Become a personal trainer: study, coaching license, independent company

Sina Cordsen studied fitness economics and runs her own studio as a personal trainer.
Markus Hibbeler / dpa-tmn

Sina Cordsen is the owner and CEO of her own studio “Die Fitalistin” in Bremen and is also chairman of the Federal Association of Personal Training.

She studied fitness economics at the German University of Prevention and Health Management and worked in the gym at the same time under the dual program and acquired coaching licenses.

Cordsen says: You always work as a personal trainer when others have time off. “Most people train before or after work, so you have to adapt to that. In addition, you must primarily be interested in people and work with people. ”

Many people remarked at one point during the long home office phases during the pandemic: “I need to move more!” Anyone who needs support to achieve their personal fitness goals can e.g. get it from personal trainer Sina Cordsen.

The 32-year-old is the owner and CEO of his own studio “Die Fitalistin” in Bremen and is also chairman of the Federal Association of Personal Training. Here she talks about the path she took in the industry and how personal training differs from training in the gym. And she explains why customer care can be the biggest happiness and the biggest challenge at the same time.

Learned in the double course of study and acquired coaching licenses

After graduating from high school, I looked for careers in fitness. That was when I came across the training to become a sports and fitness worker. During one of my job interviews, I was then asked, “Why don’t you want to study?” At that time, I only had the German Sports University in Cologne on my radar. That was not what I had in mind.

But then I was suggested to study fitness economics, which I completed at the German University of Prevention and Health Management. During the dual program, I worked in the gym in parallel with the courses. First at the counter, later also on the floor. I have also gradually acquired my coaching licenses.

After my bachelor’s, I initially stayed in the gym and worked in the department management. However, I quickly became self-employed as a personal trainer – I had already received my license for this during my studies – and have now worked as a personal trainer since 2013.

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This is what a typical day as a personal trainer looks like

My working day starts between 7.00 and 8.00. Then either the first customers come into the studio, or I drive to them. I usually have two to four appointments with different clients spread over the morning. This can be indoors or outdoors – depending on which training methods are used and what the training goals are.

I usually take a break around lunchtime. During this time I also deal with topics such as training planning, evaluation of nutrition protocols, coordination of marketing initiatives and association work. In the afternoon it continues around 16.00 and I hold training sessions for my clients until 20.30.

The support situation is much more personal in personal training, and the relationship with the client is much closer than in a gym. I have often been a contact person for years and can very well assess the respective person: Is he / she able to perform today or not? Depending on such factors, I can make the training more individual and therefore more effective.

What do you need with you for this job

What you should always be aware of: You always work as a personal trainer when others have time off. Most people train before or after work, so you have to adapt to that. In addition, you should primarily be interested in people and working with people. This social competence is extremely important. It does not help if I can write a good training plan but do not get to learn it.

In addition to the interest in sports, the job also requires good organizational skills. You have to coordinate your appointments properly, especially if you drive to customers yourself. At the same time, you need to manage your independence and keep an eye on, for example, expenses, so that you make a profit at the end of the month. It gets even harder when you hire staff.

It happens, of course, that customers are very satisfied and recommend you. This is the best way. But in itself, the topics of marketing and acquisition are not a sure success. It is therefore necessary to plan initiatives that attract new customers. Where can you place yourself sensibly, where can you place ads, for example? You need to keep these questions in mind.

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Beautiful sides and challenges of the subject

One of the nicest things is when the customers are satisfied and happy. I have a very mixed clientele, the youngest is currently 17, the oldest 87. The requirements are very different. When a customer after a training session says: It felt really good, I feel just the right amount of stress, then it is very satisfying. I become very grateful when someone can achieve the set goals with my support.

In return, it is a challenge to do justice to all customers with their individual desires and ideas. Part of the time you are the person who has to say: The goal of losing ten kilos in four weeks is not realistic. It is an exaggerated example, but one must be able to be very honest about it. Or you have to ask very critical questions if the desired results are not achieved: Does the customer stick to the diet as discussed?

As a personal trainer, I can give my clients the tools to help them achieve their goals. But there must always be self-motivation.

I often encounter these misunderstandings

Many people think that being a personal trainer is not a real job. Strictly speaking, anyone can call themselves that, as it is not a protected professional title. So you always have to prove that you know what you are doing.

In addition, I often find that people have a certain shyness or respect for approaching a personal trainer. Many people think that they are not suitable for it. But that’s exactly my task: to accompany people on their way to the desired level of fitness.

According to the Federal Association of Personal Training (BVPT), ​​the supply of earning potential as a personal trainer is very large. Earnings in this profession depend, for example, on the region in which a coach works and how many competitors there are. BVPT does not recommend offering one hour of personal training for less than 95 EUR gross. With a full-time professional personal trainer, this fee covers just what is needed for daily needs. With more experience, the hourly wage can therefore be significantly higher: 150 to 200 euros per hour.

dpa / fj

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