How To Avoid Personal Trainer Burnout

January 29, 2018   ·  Trainers Journey

Being a personal trainer can take a lot out of you. If you aren't careful, it'll become a time-suck that has you seemingly living in the gym. 

As trainers, we usually have to deal with split shifts and other scheduling nightmares. I sure did, and to be quite honest I wasn’t expecting it. Prior to getting my certification, I was amped up. I was going to get to do what I enjoyed doing most. I loved working out. So I figured I could share some of that passion with potential clients and off I went. 

I went for my certification and after receiving it, I was stoked. I got a job at the local gym and immediately started picking up clients. My 5am - 10am filled up fast. Everything was alright in the world as I started filling up my 5pm-10pm time slots too. 

I’d workout after my last morning session ended at around 10:15am and I’d usually workout from 10:15a - 11:30a. After lunch and after taking care of some errands involved with the job like scheduling sessions and trying to pick up new clients it was just about 4pm and I’d be getting ready to start the 5pm - 10pm training sessions. 

For anyone keeping count, starting work at 5am and then ending it at 10pm that’s 17 hours. Queue personal trainer burnout.

caricature of personal trainer on fire, signaling burnout.


I plowed through this schedule for maybe a year. Sadly, I actually can’t remember how long I did this for. Mornings quickly turned to nights and nights into mornings. It seemed like the weeks and months were just blowing by and days were blurring together.   

I can’t recount many memories I had in that timeframe because of this schedule. It’s hard to keep up with it and act like you still love it. I needed to find a way out of this vicious time suck. I had to end the feeling of burnout and figure out a way to regain control of things.

I wanted some freedom from the corner I backed myself into. I wanted to be able to take a damn vacation once in a while without feeling like I'd lose out on pay because I wasn't sticking to my schedule like a good boy.

To do this I had to ask myself a couple of questions:

  1. How can I regain control of my time? 
  2. What lifestyle do I want to have 5 years from now?

#1 - How Can I Regain Control of My Time? 

I knew If i wanted to stick with personal training for a long time and make a good living doing it, I’d need to be more in control of where I make my money from. I couldn’t rely on the local gyms in the area any more. 

The client pool is too small and I had to cut out the middle man. The gym was taking a very large cut of the money I should have been earning. (66% to be exact, ugh.)

On top of that I wanted my time back! I couldn’t take a vacation or too many days off because then I wouldn’t get paid. Personal trainers all over know exactly what i’m talking about and this is hands down one of the biggest downsides to trying a career in personal training. 

You seem to always be on call, if a client can't train tomorrow morning you have to figure out a spot in your schedule for them to fit in this week if you intend to get paid for it.

Which led me to question #2...

#2 - What lifestyle do I want to have 5 years from now

If you’re a personal trainer and you take just 1 thing from this article. It should be this: 

STOP! and think about what you want your life to be like 5 years from now. Is it really just jumping session to session with a different group of clients. While molding your scheduling around their needs all the time. Living in fear when your mind conjures up the thought of a vacation? 

I stopped and thought about it and the first thing that popped in my head was:

"Hell no"

I wanted to be more in control of my life. Actually, it wasn’t that I wanted to take a few weeks off each year like everyone else. I wanted complete freedom to do as I please, where and when I wanted. While still working with clients. 

Oh and as far as the clients go, I wanted to be able to choose whether or not I wanted to work with 4 clients or 400.

How's that sound? Pretty damn good right?

Enter Online Personal Training

The only thing I could think of that would allow me to both control my time and have the ideal lifestyle I wanted was to take my business online. 

There were immediate upsides to this and almost no downsides. 

I could start to transition my current clients to online training and I would be back in control of the revenue I was bringing in, cutting out the gym as the middle man. This immediately doubled my income almost overnight. 

The amount of clients I could work with went from the few who actually wanted personal training in the local gyms of my area. To basically anyone in the world with a pulse who wanted and could afford personal training. 

This was it! With online personal training I'd be able to:

  • Regain control of my time. 
  • Have the ability to earn an unlimited amount of income depending on what my goal was
  • Have location independence if I wanted it.
  • Train clients while I was on a vacation without having to worry about being in-person.

The key to avoiding burnout is online personal training.

In summary

I'd like you to think about this for a second... 

Isn’t the exact goal of what you do day in and day out to live a better and more fit lifestyle?

How can you do that slogging away week in and week out while running through sessions as time blurs past you and you don’t seem to have a grip on things? 

Personal trainers could use some more freedom in their lives. Online personal training grants that to you. Do yourself a favor and seriously consider how you want your career in personal training to play out. You can achieve any lifestyle you want with personal training, so why suffer through the potential of a burnout? 

I got burnt out and it sucked. Thank you online personal training.

I hope this post has helped you do some reflection on what matters most and got you thinking of the possibility and potential of online personal training. 

Join in the discussion in the comments section below if you’d like to ask a question or share your thoughts with us. If you aren't sure how to get started with online personal training you can email me personally here.

Until next time!

Join The Discussion!


Sign Up For ThunderFit

and get started with a free trial for your business.

Sign Up Now