So, you’re thinking about making a change? Perhaps your current career path has not quite panned out in the way that you imagined. Perhaps you have always been interested in health and fitness as a hobby, but were unsure as to how to take it further. And now you’re thinking it might be too late to do anything about these lingering anxieties. There is one big question working in the back of your mind:
Am I too old to become a Personal Trainer?
Rest assured, here at Origym we see many students pass through our doors and take our online courses. Despite the diverse nature of our students, in terms of age, background, and life-experience, many of them ask exactly the same question as you have: are they too old to become a personal trainer?
We are here to tell you exactly what we tell our students: that as long as you are motivated, healthy, and passionate about fitness, age should not be a consideration.
Research has consistently shown that personal training may not be a young man’s game, after all. In the UK, the latest research has placed the average age of personal trainers as thirty-eight, while the National Federation of Personal Trainers stated forty per-cent of their certified trainers were between the ages of forty-two and sixty.
We do, however, understand that entering into a new profession can be a daunting prospect regardless of how old you are. As such, here are some of the more frequent apprehensions, and advantages, of beginning your personal training career at a later stage.
I already have my own career.
This is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome in your journey towards becoming a personal trainer. More often than not, we are guilty of succumbing to the temptation of falling into a routine, feeling comfortable in a career that is not-quite right for us.
You're not alone. However, it is worth bearing in mind that many successful personal trainers started their working lives in other professions.
In terms of your career, you wouldn’t necessarily have to sacrifice your current job in order to complete the training to become a personal trainer. In fact, there are plenty of opportunities to gain your qualifications around your busy schedule.
Here at Origym, we offer a wide range of full time, part time and online courses, allowing you to train and learn around your already-existing timetable.
Perceived disadvantages of starting late
Okay, we admit it. Anxieties usually occur for a reason, and it can’t all be good news. One aspect we have noticed that worries our students about starting a personal training course later in life is the sheer volume of content that must be learned. And it’s true, if someone is paying you to be an expert with regard to their fitness, then they will expect a certain level of expertise. Expertise, by its very definition, requires knowledge and learning.
No academic course is easy, but here at Origym we endeavour to offer you the best advice and support throughout your education. This is reflected in our consistently high first-time pass rates, and in the excellent feedback we receive from our past students.
While you shouldn’t come into a personal training qualification believing it will be easy, you can be safe in the knowledge that, if you put the work in, we will be here to support throughout your course, and in the years that follow.
Asking yourself, "Am I too old to become a Personal Trainer" is the wrong approach.
It is like somebody asking themselves if they're too old to gain a university qualification. Campuses are made up of students of all ages, young and old, and your PT qualification is just the same.
Is there a demand for older personal trainers?
In short, yes!
There is absolutely the demand for older personal trainers, and this is due to a variety of different factors.
Most prominently is probably the fact that, over the last couple of decades, the UK has seen both an increase in average life expectancy for men and women, and a rise in the population of people within the “65 and over” age bracket. The Office for National Statistics cites that such population shifts are down to “improved healthcare and lifestyles, especially for those aged 65 years and over.”
What does this mean for personal trainers?
Simply, that more and more people are seeking advice with regard to their health and wellbeing, which means more clients. Furthermore, in 2016, the fitness industry grew from a £6.6bn industry to a £7.7bn one.
This is further evidence that people are more than willing to pay for advice from fitness professionals.
So, if there are more people aged fifty and over than ever before, and we as a country are using fitness facilities more than ever before, it’s only logical that we should have more personal trainers within that age bracket to cater for the new demand.
There can be no substitute for experience
This is linked to our last point. It is certainly true that part of building your own successful personal training business is the ability to recruit and retain the services of your clients. Building a personal rapport with many different people, establishing loyalty, and ensuring that your reputation is nothing but positive are all as important as your expertise in the field.
Life experience really is invaluable.
It makes sense that clients are more likely to choose a personal trainer whom they believe understands their needs. Someone who can connect with them on a personal level. Given the increase in older clients using gyms and health centres over the past few years, your age will, if anything, act in your favour with this particular demographic.
Remember, choosing a personal trainer is also down to the preferences of the clients. You will find that there are as many people seeking out a trainer they feel comes across as knowledgeable and experienced, as people will look for youth.
With experience comes an added skillset
In this industry in particular, it can be easy to look at the youth and physique of a younger generation of personal trainers, and feel like the competition for clients is simply too fierce. However, such self-deprecation is unnecessary.
While younger personal trainers may have a perceived head start, what you are offering your clients is a wise head.
You will, more than likely, have first-hand experiences in terms of life events like pregnancies, surgeries, injuries, and a whole host of other factors that may affect one’s fitness. Remember, people rarely seek out a personal trainer for reasons of health and fitness alone. Your clients will have goals that they want to reach, which will result from their own personal circumstances. It does well for a personal trainer to remember that their clients have lives outside of the gym doors.
You must act as a friend, as well as a trainer.
Your job, as much as it is to provide your clients with expert coaching and advice, is to offer holistic advice with regard to affecting positive change in their lives. In this regard, your years and your experience ideally suit you to this role, perhaps more so than your younger counterparts.
Keep in mind that you will also have relatability on your side in terms of your target market. From our experience, a personal trainer’s main client base will be between the ages of thirty-four and fifty-four. Compared to, say, a newly trained twenty-two year old trainer, you may find that your proximity in age gives you the edge when it comes to networking and building your client list.
At this point we assume that you may be seriously pondering your original question: "Am I too old to become a personal trainer".
The resources available to you
In some instances, gyms and leisure centres will either hire personal trainers on a contract basis, or will rent out to you the use of their equipment. However, if you want to be fully independent in your new business venture, you may find yourself having to fund your own equipment and renting a space to place it all.
For your typical nineteen year old, this is not a viable option.
However, if you have the funds and connections to do this, you may find that you can quickly build a client base and the reputation of your business, using the resources accumulated from your previous career.
This is a huge step in making your personal training career a successful one, and puts you ahead of the game compared to your counterparts who are reliant upon larger organisations.
Still unconvinced? Here’s what some of our students over the age of fifty have to say…
Testimonial video: Graham Padden
Where do I start?
No longer will you need to ask: "Am I too old to become a Personal Trainer?"
As mentioned previously, there are a wide range of courses and diplomas which can get you started on the road to becoming a fully qualified personal trainer.
Here at Origym, we offer a range of flexible qualifications, ranging from Personal Trainer diplomas to Level 2-4 fitness qualifications. These can be taken in person, at one of our centres, or online, and can be completed, in some instances, in as little as four weeks.
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