Updated: Aug 10, 2019
I remember and will never forget when I passed my PT exams, really proud and super excited to get going!
I wasn’t the sporty guy at school, although I tried, perceptions would’ve concluded otherwise. So when word got out that a decade later, Seb Ferrari from school is a PT, there was an element of disbelief!
I gained my first client from an old school friend. The client was a recreational hockey player that was looking for some conditioning to improve her performance.
Sessions were conducted on Clapham common, I lived in Lewisham, travelling 2 hours for a 1 hour session wasn’t ideal and far from business savvy! I also had my full time job co-owning a motorsport team based in Basildon, Essex. So the commutes were real! Stress of traffic and occasionally trying to rip the steering wheel off to throw it out the window.
I came to the decision that personal training was a career I wanted to pursue. Therefore I started to make the necessary steps. I explored the typical options;
Employed Personal Trainer for ‘XYZ’ Gym;
This involved an initial application online followed by a telephone call. After the call I was invited into said gym for a day of ‘assessment’ and interviews. The interview lasted around 30mins in the café area. I was then asked to conduct between 1-2 hours of ‘ground work’. I’d be occasionally watched on my performance on how well I tidied up, wiped down the equipment and how I interacted with the members.
I then had a follow up straight after, where I was asked for feedback. I was thrilled to have then received a phone call the next day offering me the job. It was a reasonable monthly base salary which would increase based on the amount of hours I’d conduct with clients.
I couldn’t help but feel used from the second I walked in however. The initial interview felt rushed, the groundwork was more like free labour and unless they were hiding, the ‘assessing’ was non-existent. Instead, it felt as if they were helping me, preaching from their big brand expecting trainers to drop to their knees begging for work!
I couldn’t help but feel that this was a small insight to how life would’ve been if I took the job.
I’d been told I would have to conduct 30 hours a week on the gym floor, at this time I cannot train clients. I could then train clients on top of this. However, my gym floor rota was more important than client needs. Furthermore they’d be paying me circa £10 per PT session I conduct, despite charging £50 to the client.
This seemed floored and although I almost fell for it, a friend of mine warned me how brutal and demoralising it can be.
Hours for Space;
Another very typical model is the free labour for free space. I also explored this option, had similar interviews with these gyms.
It didn’t bode well that I was being asked to work prime hours, when potential clients would need me. Furthermore it became evident there was a huge amount of PTs per gym. Creating a hug amount of competition.
This is the option I chose, pay monthly and get on with it. An option I was happy with until the truth came to light. Seems simple, pay rent, use our space. However, you must abide by their rules, wear their branding, use their marketing material, only train members as any externals you introduce must become a member first.
I spent three years under this method, received one referral in that time, all others were achieved through my own efforts.
It wasn’t long until the cracks started to show. The lack of support and care was disappointing. The feedback we’d give fell on empty ears and any advise we seeked was usually passed onto another person until lost in the pipeline.
It became very clear very quickly we were numbers. Provided we’re paying our monthly rent, we were seen as fine. When in reality we were battling with non paying PT’s undercutting us and taking our work. We’d be having to put in extra hours wandering around in the hope somebody would talk to you. Even then, the chances that they will convert are very slim. (when working in a budget gym)
Things had to change;
It was at this point I packed up and walked out. Proudly opened a small studio under an estate agent on the high street, I was able to build my own business and advertise how I felt fit. My clientele grew, client retention improved and my own job satisfaction went through the roof!
Before I knew it I had a fellow PT using the space while I wasn’t. Soon enough Michael and I put our heads together and came up with FitStudioZ.
FitStudioZ is born! Opening our seven booth location in Greenwich with our primary goal, giving personal trainers what they deserve.
Not only do we provide a private space that the tainers call their own, but we also provide incomparable support to all our PTs. From client relations to business acumen. If you’re not busy, we’re not busy.
FitStudioZ boasts a forever growing community of trainers that can relate on both a social and professional element.
FitStudioZ is out there to make the industry PT fair and we couldn’t be more proud of all the successful PTs that conduct their business with us!