Fitness Professional Online

You’ve heard the classic story: He started in the mailroom and now he’s running the company! Personal training is no different than any other business – you must start from the bottom and work your way up. As far as I see it, a career in personal training should follow this timeline:

Late Teens and Twenties

This is the time to pay your dues by working for others. It is an opportunity to build up clientele, experience, and capital. Physically you will peak, but you have a lot to learn. Education is extremely important during this period. As I’ve said in the past, “the more you learn, the more you earn!”

Take-home message: Crawl before you run!

Thirties and Forties

This is the time to make your greatest mark in personal training by starting your own business. Work on multiple revenue streams by producing articles, books, CDs, DVDs, webinars, and so on. At this point, you have a nice blend of knowledge and experience. You are in good shape physically, and other trainers will want to emulate you and your success. Take advantage of that – in addition to training and educating clients, start training and educating trainers.

Take-home message: Stop consuming and start producing!

Fifties and Beyond

You will assume more of an administrative role during this stage of your career by opening a facility and having trainers work for you. You may continue to train a few select clients to stay active in the field; however, most of your work will involve consulting, writing, and lecturing.

Take-home message: Stay in the driver’s seat but time to shift gears!

Of course, if you started personal training later in life, then simply adjust the scale accordingly. If you follow the natural progression provided above, success is sure to follow you!

Note: John Paul has just released his new webinar, The Business of Personal Training: 20 Principles to Success. Check it out at

John Paul Catanzaro

John Paul Catanzaro is a CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist with a Specialized Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Health Science. He owns and operates a private facility in Richmond Hill, Ontario providing training and nutritional consulting services. John Paul has authored a book, The Elite Trainer (2011), and has released two DVDs, Stretching for Strengthening (2003) and WarmUp to Strength Training (2005), which have sold copies worldwide, been featured in several magazines, and have been endorsed by many leading experts.

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