How To Stay Healthy As A Personal Trainer

The job of a personal trainer is to help others find and maintain health. You can find plenty of articles written on how hiring a trainer will help motivate and push you and exactly what is entailed when you pay someone else to help you with your fitness. What you won’t find as much of is information on how to stay healthy as a personal trainer.

If you are a trainer working for yourself or even in a gym setting, you know that training can mean early hours, late hours, and every hour in between. The most convenient times for someone to exercise are usually before and after their workday, which means that this is when your workday starts.

In the past year that I’ve been training, and especially as my client base has increased, I’ve tried to follow the following three ways to stay healthy as a personal trainer.

Your own health is just as important as your client's. Make sure you know how to stay healthy as a personal trainer!

1. Plan

You’re probably tired of me saying this in every post, but I can’t tell you how important planning is in my life. In addition to being a personal trainer and traveling to see clients, I also teach HIIT classes, write this blog, do some freelance writing, and just became Director of Social Media at my gym. Planning is life.

Since personal training can keep you out of the house for hours at a time, you have to look at your schedule beforehand and be prepared. Mornings when I have back to back clients I know I will get hungry, so I make sure to pack healthy snacks to tide me over until I can either get home for lunch or grab something healthy while I’m out. If I was really on the ball I would make sure to pack my lunch too, but a lot of the time I have lunch hours open and am able to get home and write/eat.

As annoying as it can be, meal prep is a huge lifesaver when you have a busy schedule. I also make sure to have extra snacks on hand for times when I am caught out later than expected. You don’t want to see me when I’m hungry.

In short:

  • Meal prep
  • Pack snacks
  • Bring a water bottle
  • Bring extra clothes if you work out and aren’t able to go home between clients

2. Schedule your workout

As important as fitness is to your clients, it’s just as important for you. Many people are under the misconception that trainers are able to work out all day, when in fact the opposite is usually true. Time with a client is their time and their workout. If you have a full day of clients, it can be hard to find time to fit your own workout in.

Treat your workout as an appointment, a meeting, or like you are your own client. It can be easy to skip over your own fitness in exchange for an hour spent earning money, but remember that it’s just as important for you mentally as well as physically to get your sweat on.

3. Make time for you

As I finished with in #2, the lure of money can be hard to turn down. It’s tempting to pick up that 7 pm client even though you’ve already started your day with one at 6 am. It may seem like a great idea at the beginning of your journey to say yes to as many clients as you can, but in doing so it won’t be long before you start to burn out.

It’s true that personal training doesn’t follow a conventional 9-5 schedule, but you have to find a balance between work and home life. Maybe it’s never scheduling a client one evening a week or maybe it’s about making sure that you always have time to eat lunch. However you manage your schedule, make time for you. If you don’t take care of yourself, it’s much harder to take care of anyone else.

Questions:

  • Trainers—how do you maintain your health and schedule?
  • How do you stay healthy on the road or during the workday?
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20 Comments

  1. March 8, 2016 / 5:12 am

    Great tips girl! I always wonder how and when personal trainers fit in their workouts. It definitely seems like it is less consistent as in you can’t always workout the same time everyday. You should do a day in the life sometime. I’m interested to see your schedule!
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…How You Can Help The Obesity EpidemicMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 8, 2016 / 4:45 pm

      That’s a great idea! I’ve added it to my list. It’ll prob make me reevaluate some of the things I’m doing so that will help me too!

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 8, 2016 / 4:45 pm

      Mos def girl

  2. March 8, 2016 / 8:36 am

    I am a 9-5er, but I still enjoy reading about you “others.” 😉 I always think my fitness instructors have the easiest, best life (they can work out anytime!), but you just reminded me that my assumption is probably very wrong! I can see how burnout would be common in the field – you put so much effort training others that it would be easy to neglect yourself.
    For my 9-5, I always take a 20-30 minute walk at lunch. It (+ my water bottle) keeps me sane and healthy!
    Catherine @ foodiecology recently posted…The breastfeeding and weaning post I was afraid to publishMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 8, 2016 / 4:46 pm

      It’s good that you can usually make your own schedule, but sometimes things can get so busy that it’s hard to find time for yourself! I love your lunch walks!

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 8, 2016 / 4:46 pm

      Totally. My life would fall apart if I didn’t plan

  3. March 8, 2016 / 9:54 am

    I tend to be a little more introverted than extrovert, so at the end of the day, I NEED NEED NEED me-time. As in, maybe not going out to happy hour or socializing with friends after work constantly, because that’ll just drain me right to burn-out!!
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Chocolate Protein Oat Bars {Guest Post}My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 8, 2016 / 4:48 pm

      Totally. There’s nothing I love more than hanging out on the couch in sweatpants at the end of the day

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 8, 2016 / 4:48 pm

      More power to you then! Sometimes I’m like I just need to sit down!

  4. March 8, 2016 / 11:48 am

    Such a great post! I think you hit the nail on the head, as a person who is supposed to inspire and motivate others to stay healthy and push themselves, it often gets put on the back burner. This is something I have been struggling with as a group fitness instructor. I put so much attention on classes and students that I let me own health be pushed off. Thanks for the great post- much needed!

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 8, 2016 / 4:49 pm

      Thanks Samantha! Yes, definitely make time for you! Your classes and your energy will be all the better for it!

  5. March 9, 2016 / 8:28 am

    This is a great post. I teach SO many classes, and people are always shocked when they find out I have to work out on TOP of that, but you have to. I know so many instructors and trainers that neglect their own workouts for others, and it REALLY starts to take a toll!
    Cheri @ Overactive Blogger recently posted…What I Buy at Whole FoodsMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 9, 2016 / 10:01 pm

      Thanks Cheri! I’d love to kill two birds w one stone and work out w my clients, but sadly I can not. It’s so important though!

  6. April 5, 2016 / 10:31 pm

    THank you for sharing this Erin! I love that you take time to be work on your own fitness as well as helping others. That’s a tremendous blessing.
    Emily recently posted…Building A Perfect Yogurt BowlMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      April 6, 2016 / 12:03 am

      Thanks Emily! It’s definitely rewarding. 🙂

  7. April 28, 2016 / 12:23 am

    Hi Erin, Yes planning is the key. I’m lucky enough to have a yoga studio in my condo so no excuses for me lol. Thanks for sharing!
    Kylie recently posted…Top 5 Best Treadmills Under $1,000My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      April 28, 2016 / 6:59 pm

      That’s super convenient! Hope you get lots of use out of it!

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