I'll never forget that my dad used to have this black machine that looked a lot like the Pilates machines and it worked beautifully. Even over 50+ years later.
Unfortunately, he hardly ever used it and it took up a ton of space so he sold it. How I wish I could've taken it off his hands!
The majority of the time (pretty much all the time) when a client shows me their old equipment I've either:
1. Forgotten how to use it
2. Don’t know how to use it at all
The fitness industry is rapidly changing and the trends and equipment change with it.
So when this idea popped into my head I was eager to give it a try especially because all of my clients have old equipment lying around collecting dust that they were all to eager to let me borrow for this little fun experiment (thank you!).
Energy M Crunch
Well would you look at this contraption.
This one is totally new to me.
I'm so glad this client of mine kept the box to allow me to see what I could figure out from the picture instructions because I found nothing online.
I’m sure we’ve all seen this one before.
For some reason that long metal coil would keep me away. It's like a resistance band I know, but it just seems more dangerous if potentially broken.
With a quick google search I found that people still use this. I just wonder if it's worth it?
There's a lot of paper work in this business.
Maybe not as much as a lawyer, but still enough that you have to organize it and stay on top of it.
It took me YEARS yes years (over 6 years to be exact). To figure out the best system that worked for me.
So I'm happy to share what I've learned, what I'm still working on and how to keep your clients organized and therefore make you look more professional.
Keep in mind that I'm an in-home and virtual personal trainer so not everything will apply to you. Here's what I learned:
How I Organize Clients
I got a large binder and on a blank piece of paper put each client's name with a sticky tab on the paper.
From there I put each client's information under their name with additional extra sheets of paper for my notes. I then added a separate section in the back for additional materials such as extra measurement sheets, tracking forms, waivers etc.
To stay even more organized I included reinforcements in the back of the binder in case any of the holes on the papers ripped. I also included a sticky bad for new clients and if I ever wanted to highlight anything I could stick it on their programs or meal plans. I also included multiple pens and white out, my business cards and a section for my clipboard.
How I Organize my Office:
Have a Good Setup
I only got a computer and started utilizing my desk very recently.
Before I'd do everything on my laptop and throw papers in folders to never be seen again until I went on a frantic search.
Have a proper desk and computer with all your office stuff nearby.
Have a Filing System
You can easily buy these from a craft store nearest you and even get one that's just a folder or a standalone with other compartments like I did.
I recommend this one from Ikea where it's all built in for you. You can see this is more detail in the above video.
This way you can sort your clients important documents in alphabetic order easily and then slide the drawer shut.
Keep Everything Together
This may seem obvious but it's funny how things can get moved around.
Have a home for everything and keep office stuff together.
Have your printer paper by your printer, hole puncher by your stapler etc.
It makes everything more smooth and seamless.
Have Extra Cartridge's on Hand
I print a lot. Programs, meal plans, articles, measurement sheets (see my free stuff to get some for yourself). It's good to have a back up.
I used to have a printer that used to deliver the ink to my house when it started to run low which made it even more convenient.
What to Take & What Stays in the Office
Should you bring your BMI & Body fate percentage reader? Measurement tape? Stop watch? Keep their finished meal plan at home since they already have a copy?
Have all the Important Forms on Hand
Keep the measurement sheet on you as well as the BMI chart, heart rate targets etc. Whatever you find yourself and clients always referring to and referencing.
Get free copies for yourself by going to the FREE Stuff section.
Create a Section for Inactive Clients
Sometimes clients disappear, get sick, have situations that occur in their lives that pauses their sessions.
Keep them in a separate section in your files as they could come back anytime and you want to appear ready to get back to where you left off.
Use a Backpack
We're all so used to the exercise gym bag but it's not the best on ergonomics.
With a backpack you can keep the weight evenly on your shoulders and protect yourself from aches and pains. Of course this isn't 100% guaranteed and you'll need a gym bag as well to store your larger equipment but see how much you can fit in your backpack.
Another great option is using a suitcase of a gym bag that has wheels. It's better to push and pull rather than lift and carry.
Have a Clipboard
This will keep everything together when you're with that specific client and will stop you from having to sort through all the rest.
Plus, you'll just look more official once you have one.
Have the Right Equipment for You
What are you most familiar with working with? What is easy to carry and move around? Start with that rather than what's the most popular and you'll go a long way.
From there you can build up your equipment and tools.
Here's some things you can purchase right away:
I hope this helps you in some way or gives you some insight. What do you do to stay organized?
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.
