So everyone wants to be an Exercise Physiologist or a Strength and Conditioning Coach…

My client of 19 years! Personal Training is about either getting results and/or forming lasting relationships and helping get the very best out of your clients!

As the Managing Director of the only Personal Training company in Victoria that exclusively employs University degree qualified trainers I am finding it increasingly difficult to find potential staff with the same passion and desire to be a career Personal Trainer.

It has become ever-apparent that Universities have steered current Sport and Exercise Science University degree undergraduates towards Exercise Physiology and Strength and Conditioning as the best options for their future career paths.

Please don’t get me wrong, these are both great avenues for personal development, job satisfaction and a potentially lucrative career, but guess what? You are now competing with hundreds and hundreds of like-minded individuals competing for the same jobs that you want and you may very much be missing out on one of the most rewarding, flexible, diversified and lucrative job opportunities that ties in elements of both of these into a role as a Personal Trainer with my amazing team at Just In Time Personal Training.

You see, Personal Training has been given a very, very bad name. I have been a Personal Trainer for 20 years and in that time, seen it bastardised from what it should be to a free-for-all that anyone can pass a 6 week to a 12 month “casual” Personal Training Certificate 3 and 4 course (with much if not all of it done online) and come out the other side “allegedly” fully qualified, no brand name, no uniform, no direction and often aligning with crap MLM’s such as Herbalife, Isagenix, Juice Plus, Kyani, Healthpointe 2.0, etc… As I see it, if you cannot make a living on your skills as a Personal Trainer, why not align with a MLM, rely on your trust from what few clients you have and then push to them a questionable product with marked up prices just so that you can make a living. Sad really.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have my amazing team. All University degree qualified, a passion for helping people be their best and a selfless approach to education and empowerment to help your client get to where they want to be. No bootcamps, no mass classes to rake the dollars in without an intimate focus on your clients every move they make. Just pure Personal Training in its absolute best practice. Put in the hard yards, make a name for yourself and you are then set to go on and conquer the world (if of course you don’t stay for good).

The fitness industry has a lot to answer for. Maximum profit with as little one-on-one care and focus on individuals. Some examples of this include:

  • Direct-debit – makes it hard for members to get out of their contracts without paying for another month they don’t want.
  • Massive class-sizes and all designed to attract as many numbers as possible with little one-on-one attention.
  • Certificate 3 and 4 courses attract masses to do their courses but statistics show that less than one in every ten that complete a course end up in the fitness industry after 12 months – this is a disgrace!
  • Gyms don’t employ Personal Trainers very much anymore, instead electing to have them on as contractors yet forcing them to wear the said gyms uniform? How is this fair? They ‘pretend’ they are employees (Snap, Goodlife, Jetts, Anytime) but they are not covered by insurance if a claim is made against the trainer nor are they paid super.
  • Gyms insist on rent paid by any Personal Trainer working for them. Any trainer must sign up for a period of time and commit to paying rent which is usually way too high and ends up being a great income source for the gym. If the trainer succeeds, the gym is paid well. If the trainer fails, the gym is still guaranteed an income from the trainer for the contract period. All the while the gym member is paying a membership and then Personal Training fees as well. What a great double-dip!
  • The fitness industry is largely unregulated and some of the injuries sustained from poorly educated and trained trainers that I see and hear of is a disgrace.

Meanwhile back to the Exercise Physiology and Strength and Conditioning career paths. What most youngsters coming out of University do is focus on the now and not for the future. Most people dismiss the notion of the future need to support a family and if female the need to have children and have at the very least 9-12 months off work.

These are very real considerations that I feel should be made when looking at where you want your career to head. I have two really good examples that I would like you to consider if you are a budding Exercise Physiologist or Strength and Conditioning coach:

1) I have a guy at present that if I could give him a step straight into 40 hours a week job, he’d be here in a heartbeat. Why? He works as a S & C coach for an A Grade Footy club in amongst a full-time job that basically sees him working from 6-10am 6 days a week and then in the afternoons from 4-10pm, 5 days a week. He has a wife and a soon-to-be first child and realises his working life is all over the shop. Ripper bloke with great education, knowledge and passion but surely won’t last like this for too much longer…

2) I recently lost a fantastic employee of mine to her ideal career of being an Exercise Physiologist which I commend her for following her passion. She came to me with that as her ideal career path, completed her Master’s whilst working with my team. She applied for over 30 Exercise Physiologist roles in Melbourne and didn’t get a look in. In the end she has landed a great job as an EP but just yesterday took off to Coffs Harbour for the role. I attach below her testimonial from her time working with me – she is a gem!

As a Strength and Conditioning Coach, it must be noted that the job security is not good. You may get 1-3 years at an elite club and then as soon as the Senior Coach is ousted (which happens rather regularly), the new coach will likely bring in their former S & C coach and/or you are competing against so many for these plum roles. What makes you stand out? Why do you deserve the role over your competitors? Do you bring with you a unique value proposition?

As you may see from my article there is a lot to consider but I urge you to not give up on Personal Training at the top end. It is easily the best and most rewarding thing that I have ever done and I have had the honour of employing some amazing young Australians and helped mould and shape them to not only be the best Personal Trainer they can be but also to be the best person they can be, all the while leading them to run their own business and to reach for the sky with their dreams and ambitions.

I urge you to keep your options open, look at the bigger picture and if nothing else please feel free to keep us in mind. I assure you that it will be a great stepping stone for your future and you’ll have a lot of fun too.

Check out our website and please keep an eye on our careers page for future employment opportunities and always strive to be your best!

Best wishes in your career in the health, fitness and sporting domain.

Justin Moran

Managing Director and Personal Trainer

Just In Time Personal Training


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