What Is the Daily Life of a Personal Trainer Like? | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

What Is the Daily Life of a Personal Trainer Like?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • A personal trainer spends most of their day in motion.
  • A dedicated personal trainer accommodates their client’s work schedule.
  • Although successful personal trainers work a lot, they also know they need to have a positive work-life balance.

Have you ever wondered what a personal trainer does on an average day? Some personal trainers like to keep things laid back and only work in the local gym, but for the majority of trainers who own their own business, they are constantly on the move. In fact, their daily schedule may surprise some that are looking to enter the field!

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Waking Up While It’s Dark

Do you wake up early for your 7 a.m. training session? For a trainer to arrive on time, they have to wake up even earlier! They have to commute to your home (for an in-house session) or to the gym to be there before you arrive. They are up and out of bed before your alarm even goes off.


Although it’s possible for a personal trainer to earn a steady paycheck by working at the local gym, the real money comes from in-home training sessions. And to give clients the personalized attention they deserve, these sessions require a lot of commuting.

Whether trainers are catching a train, taking a bus, or maneuvering in and out of traffic, they are always on the move. Furthermore, if they work in more than one gym, they have to commute from one facility to another to get to their clients.

Brown-Bag Lunch

Most people get to eat lunch in a restaurant, break room, or outside when the weather permits. Personal trainers, on the other hand, usually eat on the go.

Since most trainers follow a healthy diet, that means that they bring lunch to work every day.

Meals typically include whole grains, veggies, healthy fats, and plenty of protein. And although it can be tough, it’s all part of staying in shape and setting a good example for their clients.

Break Time

If a personal trainer doesn’t work at a gym or another type of healthcare facility, they usually fill their time with as many clients as possible, and although this schedule is what most independent trainers want, they also need time to catch their breath!

Most trainers only take a break if a client cancels or if they are commuting from client to another. Even if they do take a break, successful personal trainers fill that time by filling out invoices, marketing for new clients, and creating new exercise plans.

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Squeaky Clean

A lot of trainers work out with their clients (especially HIIT workouts) to keep them motivated. Since they don’t want to head to their next session sweaty, they usually hit the showers and change their clothes. Keep in mind that this sometimes happens more than once a day.

Do Trainers Have Social Lives?

While office workers may meet up with friends for Taco Tuesday, trainers are usually meeting with their last client of the day. If they train clients who work late, social outings are put on the back-burner. Personal trainers make themselves available for their clients, so even when a typical workday is over, a trainer may keep going into the late evening.

When Do Trainers Exercise?

Personal trainers perform exercises all day, so why would they need to exercise on their own? As a successful personal trainer, it’s difficult to find time to work out. While some trainers get up early, others stay up late to accommodate their clients’ schedules. And when you factor in the time it takes to commute, design workout regimens, and generate new business, it can be tough for trainers to carve out time for themselves.

The Role of a Personal Trainer

A personal training career is often much more than a means to an end. Sure, they teach clients the right way to squat, plank, and lift, but they are also there for their clients on an emotional level. An experienced personal trainer knows that the psychological aspect of getting fit is as important as physically reaching one’s fitness goals.

To truly connect with their clients, trainers have to do more than just train. They need to understand basic elements of psychology to help their clients reach their goals.

Many clients turn to their trainers as a source of motivation and encouragement. Trainers become a part of a client’s life, which means they know when their clients are happy, sad, or just feel like giving up. Personal trainers not only train clients, but they also act as sounding boards when clients are frustrated, friends when clients need encouragement, and even offer a shoulder to cry on when clients need support.

Being a personal trainer requires dedication, sacrifice, and a lot of hard work! And although the lifestyle isn’t for everyone, most of them wouldn’t have it any other way.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What certification do most personal trainers have?

Most personal trainers are certified through ACE or NASM.

Can a personal trainer have a certification and be a bad trainer?

Yes; just as a doctor can have a medical degree and still be a “bad” doctor, having a personal training certification does not mean that the trainer is an effective one.

How long does becoming a certified personal trainer take?

It depends on the certification. Some only require a few days or weeks of studying; others require months of study and other pre-requisites like a college degree.

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