I truly love what I do and don't see myself ever stepping foot out of the fitness & health industry. After making my list about 20 things I hate about being a personal trainer, I of course had to make a list about the many things I love.
1. My own hours
In the beginning this was hard to achieve but now I have more control of my time and schedule which gives me total control of when I want to work. Now I take don't train clients past a certain time and I take weekends off for myself.
2. The positive environment
It's not like working in a bank or high stress level job.
My job is to de-stress my clients. That's why there's a lot of laughing, dancing, and just a general stress free environment.
It's not just the "before" and "after". It's way more than that.
It's the improved sleep, reduced or eliminated back pain, knee pain, joint pain. It's the increased confidence boosts, more energy and so much more.
I'm not selling exercise, I'm selling exercise and health which is what we all need.
To see my testimonials click here.
4. No vacation limit
It's nice to know that I'm not limited to a certain amount of sick days or vacation days.
5. I'm my own boss
This is bittersweet as it comes with other cons. However, I also work as an executive assistant at another fitness company so I get the best of both worlds.
In today's age many are entrepreneurs and for good reason.
You are in control of your destiny and being your own boss is part of that.
6. Help people in ways I never imagined
For instance, I trained one client and then his family member decided to join and then another family member started to eat healthier and it had a ripple effect on the whole family.
I also had two female clients that struggled with infertilely and I kid you not, within 2 weeks they fell pregnant!
I still talk to clients I no longer train to this day and they are happy to share how far they've come in their fitness and health journey.
7. Cancellations are oh so bittersweet
If a client lets me know at 7am that they have to cancel I get to roll over, sigh, smile and go back to bed.
However, it's bittersweet because that time slot could have gone to another client and if they cancel within 24 hours of the appointment I can lose out on income.
8. Doing something I love
Clients often say "I don't know how you do this all day" but the answer is simple: because I love to exercise!
9. No judgment
I've had clients breakdown in tears, share embarrassing stories or vent about their day.
I provide a listening eat and they know this is judgement free zone. We're both here to work on their goals and with the mutual trust and understanding, it makes it that much more worth it to do my job.
10. My clients inspire me
When they ask me a question I don't know the answer to and seek to find it out, it inspires me to have the answer for the next client.
So many clients have inspired me to write blog posts and when a client is struggling with something I'm also struggling with, we can work on it together.
11. Working as a team
"We'll work as a team" This is what I often tell my clients because ultimately, they know their body better than I do.
Even better, if they have a physio, chiro, osteopath or other health professional working with them, I'm able to reach out to them to ensure that we're on the same page with helping the client reach their goal.
12. Peek into different lives
I have clients that are lawyer, work in real estate, social work and more.
Hearing about their profession is interesting and the advice they have to offer is always insightful.
Sometimes it's a downright gift giving battle.
There's kick boxing, circuits, HITT, Tabata, yoga, Pilates, big box gym (which I don't see myself ever returning to) and more.
I'll never get bored and I'm always on the hunt for new and creative exercises and receipts.
15. I'm more than a personal trainer
I'm a teacher, coach, detective (if you're doing everything right and not getting results, you're doing something wrong), a listening ear, a mediator (sometimes my clients family members can be hurtful), and an influencer (not necessarily in the social media kind of way).
While I specialize with clients who want to achieve weight loss, I also prescribe rehab exercises to those who need it (which is most).
16. Busting myths
There's nothing like explaining why what a client believes to be true is in indeed not accurate.
I provide them with the articles and resources and let them make their own decisions.
Their faces are priceless when they realize that not everything is classified as "bad" and "good".
17. I get to wear fitness clothes all day
Have you noticed that more people are wearing fitness clothes as every day wear?
I'm one of those people.
I never have to worry about getting all dressed up to go to work because that's never been me. I am way to lazy to wear heels, make up, get my hair done all nice ugh forget it.
18. In-home training is a growing industry
It's sad to say, but more and more people are falling into the overweight and obese category, which means I'll never be out of a job.
Plus, the convenience of having a personal trainer come to your home and provide you with equipment and a nutrition plan AND a specific exercise program prescribed to you? It's too good to pass up.
This is known as Continuing Education Credits all personal trainers must stay up to date by doing new courses to reach a certain amount of CEC "points" within their certifying body. So this forces me to continue to be the awesome trainer I strive to be.
20. I learn about myself
I don't know it all and I need to practice what I preach, sometimes my clients put me in my place (rightfully so!) and each day teaches me something new.
More specifically, I've learned to better organize my time, my client documents and sort through the never ending information on fitness and health.
Are you in the personal training industry? What are the things you like?
Simone is a certified in-home 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.