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  1. #1
    Registered User phuture's Avatar
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    Starting a career as a PT at age 45. is it viable?

    Cliffs:

    - Been lifting for 5 years and really love it.
    - Career in the music biz is now impossible to earn a living.
    - How is the job market for PT's?


    Any other middle-aged people transition to a career as a PT? I am thinking of getting the NASM cert. Just curious what salary I could earn starting out. I realize that it takes a while to build a client base, but I need to make enough to live off of.

    Opinions?
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  2. #2
    Registered User ThaiFighter_83's Avatar
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    I have a Bachelor's in Kinesiology and a CSCS from the NSCA...worked at LA Fitness for 5 years, and made no money, got almost no clients. Always needed a second job. Couldn't get hired at any other gym, because I could not sell. I couldn't sell my soul to the devil, no matter how passionate I was (and still am) about training. LA Fitness started demanding quotas, and I lost my job because I could not keep up. Now I have 2 part time jobs in fast food/retail/transportation, and I make more money than I ever did using my education in fitness/health.

    Loving to work out is one thing. Selling is something else entirely.
    email: thaifighter83@yahoo.com
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  3. #3
    Registered User ChessGuy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by phuture View Post
    Cliffs:

    - Been lifting for 5 years and really love it.
    - Career in the music biz is now impossible to earn a living.
    - How is the job market for PT's?

    Any other middle-aged people transition to a career as a PT? I am thinking of getting the NASM cert. Just curious what salary I could earn starting out. I realize that it takes a while to build a client base, but I need to make enough to live off of.

    Opinions?
    I think 45 is very doable. expect to make $8-$10/hr starting out.

    I've done a lot of research myself. I'm taking the NASM on the 18th. Slightly older than you at 61. However, I've been in hard core sales before and was successful. For example, I used to sell the encyclopaedia Britannica door to door.

    From what I've seen, your ability to market yourself is the most important factor in your success. That's where I think I have a huge advantage over the kids who will be my competition.
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  4. #4
    Registered User ChessGuy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ThaiFighter_83 View Post
    I have a Bachelor's in Kinesiology and a CSCS from the NSCA...worked at LA Fitness for 5 years, and made no money, got almost no clients. Always needed a second job. Couldn't get hired at any other gym, because I could not sell. I couldn't sell my soul to the devil, no matter how passionate I was (and still am) about training. LA Fitness started demanding quotas, and I lost my job because I could not keep up. Now I have 2 part time jobs in fast food/retail/transportation, and I make more money than I ever did using my education in fitness/health.

    Loving to work out is one thing. Selling is something else entirely.
    I am flabbergasted that, with your background, you weren't successful. Were other PT in your gym making good money, or was it terrible all around?
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  5. #5
    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    Your definition of successful is the ultimate answer to your question. Most PTs are lucky to make $15-30k/year. You also won't get benefits. To be frank, most people aren't good enough on the business end of things. Selling yourself isn't even enough. You need to understand income, expenses, maximizing income per hour, and constantly be thinking of new ways to evolve. The best business owners have vision. They see opportunities where other people completely miss it. Not everyone thinks in a business-oriented manner, just as not everyone is a great athlete.

    If I was 45 years old, I would probably look to other opportunities depending on what my previous career was. If PT was truly the best option, I would look for a smaller, private gym that mostly concerned itself with group classes and personal training. Working in commercial gyms is not going to get you anywhere, at last in the United States. I know some of the guys in AUS get paid considerably more than those of us the in US, especially for floor hours.
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  6. #6
    Registered User JohnSmeton's Avatar
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  7. #7
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    It's easier when you're older. Would you want to be told what to by a 19 year old? I started at 37, it's worked well.
    Elite coaching is about getting the last 5% out of a person's performance, personal training is about getting the first 50%.

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  8. #8
    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    It's easier when you're older. Would you want to be told what to by a 19 year old? I started at 37, it's worked well.
    If someone starts at 19 years old, they will deal with "ageism". However, by the time they are 37, they have 18 years of experience. That being said, I look quite young for my age. I've found that this is usually a problem for ~5 minutes until I can show people that I know what I'm talking about, and that I care.

