We spoke to Thomas, our Well-Being Personal Trainer in Rugby, to get an insight into his role at Nuffield Health.
Read on to find out what a day in the life of a Well-Being Personal Trainer looks like and what Thomas enjoys about his career with us.
‘Hi, my name is Tom! I have been working for Nuffield Health for almost a year now and to say that this year has been a whirlwind, would be an understatement! Fitness has always been a passion of mine, but I never acted on this properly. Even though I competed and coached, it was always a hobby alongside college and full-time work.
But then it dawned on me. Why am I stuck in a job, which I don’t enjoy, when I love coaching so much?! The realisation that I could get paid to do this role spurred me into undergoing a complete career change, from working in retail to becoming a Certified Personal Trainer. It took a while and it meant that I was studying alongside working full-time in retail, but a year later, I was ready. Initially, when I told my family and my partner that I was going to take the course, they weren’t particularly supportive, and they had a lot of questions;
Can you make a living off that?
How do you get clients?
Do you think it’s a smart career path?
Personal Trainers don’t get paid that much… I googled it?!
However, this didn’t stop me because I knew that I was going to do this, and I was determined to be successful.
If I’m being totally honest, once I got my qualification in Personal Training, I looked everywhere for a job. But one day, I saw that Nuffield Health’s Gym in Rugby had an opening, so I went for it – why not right? Back then I had plenty of coaching experience but whenever I attended interviews for ‘Personal Trainer’ roles, I was given the same feedback, ‘We’re looking for someone with more experience in this role’.
I was lucky enough to sit down at my interview, for Nuffield Health, with my (now) General Manager Emily. I had never been in a Nuffield Gym before and, as corny as it sounds, I got that ‘feeling’ people talk about. The atmosphere was very welcoming, and I could picture myself working here, wearing the uniform and training in their gym. Thankfully, Emily wasn’t judgemental, and she gave me an opportunity to showcase myself and my passions. It turned out that my own values and beliefs, when it came to fitness and well-being, fell in line with that of Nuffield Health so Emily offered me the job. I will always be grateful to Emily as she gave me the chance to follow my dream and yes, I am one of those people who gets to say that the job they dreamt of doing is my reality. I love my job and the relationships with people that I have formed since working here, both client and colleague wise.
People’s opinions differ on what it means to be a ‘great’ trainer. Is it being an expert in every field of exercise? That would be near impossible to achieve but striving every day to expand your knowledge should be a high priority! Others argue that the best trainers are those who understand their clients and take the time to get to know every one of them. Nuffield has provided me with a bunch of learning opportunities to progress my knowledge and, used properly, it can provide a good basis for any new Personal Trainer. If there’s one piece of advice that I can give to new or current trainers, it would be this;
“Everyone is different, and you won’t always know the answers to every question, but that’s OK!”. That might sound super unhelpful but how many times have you been to the gym and looked at someone training, who’s in great shape, and thought; what training plan do you follow? How much food do you eat? Will I look like you if I do XYZ… the list goes on. Essentially, what works for someone else does not always mean it will work for you! Understand your clients and get to know them individually – this is what puts the ‘personal’ in Personal Training. If you don’t know the solution to a problem then don’t be afraid to research it, expand your knowledge and be truthful with your clients. Don’t promise something that you can’t give them.
Being a Personal Trainer is hard, make no mistake about it. You must be prepared to commit to long, and often unsociable, hours but the reward is like no other job. Getting results with your clients isn’t something that always happens on a scale and the real rewards often happen when you or your client least expect them. Everyone who takes up personal training has had a journey, and likely a lot of emotion, accompanying their decision. Your clients just need to know that you care and that you are invested in them as much as they are in you.’