The quick answer to this is no — you are not too old to be a personal trainer. Whether you’re 18 or 80, the fact is that there are no age limits when it comes to becoming a personal trainer. On the contrary, if there’s anything that the health and fitness industry is in desperate need of, it’s a more diverse range of personal trainers.
There were just over 23,000 personal trainers registered in the UK in 2020, and they weren’t all in their early 20s. Alongside those PTs, there were also an estimated 66,300 fitness instructors in the UK in 2021. So if you’ve discovered a new passion for fitness, no matter how late in life, a new career as a personal trainer is well within your reach.
Changing careers at any age can be stressful, and those stresses only get bigger as we get older. But if you’re feeling inspired to follow your passions, don’t worry about being too old to be a personal trainer. Here’s what you need to know.
Smashing the Stereotypes
When most people think about a personal trainer, the immediate mental image is a toned man or woman, generally in their early 20s. Their muscles will be sculpted to perfection, and they spend most of their time shouting at clients to work harder.
The problem is that those stereotypes are harmful and may even prevent some people from hiring a personal trainer in the first place. The truth is that becoming a personal trainer isn’t only for the young.
Can I Become a Personal Trainer If I’m over 40?
Not only can you become a personal trainer in your 40s, 50s or even if you’re older, but you may actually be a better and more successful PT if you’re over 40. Certain benefits come with your age that younger personal trainers may not have.
Being older means that you have a lot more life experience than those younger personal trainers. When you become a fully-qualified personal trainer, a large part of running your new business will be finding and then retaining your clients. Professional conversation and maintaining your reputation are vital skills for a personal trainer. Those are skills that you simply won’t get in the classroom but will have learned through experience.
Those life experiences can also guide your career path. For example, If you’re an older woman who has gone through a pregnancy, then you’re ideally suited to a pre and post natal training certification, and clients will seek you out if they know you’ve been there before.
Life experience extends to all of those clients who will be able to relate to you more because of your age. Those older clients are more likely to sign up as your client if they can relate to you. It’s a fact that personal trainers need to stay professional at all times, but that works alongside the need to build a good relationship. Older clients that want to get healthier are more likely to look for a personal trainer that matches their demographics.
With that sense of comfort, your older clients will also be more likely to be honest with you about their health levels, lifestyle and any mistakes they’ve made with their diets that week. Happy customers are more likely to provide a word of mouth recommendation to their friends, colleagues and family, giving you an entirely new marketing resource at your fingertips.
Your transferable skills
It’s likely that if you’re considering becoming an older personal trainer, this isn’t your first career. That’s going to mean you have transferable skills that you picked up in your previous career that can be utilised in your new health and fitness role.
From better time management, budgeting or marketing, whatever your previous career, you can be sure that there are elements of it that will be extremely valuable when you become a fully-qualified personal trainer. Think about the skills you learned in your previous role. You might be surprised by the skills you bring to the gym.
So if you’re asking if you can become a personal trainer despite your age, it’s important to remember that your age is less of a barrier than you might have assumed. Instead, it could be your biggest asset. Not all clients are going to want young personal trainers who lack life experience and who they can’t relate to.
Even if you’re in your 60s or older, there’s a ready-made market out there waiting to sign up as your client. Of course, you don’t have to specialise in training older clients if you prefer not to. The only skills you need to showcase are your knowledge, enthusiasm, passion and ability to motivate. Everything else, including your age, is irrelevant.
What Are the Disadvantages of Becoming a Personal Trainer at an Older Age?
With all of the advantages that come with being an older personal trainer, it is difficult to identify the possible disadvantages. Of course, the main issue is going to be your fitness levels. You don’t have to have a six-pack and abs to become a personal trainer, but it is a physical job. If you have several clients lined up for a single day, that can be a lot of hard work.
There’s also the fact that being older means you likely have more responsibilities than your younger counterparts. From family commitments to other responsibilities, you need to ensure that you can take on clients without interrupting the established demands on your time and concentration.
You Can Become a Personal Trainer at Any Age
Age is certainly never a barrier to becoming a successful personal trainer. In fact, there are many advantages to entering the health and fitness sector with more years behind you. There is space available for you in the industry, and there are no barriers to success related to your age.
If you’re already comfortable in one career, but you’re looking around for an alternative, becoming a personal trainer is well worth considering. You’ll certainly need the right personal trainer certifications and the ability to market yourself successfully. But when it comes to becoming an older personal trainer, there may be a lot more advantages than you thought.