I'm sure most people sit at home and think "Man, personal trainers and strength coaches have a great life". We sure do, given what a glamorous profession we work in.
Well, being a trainer or a coach does come with some pretty significant lifestyle changes. Living outside the normal 9-5 takes a lot of getting used to: we work when you don't.
Our hours are completely backwards from yours. Most trainers and coaches start training at 5 or 6 in the morning. This is so that we can get a few sessions in before everyone else has to go to work. The morning block of sessions usually goes from 5 or 6 until 11 or 12. The last few sessions of the morning are retiree's, moms or people who work from home.
The evening block of sessions usually goes from 4 until 8 or 9. This is the after-work crowd and these are usually the most popular spots. A trainer with a very packed schedule can pretty easily see 8-10 clients in a day.
What happens in the middle of the day? Those are our off hours. Thats actually when most trainers or coaches find the time to get their workout in. This is one of the big benefits; if your co-workers or friends who are trainers have the same time off in the middle of the day as you, it gives you the opportunity to train with some great partners. The Trainer Life schedule has given me and some friends the opportunity to get together on Friday afternoons to get in a great lifting session at CrossFit Resilience for the last couple of weeks.
Some trainers end up with other schedules and end up with days where you don't have to be at work till noon. These lucky bastards get to work late the night before and then actually get a full night of sleep. The difficult task is then finding ways to be productive the next morning rather than just sleeping the day away. Usually these people would run some errands and then catch a workout.
When you spend 8-10 hours a day being "on" with clients, it makes you really crave alone time. I think it's important for trainers and coaches to take the opportunity for some Me time; just a time to relax and be quiet and not talk to anyone.
The schedule is tough. It doesn't leave a lot of time for other things; definitely something to think about for anyone considering a career change into the fitness industry. If you love it like I love it, though, it's all worth it.
Have a great day, and go lift something heavy!