Written by Simone Maglassis, CPT, ACSM, ACE
I love my job, I love what I do and I wouldn't change it for anything.
I am here to stay in the health and wellness field.
However, let's be realistic, every job has it's pros & cons.
1. The Grind. After graduating from college and not being able to find the job I was looking for I almost gave up. After being a waitress, an in home cleaner, working at good life (don’t even get me started…), I couldn't find work. My husband pushed me not to give up and waste my diploma and give up on what I wanted to do. I'm so glad I pushed on because I have come even further than I thought I'd be.
2. The homework. There's a lot more to it than just a one hour workout session. Everyday I am doing homework, researching to stay up to date, making programs, sending emails, answering texts and phone calls and more. Speaking of homework, when a client doesn’t do their homework that is also frustrating.
3. I have to take a shower everyday sometimes twice a day. Now don't judge me, but I used to take a shower every other day (which is actually not bad according to other sources!), but man can I be lazy. I don't mind it when I'm actually in there, but it's just another thing to add to my to do list. Which leads me to my next point...
4. Always sweaty. I exercise all day so it's too be expected, but it just makes me super self conscious and a little gross but it's still worth it in the end.
5. Laundry. I'm always doing it and it drives me crazy. I mean who here actually likes folding clothes...?
6. How frustrating it can be. I want to help people, that's my job, passion and desire every time I'm with a client. However, sometimes there's nothing I can do. For instance, I had a client with a serious drinking problem, another who rarely or never got her homework done no matter how many different approaches we tried, and one client who was such an emotional eater that he needed a counselor to help him but he always had excuses.
7. People just see me as a personal trainer. I also do rehab exercises and help with nutrition. I don't just scream at someone like Jilian Michaels and push them for 1 hour and leave. My clients and I work as team, we discuss habit changes, discuss nutrition, their stress level, the quality of their sleep, their environment at home and at work. I can go on and on. Exercise itself is not enough (seriously, there's been studies on this) so why just look at a personal trainer as someone who only helps you with exercise and nothing else?
8. I'm always eating. Due to me exercising all day, I'm constantly burning calories so I'm always having to eat something. Sometimes I eat 8 times a day. I could have the biggest meals and after 2 clients I'm hungry again. Imagine all that meal prepping!
9. Long and weird hours. This isn't so much a problem for me anymore but I used to work really annoying hours. On some days I'd start at 5:30am and end at 10:30pm. Luckily this started to change the busier I got and was able to make my own schedule, but in the beginning this was something I hated. Don't believe those personal training job descriptions that promote short hours for high pay, there's always more to it.
10. The paper work. Every time I see a client I need to gather their information and get forms signed. Times that by 10 along with organizing files, programs and important details and suddenly you have a crap ton of paper work.
11. Inconsistency. If a client gets sick or stops training for whatever reason, I don't get paid. It's as simple as that.
12. No benefits. No dental, physio, chiro, massage (the thing I need the most), etc. Basically anything. There are personal training jobs out their that cover these things but they're hard to come by. Luckily, we can often write this off as a business expense.
13. It's hard to take care of myself. I would have never thought that I myself would need a personal trainer but sometimes that's what it feels like. My time and energy is going so much into my clients that I forget about myself or don't put as much time into my own fitness and health as I should. I have to constantly remind myself to hold myself accountable and practice what I preach.
14. My family is my hardest clientele. I thought that once I became a certified personal trainer that the people I would help the most would be my family but it's the total opposite. I'm either exhausted after a day's work or I struggle to hold them accountable because well they're family! Sometimes it's better to have an outside professional rather than someone you know. Luckily, my family eats relatively healthy, but they don't exercise nearly enough.
15. I can't help everyone. Just because you hire a personal trainer, it doesn't mean you're going to lose 20+ pounds. You still have to do the homework and have the drive and determination. I give my 110% but it makes no difference if a client is giving me back 50%. Other times, things are out of my scope of practice, especially if an individual has an eating disorder. Try this eating disorder screening tool to see if this may be something you struggle with.
16. Overuse injury. Sometimes my back hurts, my knees crack, my wrist hurts etc. I have to be sure to take care of myself because it can be a lot on my body.
17. Lugging equipment around. As an in-home trainer I bring the equipment. It can be a lot.
18. Social Media. We now live in a society where if there’s no picture, video, snap chat, boomerang blah blah, then it didn’t happen.
Here’s so much you don’t see, from a client breaking down in tears in frustration on their weight loss journey, transformation pictures I can’t share, and ways I help people I can’t put into words.
I have a love/hate relationship with social media as there's so much out there and it can be hard to filter out the good from bad and the fact from fiction. It can be a lot to keep up with and if you don't keep up with it you'll fall behind. I don't like posting pictures, taking videos but I have to in today's day and age.
For me to whip out my phone in the heat of the moment is something I am still not used to. Sometimes I think it does the opposite of helping. While you’re scrolling through workout videos, you could be doing a workout yourself. Let’s not even get into how it can skew your image of what fitness, nutrition and health looks like to the point it can be unhealthy.
19. I'm "working" all the time. I'm always thinking about how I can make eating healthier and exercising easier for my clients, new exercises I can implement, informative blogs I can write, emails I can send, and easy recipes. Sometimes I have to resist the urge to think about work when I'm not working.
20. People hold me to a high regard.
I love junk food too! I'm not always healthy and sometimes I don't exercise at all. I'm not perfect and I have my own struggles. Right now as I write this I'm working on drinking more water and doing the exercises prescribed by my physio. I'm always working on myself and I'm on my own journey.
Just because you're skinny it means your fit or healthy. Just because you're on the larger end (not considered obese) it doesn't mean your fat and unhealthy.
*21. It's Unregulated
Meaning that no one can go to their doctor to get a referral or use their benefits to pay for personal training. We unfortunately do not have a governing body either.
I am really hoping this changes because there are personal trainers like me who didn't receive their PT certificate through a weekend course and actually have years of study and practice.
If you'd like to know 20 things I LOVE about being a personal trainer click here.
Are you a personal trainer? What did you think about my list? Leave a comment below.
Simone is a certified in-home & virtual personal trainer, precision nutrition coach and ACE functional training specialist. Her mission is to help people on their fitness & health journey.
When she's not figure skating, reading or writing, Simone loves to relax and watch Netflix with her little family.
All information provided by Simone (Guishard) Maglassis and simonesfitfunlife.com is of a general nature and is furnished only for educational/entertainment purposes only. No information is to be taken as legal, medical or other health advice pertaining to any individual specific health or medical condition. You agree that use of this information is at your own risk and hold Simone Maglassis and/or simonesfitfunlife.com harmless from any and all losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.