    I won't try to attempt to make this thread an age argument, but every country is different. I've seen your posts about wages in AUS and suffice to say that if the OP is from the US, he will never see half of what you make for floor hours. You also have to consider whether or not the OP is expected to bring in the bulk of the income for his family.
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  9. #9
    Registered User MARCMANtheDUDE's Avatar
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    I started 30 days ago and I am 42 and have no degrees and landed 30$ an hour with no selling needed at all on my part and soon to be full time from the looks of it. BUT i am not in a gym - I am in a private studio and the owner has had the same staff for 4 years; they do not want to leave because they are well paid and well treated. i will soon ask for 35$ and hour. Not tons i know, but i hope to learn lots about business and to open my own studio one day
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  10. #10
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SFT View Post
    If someone starts at 19 years old, they will deal with "ageism". However, by the time they are 37, they have 18 years of experience.
    Absolutely. But will that make it that far? At most one in twenty makes it out of their course and into a year of training people, a few years later few of them are still around. It's harder if you're younger, easier if you're older.

    I've seen your posts about wages in AUS and suffice to say that if the OP is from the US, he will never see half of what you make for floor hours. You also have to consider whether or not the OP is expected to bring in the bulk of the income for his family.
    Sure. This is why I didn't comment about the financial aspects of it. I just talked about the issue of age. Whatever the wages, a younger trainer will have a very hard time, at least at first; an older trainer will have an easier time.

    That established, the person planning to be a trainer should definitely consider the wages in the region they want to work.
    Elite coaching is about getting the last 5% out of a person's performance, personal training is about getting the first 50%.

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  11. #11
    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    Absolutely. But will that make it that far? At most one in twenty makes it out of their course and into a year of training people, a few years later few of them are still around. It's harder if you're younger, easier if you're older.


    Sure. This is why I didn't comment about the financial aspects of it. I just talked about the issue of age. Whatever the wages, a younger trainer will have a very hard time, at least at first; an older trainer will have an easier time.

    That established, the person planning to be a trainer should definitely consider the wages in the region they want to work.
    Perhaps we are in agreement more than not. Most trainers will fail regardless of age. I think that a 19 year old will have a harder time relating to the mid 40-50s clients that they will most likely be training. That being said, it depends on your personality. The prejudice against younger trainers is generally short-lived, if you are good. On the other hand, any favors done to you by your age can be quickly undone by inexperience or a lack of professionalism.

    I started training adults around 22 years old. Before that, I had 2 years of practice training kids. Even at 22, which most people would say is young, I didn't seem to have any problems working with people from 7-65 years old. I'm not trying to make this a personal thing, but I wouldn't want young trainers being deterred, or older trainers thinking that their age will benefit them significantly. I think what we are really talking about here is the wisdom and other benefits that come with age. Some people actually pick this up at a young age and some people still don't have it at an old age.
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    Originally Posted by phuture View Post
    Cliffs:

    - Been lifting for 5 years and really love it.
    - Career in the music biz is now impossible to earn a living.
    - How is the job market for PT's?


    Any other middle-aged people transition to a career as a PT? I am thinking of getting the NASM cert. Just curious what salary I could earn starting out. I realize that it takes a while to build a client base, but I need to make enough to live off of.

    Opinions?
    It will always be on your mind until you try it. It always starts out bumpy and you'll get tons of different pieces of advice but if you are good at business, know a few people who will stick with you for a while as clients and you can get into a gym that will support you and not use you, then you should go for it.
    Bodybuilding is an individual sport, so don't thrive to look like somebody else.
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  13. #13
    Registered User phuture's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the comments. I can see that this will not be easy, since it will most likely involve sales quotas. I still may go for the cert, because knowledge is good.

    Do you guys recommend going through the official NASM site? They let you make monthly payments.
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