You might be concerned that you are getting a little long in the tooth to start a career as a personal trainer.
The industry is full of fit and healthy people in their early twenties, so surely there is no place for a person in their 30’s?
Well, not so fast, in this article I am going to explain exactly why being in your thirties isn’t just ok, but it could give you a huge advantage!
It’ll give you a really clear idea as to why being 30 is not too old to be a personal trainer.
Your success as a PT has nothing to do with your age, being a 30-year-old personal trainer is very common and many trainers maintain a busy client base, working from anywhere between 40 to 60 hours a week. Training with older adults is also becoming increasingly popular.
I’ve been a personal trainer in the city of London for ten years of my life, and in that time I’ve worked in several gyms and met a lot of personal trainers from all different age ranges.
There’s a ton of reasons why if you are thinking of starting a career in the fitness industry, you shouldn’t even think twice about your age.
Let’s get into those reasons right now.
Top ten reasons being a pt in your thirties is great!
1. People perceive older people to be more knowledgable
The great thing about this point is, that even if you’re not more knowledgeable than other younger trainers, prospective clients will still think you are.
Ridiculous as it may seem, people just assume that if you are an older trainer, you must have been in the industry for years and learned tons from the different people you have trained.
Use this to your advantage, you don’t need to tell prospects that you are a new trainer, after all, you may have moved from another gym. If they think you are a highly experienced trainer, why change that?
2. It can be more comforting to train with someone in your age range
There are plenty of benefits to training with someone in your age group, and one that may seem silly but is actually really important is that you will have more in common with people that are the same age as you.
It’s pretty unlikely that a person in their mid-thirties and a 20-year-old are going to have much in common, so starting and maintaining a conversation flow can be really difficult.
You may not think that conversations are a big part of being a trainer, because after all, it’s all about the training right?
Nope, being able to spark up and keep a conversation going is seriously important if you want to establish rapport and retain your clients for the long term.
Remember the old favorite personal training phrase, “it’s easier to keep an old client than gain a new one”.
3. You are probably more organised than you used to be
I’m probably going to ruffle some feathers here with some sort of “positive ageism”, but generally older people tend to be more organized than younger people.
Now before people start getting upset, I am not taring everyone with the same brush here, I completely understand that there are plenty of highly organized people out there in their 20’s.
What I mean is, an older person has been around the block a few more times and may have learned from past lessons where being disorganized has cost them either financially or socially.
Younger people may not have learned these life lessons yet, so might still try to “wing it” or “blag” sessions and general organization, whereas the older trainer will probably know there are plenty of advantages to being fully prepared and organized for all their sessions and clients.
I am only basing this off my own experience, the older trainers that I met were more frequently on time for sessions, double-booked less often, and had organized session plans.
4. Your clients will trust you more
Trust is a huge factor when paying anyone money, but when trainers are asking for hundreds of pounds for a block of sessions, there may be some trepidation for someone that is giving this money over to a younger person.
Is this justified?
Not necessarily, because I was young (early 20’s) when I started training people and I certainly never ran off with anyone’s money, however, one of my colleagues (if you can call them that) did.
He was a young guy about the same age as me.
The reason I think people have more comfort in handing money over to an older person is that there is a feeling that an older person is more responsible and less likely to run away with your money as they possibly have a family or mortgage to pay each month so will take the career more seriously.
5. Selling sessions will be a breeze
Being told what to do by a younger person is a real issue for a lot of people.
Age should never have anything to do with how much knowledge a person has of course, but for some, they would feel more comfortable being instructed by a person within their age bracket. They just can’t take a younger trainer seriously and somehow think that a mature trainer must be more knowledgeable on a subject.
Obviously, this isn’t true, but it’s an opinion that some people have and so you may as well take advantage of it if you can.
6. You are more likely to be committed to the industry
The problem that can come with youth is impulsiveness and spontaneity, and there may be a fear from some clients that after a few months of training them, their trainer will leave to travel the world for the next six months.
There is little to no fear of a trainer in their 30 doing this, as usually by this point in their lives they have either already traveled or have settled down.
Personal training is also seen as an “in-between” job by some, as you can get into the industry fairly quickly, work at it for a few months, leave to do something else for a few months or even years and then come back into the career at a later date.
For clients that know they will need a trainer for a considerable amount of time, a trainer that could leave for a trip to Bali is no good at all.
7. You will be more relatable
Being relatable is one of the fastest ways to build rapport.
This is slightly different from having things in common, as being relatable means that you completely understand the thoughts and feelings your client has.
