• Steven Gardner

So You Want to be a Strength Coach?

The following is an example of a standard conversation i've had at least once a week since I opened the gym:

"Hey, you have your own gym right?"

"Yep, sure did!"

"I've been thinking about becoming a trainer. What certification do i need to get?"

"...Depends on where you want to work...I don't have any certs"

Usually after i disclose my lack of "certifications" there is a complete disconnect for the remainder of the conversation. Have I ever been certified in something? Yes, of course I have. But here's the deal that I want everyone to understand; There is NOT a governing body for fitness coaches. Yep, that's right, if you want to be a trainer you can do so out of your garage with absolutely no inkling of a clue of what you're talking about. Hell, throw up a tik tok of you doing some goofy ab exercise with a plant behind you and fancy EDM music and call it marketing. YOU LITERALLY NEED NOTHING. ZIP. ZILCH. NADA.

The modern society of "you have to go to college to be successful" has us all under the illusion that the only way to do anything is to pay somebody to teach us. Usually we finish the schooling only to find out we know absolutely nothing more than we did before paying the $1500 and nobody will hire you anyways without credible client testimonies. Plot twist, you end up paying the owner of the training group or gym around 80%, another 10% to overhead, and pocket 10%. Even worse, the folks who are driving the lambo's on instagram as "trainers" didnt make that money training people but instead selling YOU a $1500 course on how to train people.

Luckily my finances do not rely on selling you a program on how to train people so i will actually give you the low down on how to get started. Please understand that training people is 90% mental and 10% physical. You will be every single clients psychiatrist and psychologist. They are not unhappy solely for their body weight and usually the root cause of their physical state is much deeper than the superficial. If you CAN NOT navigate excuses on a daily basis, find a different career. If you enjoy helping people and find yourself doing it already for free regardless of the atmosphere (example, taking people during your lunch break for a walk and chatting about strategies to eat better) then welcome. Continue to the next step.

Determine if you want to work for someone or a specific facility and figure out what they require. Usually facilities carry specific insurance based on their certifications and may require something specific (example, TRX certifications or kettlebell level one). If the answer is you want to work for yourself, start in your garage or at the clients house. TRUST ME, the less overhead you have the better it'll be. Settle in for the ride, what you arent paying somebody else in overhead you will be using to purchase equipment. You may do what i did and not pay yourself a dime for 2 years. THAT'S OK. You could be like all your friends paying 30k a year for an english degree for 4 years. Buy good solid equipment. Usually people are hiring you because they are tired of their current digs. This is where brand creation starts.

DONT LISTEN TO THE MARKETING GURU'S. Im serious, they are selling you their marketing workshop or their services. Once again, as trainers they werent making enough so they are selling you something based on your "pain point" that they KNOW from experience that you are facing. You do need to be findable online in some way, but you will gain real clients based on the results of your current clients. I used to beat myself up terribly about my marketing only to consistently grow without any money in facebook ads or pushed email threads. Unless you want to be a salesman making a monthly quota, grow slow and steady.

Id get into the LLC process and accounting stuff, but ill save that for a future post. If anybody has any questions feel free to reach out. I promise, im not selling you anything unless you need workout programming.


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