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Old 12-07-2010, 12:33 AM   #1
Pearse Shields
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Seeking advice

Kia ora guys.

I've completed a Personal Training Certificate this year, and am looking to move directly into personal training work. However, the job market in my town is notorious to find gym work. Most of the gyms are small gyms, where the trainers know each other and get hired that way.
My thoughts are this: would I be better to get into personal training now, as soon as possible, or would it be a better idea to go into a degree program before going into the workforce? Long term, my dream is to own my own gym... If I do a degree, it would be a degree in exercise science with a university local to me.
Who here went straight into the workforce, and who stuck around to get a degree? What did you enjoy and what did you regret about your decision?

TL;DR- work or study, what do?

Thanks in advance
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:58 AM   #2
Brian Strump
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Re: Seeking advice

Go to school and get a degree. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up.

Despite just a degree, you'll also learn alot about yourself, and this thing called, LIFE.
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Old 12-11-2010, 03:59 AM   #3
Tish Traster
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Re: Seeking advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Strump View Post
Go to school and get a degree. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up.

Despite just a degree, you'll also learn alot about yourself, and this thing called, LIFE.
Build your personal training business part time on the side while in school. You don't "need" a 'gym' to do that. Scope out all of the area local parks and start training outside there!

Go to your city and get an occupational license, get personal trainer insurance, start a blog, Facebook, Twitter. Get a couple of t-shrits made for yourself with your business name and wear them everywhere, talk about what you do, have business cards ready to hand out. Start with one or two clients, treat them well and help them progress.

Study read and go to certs when you can afford it. Be good at what you do and your business will grow by word of mouth.

I worked in the medical field 20+ years before giving it up to do this. I make less money now, but I'm much much happier. Making a 'living' in the fitness industry is hard- that's a fact. Most of us are in it because we love it and are passionate about it. Go to school - stay in school!

Good Luck - Tish
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Last edited by Tish Traster : 12-11-2010 at 04:05 AM.
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:18 PM   #4
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Seeking advice

If you choose the school route, focus on the exercise science but also either do some finance/math work or gut a business minor. Unfortunatey, sometimes the best trainers make very little because they don't know how to run a business and market. I think a business degree/minor or finance courses might put you in the right direction.

Also, don't get caught in the typical path to take, make a path that works for you. I agree with Tish, go to school but in the meantime start/work your business. I never took the full professional route when it came to training, but I trained a lot of friends and family when I was in undergrad and medical school. School often has a lot of flexible hours that could work for many client's needs. Don't overdo it, but get it moving.

-Bob
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:45 PM   #5
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Seeking advice

Work *and* study. School won't teach you how to train people. Work won't teach you much about biomechanics or exercise physiology. The best trainers are good at both. School will also give you more options, in case you decide that personal training isn't for you after all.

Second the suggestion to take some business courses, especially if you want to work for yourself. Lots of universities also have entrepreneurship programs, which can hook you up with all kinds of good resources.

Katherine
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:26 PM   #6
Dave Carpenter
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Re: Seeking advice

Go to School and Work. Most schools have a couple of things what would be extremely beneficial to you, as it's obvious you're passionate about fitness and exercise.
The first is a work-study program. That is, you work in exchange for significant discounts in education. See if you can't work in the fitness center or supporting an athletic team. Second, is that many colleges and universities have world-class gyms/fitness centers at a much lower cost than what you'd find in the open market. If you can't get hooked up with a work-study program, put that Personal Training Certificate to work and offer one-on-one personal training to students and teachers. I assume the market is there (though the fitness center may frown on it if you're not an employee).
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:06 PM   #7
Pearse Shields
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Re: Seeking advice

Hey guys, thanks for all the input. I think I will go to university. I also like the advice about running my own, small personal training business on the side; I'll be sure to look into that, and seeing how I would need to operate things to get myself set up.
Just so people know, I did a certificate in exercise and sport performance for a year at a polytech, I've done my first aid courses, and I've also got practical experience coaching with the Special Olympics, as well as training a few buddies. Unfortunately, in a city of 80,000 people, in which there are 2 major universities, both of which offer degree programs for Exercise Science, the job market is incredibly tight.
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