For example, a client would be hesitant to discuss financial issues or family/marriage issues with a person in their twenties, as it’s highly unlikely that they will understand, or be able to “relate” to the problems and give any helpful advice.
Being able to discuss matters like these (and boy, will you), will create an exceptional bond between you and your clients.
8. You’ll understand your clients’ limitations
Not everyone is in great shape, and a young trainer full of energy and enthusiasm might be in the habit of trying to push their clients as far as they possibly can in order to get incredible results.
The 1 months body transformations often make inexperienced trainers think this is something they need to get all their clients achieving.
People in their 30’s may not be quite so happy to train to the limit each session and get frustrated with their trainer for not understanding that.
Again, this is a generalization, as some people love training like that well into their fifties, but they are certainly the exception and not the rule.
Older people tend to understand that you cannot train a person in their early twenties in the same way that you can someone in their mid-40’s.
9. You won’t come across as “desperate”
Nothing, NOTHING will kill a sale quicker than even a sniff of desperation!!
People can smell it, they can feel it and they can hear it in your voice and they don’t like it, not one bit!
Later on in life, a trainer is more likely to be settled in their life and have a grip on their finances. Chances are you will have written up a business plan and will know exactly how many sessions etc they need to be able to live a comfortable life.
In younger trainers, it’s much more common that this is one of their first jobs, they may have just moved out of their parent’s place for the first time and have a whole new set of bills to pay that they have never experienced before.
The stress that this puts on them can come across when scouting for new clients, or during a sales pitch.
Don’t worry if this isn’t the case and you are desperate, after all everyone wants to get enough clients to pay the rent, just remember not to show it. Be excited rather than nervous, and it won’t come across as desperate.
Little pro tip there!
10. You’ll be able to offer more of your time
I remember being young, it was awesome. Now I’m old and bitter as a grapefruit (just kidding).
When I was younger, I went out clubbing every Friday and Saturday, it was great, and do you know what would be the last thing on my mind if I were training people back then? Making sure my clients were all happy with their training and nutrition plans!
An older trainer is more likely to have settled down in life and be available in the evenings or weekends to offer support when it is needed and that’s a really important factor in being a great PT.
What is the average age of a personal trainer?
A survey of over 600 personal trainers, that was presented to the Institutional Review Board at Rhode Island Hospital, showed the average age of personal trainers in the USA to be 39.8 years old.
Click the link below if you’d like to read the full report.
Personal Trainer Demographics, Current Practice Trends and Common Trainee Injuries
This feeds into our article quite nicely, as you were probably concerned that you were too old to begin a career in fitness. It’s not surprising, most of the trainers you see in gyms are in their early twenties, but remember, nearly 90% of newly qualified trainers leave the industry within the first year they qualify. The trainers that are older are the ones that have made it, they have an established client base and they are making a good and reliable income.
Personal trainer age range
To be legally allowed to gain your qualifications and begin training people as a personal trainer, you will need to be at least 18 years old.
There is really no upper age limit to being a trainer, as even people in many later stages of their lives need to exercise, and having a trainer that is in the same age range as them makes a lot of people feel more comfortable.
As an example, imagine if you were a seventy-year-old man or woman that knew they needed to get out and exercise more, but worry about how you could do this safely. Who would you feel would understand your limitations better, a trainer in roughly the same age bracket as yourself or a person in their early twenties?
It’s a pretty easy choice and this applies to all age ranges. People generally prefer to train with people that are at least roughly in the same age bracket as them as they feel they will be able to relate to them better. This is not always the case of course, but a lot of people think this way.
As a fun side fact, at this current point in time, a woman (Wendy Ida) from Califonia USA has the world record for being the oldest working fitness instructor at the age of 65, and shows no signs of slowing down!
Taking these ages into consideration, I guess you could say the age ranges for personal trainers are from eighteen to sixty-five years old, but as long as you’re healthy and fit in your older age, there is no reason why you couldn’t carry on training people up into triple figures!
So there you have it, being a trainer in your 30’s can give you a massive advantage in the fitness industry.
If you have searched this question because you are thinking about getting into personal training, fitness instructing, or anything else in the fitness industry, then I really hope this article has alleviated any concerns you have.
If anything, it should have spurred you on and given you the burst of confidence you need to have you searching for those qualification providers.
I have seen plenty of people be fantastic trainers well into their fifties, so there is no reason at all that you can’t do it.
Go get ’em!
If you enjoyed this article and feel it might help others, please feel free to share it or link back to it.