A Day In The Life Of A Personal Trainer

“You must love your job.”

“You get to be in the gym all the time!”

“You don’t have to sit at a desk!”

“Oh you’re a trainer? Can I ask you your opinion on…”

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These are just some of the comments I hear on a regular basis as a personal trainer. I have trained celebrities. I have been interviewed by websites and magazines, and I’ve appeared on television and on the radio. You have seen me giving fitness tips, offering up the best glute exercises and discussing the latest nutrition trends.

From the outside, the life of a personal trainer can look pretty glamorous. However, the reality is that it’s a tough job that consists of long hours, hard work and dedication.

“You must love your job.”

Yes, I do love my job. I found my passion early in coaching and training. I love helping people achieve their goals and I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others, helping them better themselves.

I am not a part-time trainer. I am a full-time trainer, which means my time is scarce. I juggle a lot of things at once, including training in-person clients, programming and writing articles for various health and fitness publications.

So although I love my job, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. At times, it can be downright exhausting.

This is not a job for night owls, and on most days I am up at 5:00 am. I give myself just enough time to quickly change, brush my teeth, grab my pre-packed lunch and quickly walk my adorable dog, Adonis. Then I drive to work with my coffee in hand and start training my first client at 6:00am. It doesn’t matter if I am tired, having a bad day or stressed — I have to put on my happy, “motivational-trainer” face for my clients. After all, it’s my job to be professional and inspire them.

“You get to be in the gym all the time!”

Yes, I am in the gym all of the time. That means I have to quickly run to the washroom, and eat frantically during the five to 10 minutes that my clients are warming up or else I will miss a meal.

Since I am also a fitness competitor, I eat five to six small meals a day, which allows me to eat quickly in-between training. I also drink a minimum of four litres of water a day, so I am constantly chugging while I am with my clients.

Sometimes I don’t even get a break to do my own workouts, so I either end up training with one of my clients or staying at the gym until 10 pm or later to finish my own workouts.

Because of this hectic schedule, it’s hard for some trainers to maintain romantic relationships. Thankfully, I have a boyfriend who lives a similar lifestyle as mine; If I didn’t, I imagine my relationship would suffer. We usually meet up when we are done with our busy days and push each other to get our workouts in. No matter how busy or tired I am, I make it a point to get my workouts in — I have fitness goals I’d like to achieve, too.

“You don’t have to sit at a desk.”

You’re right. I do not have to sit at a desk, which means I don’t feel restricted or confined. I work for myself, so I don’t have someone breathing down my neck giving me deadlines or orders. I am, however, on my feet all day long — I love the feeling of getting home and being able to put them up. I am very quick to fall asleep, and I sleep like a baby until my 5:00am alarm goes off.

One catch-22 of working for myself is that I don’t have benefits, and if I take a vacation, I don’t get paid. If I get sick, I don’t get paid. If I get hurt, I don’t get worker’s compensation.  If I don’t write articles, create content or slack in personal advertising, I don’t get new clients. So I always have to be healthy and productive. There’s no time to slack off in my industry.

“Oh you’re a trainer? Can I ask you your opinion on…”

This is a common question I get in any social setting when someone finds out that I am personal trainer. I imagine doctors and lawyers get these kinds of requests at parties all the time.

Here’s the thing: I love helping people. But if you are a investment banker and I ask you for financial advice when you’re just trying to unwind and socialize, how excited are you to divulge that information to me? Not very I would imagine. I still try and put a smile on my face and give a brief answer to most people’s questions, however, it’s important that people realize I am a human, too. That means when I’m not working — which isn’t very often — I want to turn off my work brain and focus on something else.

The life of a personal trainer isn’t always glorious. Personal training is tough and it’s certainly not for everyone. It means working hard, day in and day out, on your own physique, as well as being prepared in advance for the day ahead, being constantly patient, and working hard to stay afloat.

If you love fitness and want to become a trainer, make sure you have what it takes. It just might be the most fulfilling, rewarding job you ever have.