Tips & Tricks to help you break into the Fitness Industry – PART 1

Advice from real world employees…

As a current Head Coach in one of the UK’s leading fitness organisations, it’s safe to say that I get a fair few applications land on my desk. Now, these can range from anything in the fitness industry all the way down to front-of-house applications (not quite sure why these end up on my desk but hey ho). Point being all applications will make it over this first hurdle – stage 1. This is easy, this is simple. Let’s be honest all you’ve done is submit it online or dropped it into a reception at a health club. Now unfortunately if you are very new to the industry, you will be lacking hands-on experience, which to any employer is invaluable. The tough realisation here is somebody with hands-on, real-world experience, will more than likely get the jump on you at this first stage. However, luckily for you, as most fitness companies are flooded with applications, recruitment/assessment days are held. This combines several applicants together so the employer can save a shit tonne of time and interview you as a collective – stage 2. However, before we get to this let me brief you on stage 1.

Nowadays, most fitness companies will have a recruitment team who takes care of this. So be respectful of the process and apply where requested. Job boards are an excellent place to begin. Apply to all online portals, including individual company websites. As an employer I honestly do not have the time to read every CV that comes through the door, the recruitment process takes care of this. Here the recruitment team will sort through applicants and fill up the recruitment days. It’s worth saying here that if you are applying to a smaller company, you may be able to bypass this and send your application to the club’s manager directly. Find this out.

Got it. Okay. Cool.

Here is where the article splits. We will focus on Fit Coaches/Fitness Instructors for the remainder of this article. The next instalment will be entirely focused on Tips and Tricks to help you break into the Personal Training world.

The Fitness Coach:

Fitness coaches are an excellent foot in the door opportunity which is NEVER to be underestimated. Some of my greatest ever Personal Trainers, entered as a Fitness Coach, learnt their craft, and progressed to be incredibly successful PTs. Do not be arrogant enough to think a Fit Coach role is beneath you, which is something I surprisingly come across all too often.

To summarize a Fitness Instructor position:

  • REPS Level 2 qualification.
  • Paid position.
  • Usually between 12-40 hours: mornings, evenings, weekends required.
  • To conduct health checks, inductions and fitness assessments with members.
  • To teach at classes whilst on shift.
  • Possibly including kids classes.
  • Gym floor presence, member interaction, full gym floor knowledge.
  • Maintain all fitness equipment and assist in the of cleaning equipment and gym floor.

Now let’s get to Stage 2: the interview/assessment/recruitment day.

Fit Coaches are completely member facing so nobody wants a misery turning up for the interview. You need to be charismatic, confident, and incredibly smiley (yes smiley). At this foot in the door position, we understand that you won’t be incredibly skilled, and do you know what, that’s ok. You will develop and learn as you go. As do we all. The key here is to stand out, and this will be done by being enthusiastic, polite and personable – make them want to employ you!

Tips and Tricks for the assessment day:

  • DO NOT be late.
  • In fact, be 30-45 minutes early and have a wander around the gym. Familiarise yourself with the equipment as you may need to answer questions on them later.
  • If you cannot make the date provided, let the recruitment team know. YOU SHOULD NEVER simply not show up. This will most likely blacklist you from any future application, and just downright piss the interviewer off.
  • Prepare accordingly.
  • Make sure you have your Gym level 2 qualification with you.
  • Be absolutely full of enthusiasm.

Stay tuned for part 2, where Personal Trainers will be the focus.

Be ready for anything,

Coach Sale.

Author - Luke Sale - Head Coach & Mentor

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