Why I Love Being a Personal Trainer

Why I Love Being a Personal Trainer

I celebrated my three year anniversary of becoming a certified Personal Trainer just last month! I can definitely say I’ve met some pretty amazing people, attended various conferences and workshops, and helped make a difference in people’s lives by helping them reach their fitness goals. This is just the beginning as to why I love my job!

I majored in Exercise Science from the University of Tampa this past May and I decided to become a personal trainer my sophomore year of college. With my love of running, getting fit, and my newly declared major, I figured it was a good idea. It would also give me the opportunity to work at school in our gym as a way to get experience and make some extra money. I talked to a few people about different certifications and ways to go about it, and I finally took the plunge and bought a package full study materials from the American Council on Exercise (ACE). I studied throughout the fall among my college classes (nuts I know) each week devoting Fridays, a day I had no class, as the day I would study for personal training. I would get up early and it would literally take most of my Friday to read the chapter, do the workbook pages for it, create/look over flashcards, watch the videos online, AND take the d@mn quiz. That was one lesson. Each week without fail, I got through the materials in about three months. I studied throughout Christmas break and on our family ski trip. I planned to take the exam at home before heading back for the spring semester…specifically on January 18th! After about four hours, I PASSED! I was so happy! The past three months of studying was worth it.

The past three years of training have been so rewarding, I’m so happy I decided to become a trainer. The studying and the test itself was tough, but besides that, it has taught me how to deal with people (both good and bad), stand up for myself, and challenge myself in the fitness world. Personal training is great because its a pretty flexible job and you are constantly on the go. Helping people get fit is fun, allows for creativity when creating workouts and plans, and is a hands-on application of knowledge. Working with a variety of people of different abilities and goals makes each client a new and exciting challenge. After college, I specifically chose to focus on in-home training, running based/interested, weight-loss, women, overall achieving a healthy lifestyle-type based clients. I also expanded my services to FaceTime. It wasn’t overnight, but the clients that were interested in my services also helped make my marketing. I gathered similar interests and goals from them as well as added my focuses, experience, and personality while creating my own niche. Everything is what YOU want, you are your own boss, another favorite part of my job. Becoming the trainer you want to become is all up to you!

Although I love what I do, it has its drawbacks like any other job. I can say first-hand that it is not always financially stable. Clients come and go as they want, availability changes, life happens, and sometimes that means a loss of a client of change of plans entirely. With  that comes less money or drop in compensation altogether. You work for your client and their needs, goals, availability, etc. (within reason) which in some cases means early mornings or late nights. Marketing takes time. Clients do not just come knocking on your door. YOU have to get them to knock. This is why I loved working at school as a trainer because people already knew me as, Ali: the sorority sister, friend, classmate, etc. and now personal trainer. Post college was tough. As a way to boost my business, I created this blog/website, my like page on Facebook: Ali Swank- Public Figure, and became an ambassador for a few fitness based companies such as Fit2Run-International Plaza, Momentum Jewelry, and Fitfluential. I established myself as blogger through Tampa Bay Bloggers, with my blog focusing particularly in running, but with an overall focus on living a healthy active lifestyle.

Throughout all the good and not-so-good experiences as a trainer, I can say I LOVE my job and am excited to continue this career throughout my life. I would say it definitely aligns with my vision of staying healthy, helping others get fit, and learning exercise isn’t boring, all while creating a positive experience. Side perks include working your own schedule…aka #girlboss, wearing workout clothes as part of everyday work…yes, I mean wearing yoga pants and nikes is perfectly okay ;), and helping others get fit and have fun! In a nutshell, this is my job…CHEERS to a new year of clients and experiences as working in one of the coolest industries–health and fitness!

How To Be *SMART* About Your New Year Resolutions

How To Be *SMART* About Your New Year Resolutions

2016 is right around the corner! How crazy is that?? That means new years resolutions are on the mind too. Did you know the most popular resolution is “to live a healthy lifestyle”–no surprise I’m sure. If you’re falling into the same resolution year after year and not keeping it, you may need to look deeper into WHY it isn’t working. I always like to say its a commitment between your body and your mind. If the two aren’t working together it only goes so far, and you go only half way. Make this year different! It may take a little more thought, but if you really do want to make a change, it IS worth it. Be one of the people that can say you DID achieve a healthy lifestyle this time next year. Instead of listing expectations for yourself, be SMART about it. 😉 Use SMART goals to kick your resolutions the right way!

S– Specific; make your goal meaningful and specific–not vague and “open.” If you want to take up running, instead of saying “run everyday”say, “run three days at 8am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday before I go to work.”

M– Measurable; make your goal measurable to see progress and improvement. It no fun if you go through the motions without seeing progress–the whole reason behind your resolution, right?! Instead of saying “I want to run for thirty minutes everyday” say, “I want to start with running without stopping for 10 minutes for the month of January and continually add three to five minutes each time for the first two weeks in February.” You’ll see a difference in ability have kept a consistent measure of time.

A/R Attainable & Realistic; this is interchangeable with realistic, but make sure this goal is something you know you can do and is possible to achieve! Kinda silly I know, but we can all get caught up in the goal and then forget it really isn’t feasible like we chalked it up to be. Do a reality check on yourself and look at it hard making sure you can make it happen. Don’t forget it IS good to push yourself!

T– Time Frame; Putting a timeline on your goal gives you something to look forward to and work towards. Instead of saying “I want to run the Thanksgiving turkey trot next year” say, “I want to be able to run/complete the Thanksgiving turkey trot 5k without stopping by Thanksgiving next year or *insert whatever day the 5k is”

Happy New Year and GOOD LUCK–Make it happen!!!