Confessions of a Personal Trainer - Erin's Inside Job

Confessions of a Personal Trainer

When you decide to make a career out of fitness, many assumptions arise.

People assume that you exercise all day every day, you eat super healthy, and it’s never a struggle to stay on track. This post is to show that those people who work in fitness are just like everyone else. Here are some of my examples.

Some confessions of a personal trainer that help illustrate that not everything is fitness and we are just like everyone else!

Late showers

This was the one that gave me the idea for this post.

I try to be as efficient with my time as possible, and a lot of the time that means going right from one thing to another. Often I will fit in a workout and then head right to a training session. If it’s a busy day and I’m not able to get home, I just work until I’m able to take a shower. Sometimes this is an hour or two, and other times it’s half a day.

I hide when exercising (sometimes)

The problem about working out where you teach is that people know you’re an instructor. I may be projecting, but I feel like I need to be on the top of my game in order to represent some kind of magical teaching caliber. This is fine when I’ve gotten tons of sleep and am mentally (and physically) prepared to bring my A-game, but days when I teach two classes at 5 am and then work out can be rough.

If I’m not feeling 100%, I usually find a place to hide in the back so that I can take things at my own pace. Every day doesn’t have to be top tier.


Many people assume if you’re a personal trainer or work in fitness that you only eat vegetables, meal prep, and never have dessert. If you’ve seen my Instagram, you know that’s certainly not true. While I know what to eat and do a good job of it most of the time, I still have a good balance of things like cookies, donuts, and pizza.

Although I know balance is important, one of the reasons I’m doing the fitness challenge this month is to reign back some of my random stops in dessert town, Illinois. I’m still going to have them, I’m just going to be a little smarter about it.

I don’t have all the answers

Sometimes clients ask me questions I don’t know the answer to. There’s a lot of information in the fitness sphere, so rather than try and make up an answer to sound smart and possibly give them the wrong information, I just say that I’m going to check on it and get back to them.

There’s always room for learning in fitness. New information comes out all the time and it’s a disservice to yourself and your clients if you’re not staying on top of it.

I don’t work out 6 days a week

It would be cool to say that I work out almost every day of the week, but that’s just not the case. Realistically, I only work out about 3 or 4. More than that and my body feels like it doesn’t have quite as much time to recover.

Ninety-eight percent of the time I also don’t work out on vacation. Since I’m surrounded by it day in and day out, it’s nice to take a break once in awhile. My body agrees.

Recovery is not always a priority

I am the worst at recovery. Whenever a class ends, you can find me immediately running out the door and jumping over people as they slow down and stretch out. You also know that it will take the strength of 100 men to drag me to a yoga class. It’s not that I don’t think those things are important, I just can’t mentally force myself to do them.

I have every client warm up and cool down, but rarely make it a priority for myself. It’s not until I get injured that I pay attention to how I’ve been recovering (or not). It’s something I’d like to change, but not badly enough to actually do it yet.


  • Do you work in fitness? Do you have any other ones to add?
  • What misconceptions to people have about your career role?

13 comments on “Confessions of a Personal Trainer

  1. Hah, I love these! And they are all so true. I think for me, the biggest one is that people thing I only eat vegetables. The other day someone made a comment about how I wouldn’t approve of eating doughnuts. Girl please, bring on the doughnuts!!!!! 🙂
    Jen recently posted…Currently Loving: Early 2017My Profile

  2. i’m just transitioning into a career in fitness but just in my life, I’ve gotten the food one regularly. Why do people think that just because I generally eat pretty well that I’m going to pass on that homemade chocolate chip cookie? Uh, no, now step back from my cookie before someone gets hurt! haha

  3. Totally agreeing with this! Even though I don’t work as a personal trainer in a gym any more, I definitely can relate. As far as clients asking you ANYTHING — the smart thing to do is always to go research and get back to them. Love that! 🙂 It’s not an easy job, Erin, but somebody’s got to do it!! Keep up the good work!
    Ashley @ A Lady Goes West recently posted…A busy gal’s shopping list for healthy items from Trader Joe’s to save timeMy Profile

  4. I was just talking about fitness and this topic with a trainer last night. It strikes us how as soon as you have a degree or are coined the term “trainer” people will blindly follow and think you have all the answers. I am the first to tell people I don’t have all of them and I love researching the answers when I don’t. I think being honest and true to others should be a priority as a trainer to your clients and this piece shows that!
    Erica @ FitnFabulous recently posted…Motivational Monday: Shaun ChambersMy Profile

  5. Honestly? All of these make you an even better trainer. Because they show that you’re relatable. A human being. I’d rather have a PT with a relaxed attitude like you than somebody who makes me feel bad for eating chocolate every day, not working out six or seven days a week and the likes. Life is about more than fitness.
    Miss Polkadot recently posted…Reflections + recent happeningsMy Profile

  6. This was such an interesting read!! I LOVE your Instagram because it truly shows that even though you’re a personal trainer, you still eat like a human (aka all of your amazing donut pictures). I know what you mean about hiding when you workout too, I don’t like to put myself on display that way. I too am always running from one thing to the next, so I hear ya on body recovery. Great post Erin! 🙂
    Marina @ A Dancer’s Live-It recently posted…Why You Should Practice Your Breathing (Seriously!)My Profile

  7. Love this post. So at work, I would always make a salad and bring it because I like to make my own lunch and be healthy, but that doesn’t mean dessert is off limits. However because people saw that I ate a salad everyday for lunch, when I would go out and buy a cupcake or grab 4 cookies (cookies are my weakness) off the leftover desserts tray from a meeting, I would get gasp faces like you eat that?! Despite the fact that I do yoga, I am not very good at having good warm ups or cool downs in my weight workouts. Yoga is my way of balancing that but I am trying to work on that as well.
    Alicia @Bridges Through Life recently posted…SuperBowl Monday In Melbourne: MIMM#103My Profile

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