We have a personal trainer attrition problem in fitness. Most trainers leave the industry within less than 2 years. Too many certifications don’t prepare trainers for the real day-to-day work involved with being a successful trainer. It goes well beyond movement mechanics.
Congrats if you’ve last longer than 2 years! It means you understood what longevity in a fitness career involves:
The understanding that we must constantly sell the benefits of an active lifestyle.
I get worried when I speak with graduating students from fitness certification, diploma, and degree programs and most of them tell me they really want to work with athletes or people who are “serious about training”.The riches are in the niches, but this tells me that we aren’t preparing them for the behavior modification abilities required for most personal trainers. If you aren’t prepared to go beyond traditional fitness testing with new clients and include assessments related to the psychology behind becoming active and sticking with an exercise program, you will struggle with building a sustainable career for yourself.
Keeping clients = showing them you care about their health beyond their paid sessions.
The sooner we realize clients aren’t paying us for program and rep counting the faster we’ll create profitable careers. Since the beginning of my career, 25 years ago, the drop out rate within the first 6 months of an exercise program has been 50%. That’s a crushing statistic. People invest in a trainer with the expectation that we’ll coach them to better health; especially when they’re struggling. A comprehensive approach that demonstrates you care outside of your training sessions will prove incredibly beneficial to client retention and success.
You’ve surrounded yourself with a network of people who are like-minded AND people who will challenge you to grow.
Like most industries and workplaces, we can get quite “clicky” which means we risk only hearing from peers and colleagues who have the same mindset and constantly edify our way of training. We all need validation and it’s ok to surround ourselves with like-minded people, as long as we also step out of our comfort zone towards those who will challenge our thinking. I purposefully follow trainers I disagree with on social media, buy sessions with trainers who follow different philosophies than mine, and join events outside of my comfort zone in order to seek to better understand, learn, and grow.
Nathalie Lacombe, M, Sc. Is the coach and cupid of the fitness industry! She blends her 25 years of international fitness experience with her degrees in psychology and exercise science to coach fitness professionals and leaders towards incredible success in their careers and businesses.