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Behind the Scenes: What It's Really Like to be an IF Trainer

By Danielle Wirick, Owner of Intelligent Fitness, LLC

When a new client joins our IF family they start off with a few initial “onboarding” steps including the completion of our client forms. One specifically is our policy & procedures form that outlines all the “stuff” a client should know about how we work. This includes things like; how long our sessions run, how our memberships work, etc. But of all of the policies in that form I believe the most important one is the following:

“As your Training Facility, we will respect your needs and desires as a client and individual if you will do the same for us. It is impossible for a trainer to be available at all times. Both you and I have families and community responsibilities as well as recreational needs. If at any time you feel that we are being unfair to you or not doing a competent job for you, please reach out to our Office Manager. If at any time we feel that you are being unfair to our Team or fellow Clients, we may also need to reach out to you.”

As the owner of a small business, my number one goal is to protect my Team’s overall safety and wellbeing… I will always have their back, because without them I would cease to exist. What kind of fitness facility would we be if this wasn’t a priority? But oftentimes they are called upon to do necessary, but also very time consuming “extra” work. What starts out for many of them as working very early to very late day after day, turns into having clients ask for additional training times such as Sundays, or even later or earlier than we are already open; clients in need of extra programs to utilize outside of the facility to help them optimize their overall wellness, necessary medication reviews ensuring we keep all of our clients safe; or training schedules that need to be altered quickly and often for many unforeseen reasons not realizing that there are 30-40 other clients asking for the same things.

They deal with exhaustion… Many of them work until 7 or 8 in the evening one night then get up to be at IF to start working by 5am the next morning.

They deal with random finances… although my team is paid higher than the average for trainers in our area and significantly higher than the national average, they are still paid hourly. They still have cancellations and no shows in their schedule that don’t fall within our accepted outlined Policies, but then can’t be charged out due to one reason or another.

They deal with significant perception…. Getting asked when they are going to get a “real job,” and then seeing the “eye roll” from friends and family when they tell them what their career is. Even something as simple as running into a client at the grocery store who automatically looks in their cart and comments on the food they are buying.

They have responsibilities to you and to IF outside of the hour they spend with their clients so they can do the best for their clients. They also have responsibilities to themselves: working out, recovering, eating well and recreational and social needs so they can be the best they can be!

People often think it would be an “easy” job to be a trainer because they don’t really know what goes on behind the scenes. It’s definitely not easy, but know that they love it. They. Love. You. They will do anything for each and every one of you, even to their demise, because you matter, and your success brings them true joy.

Because of that, someone has to have THEIR back.

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