (only been training and teaching yoga for about 3 years), I say don't give up completely on the "cardio" topic....you wouldn't believe how many clients I have that don't know how to operate an elliptical, treadmill, etc. and so part o fthe session is devoted to showing them how to use the machine!!! Or, there's someone I'm now training who likes swimming but has no idea how to get more efficient--so I spend some time with her watching her swim 100m, analyzing her stroke and then having her do drills. When you actually give someone their INDIVIDUALIZED PERSONAL WORKOUT, a client is really appreciative. I persoanlly don't care for treadmill running, but if a client wants to do it but has no idea how, then I will honor his/her request. Obviously, I'll also make my own recommendations on what he/she should be doing for programming, but it's ultimately up to the client on whether or not he/she will follow your advice. I think that's the hardest part about pt--trying to help people reach their fitness goals, but on the flip side, having them not always follow your professional advice. :(
Recently I've been meeting some great new clients (ironically I'm in my 30s, yet my clientle is usually 50-70 years old!), and they are great. I love the older client because he is usually a lot more attentive to detail (which I love), responsible *shows up on time) and very appreciative of the help you give. Go for it dbacker!!! :)
I enrolled in the local community college's online ACE personal trainer class. Class officially starts tomorrow. I've already reviewed the powerpoint presentation and getting familiar with "Blackboard".
I also went ahead and signed up for the First Aid/ CPR and AED class. The CPR part is also for "healthcare professionals" which technically I'm suppose to have anyway working in a doctors offices LOL!! I used to be an EMT so first aid should be pretty easy, but it was 27 years ago that I did the EMT thing
I decided to sign up for the online class to actually make me have to be accountable instead of just " yea, I'll do it later"