What Is It Like Working at a Gym?

So you are still iffy about submitting that application to the gym? Let’s face it, most of us at some point thought working at a gym was cool. I did too, and I did get my fair shot at it. In my junior college years, becoming a trainer at a gym was number one on my wish-list. Just like any other young fitness enthusiast, I was excited because I’ve always wanted a health and fitness related career. Without much thought, I opened up the website, filled out an application and hit ‘enter.’

That spurred yet another journey in my life. Here’s the article I wish I had read before beginning my career in the health and fitness world. Read on to find out what exactly it’s like working at a gym and if it’s the right fit for you.

Pros and Cons of Working at a Gym.

pros and cons
pros and cons

Pros 

  1. It’s a Positive Working Environment: Fellow workers and clients are usually positive and supportive as the gym is a recreational setting.
  1. Free Membership and Other Incentives: Often you are offered free memberships and reimbursement for workshops and certifications.
  1. Flexibility: Since most gyms work around the clock, you can easily pick a convenient shift to work on.
  1. You Develop Life Skills: Ample room for conversations with a diverse group of people allows you to become a better communicationist. The gym instills work ethic and skills, making you stronger and resilient. 
  1. Excellent Learning Opportunities: People at a gym are constant learners. You too can learn from their values yourself and it’ll help you become better at what you do.
  1. Room for Growth: Don’t shy away from working at the kids’ corner or the front desk for a start. Most managers and trainers today have actually started there, working their way up to where they are now.
  1. Comfortable uniform: You could literally roll out of bed to work if you are working at a gym. Wearing sweatpants and a shirt to work is going to make you feel like you are having the dream job.

Cons

  1. Things Can Get Very Hectic: To stay afloat in the industry, gyms enroll more members than they can accommodate The victims? Employees and obviously, customers.
  1. Boring, and Sometimes Frustrating: Frustrating clients and monotonous working habits would easily get to you if you are working in the gym environment.
  1. Penalties: If you are in sales, not selling enough supplements, products or memberships can end up getting you penalized.
  1. Having to Deal With A Short Staff: Due to the budget restraints, most employees end up overworking and sometimes assuming each others’ roles as well.
  1. Can be draining: Be ready to experience your fair share of rude clients, disorganized weight racks, gym equipment and towels thrown all over the place.
  1. Sweat: Working out means “sweating”. You know what comes with sweat; Germs and Odor. 
  1. More People Are Starting to Workout At Home: More on this in the following section.

The Latest Trend of Home Workouts And Why You Need To Make The Switch Too?

staying on top of the trend
staying on top of the trend

As a result of the pandemic, everything from work to education has shifted into our devices making it easier than ever to scurry through busy days at the comfort of our homes. This means going to the gym too is not a good option anymore.

Perks of Home Workouts.

Former gym-goers have resorted to working out at home and are starting to realize how effective home workouts can be. Here are some reasons why we think home workouts are the best.

  1. Cost effective: Working out at home costs a lot less as there is a multitude of exercises you can pick from that does not require expensive equipment. 
  1. Doesn’t take up a lot of space: Even if you decide to get some equipment, your home gym should not take up a lot of space. Consider using versatile options like the Fitness Gear Pro half rack or PR-1100 Squat Rack to better manage the available space. 
  1. Makes training more “personal”: Access to limited coaching and equipment will help you improvise, get creative and understand your body better. 
  1. No “toxic gym culture”: At home you have the freedom of trying out new exercises without the fear of embarrassing yourself which otherwise comes part and parcel with the “toxic gym culture.” 
  1. Helps with being consistent: Traveling to the gym and back is often the reason people stop going to the gym. Working out at home helps you cut down on time and money spent on traveling to and from the gym which helps in getting over the “getting ready to go to the gym” phase. 

Why Are Gyms Losing Clients?

  1. Being money-minded: The gym industry is increasingly commercializing with trainers being forced to make more sales and clients forced to lock in to lengthy memberships. 
  2. Forcefully Marketing Ineffective Products: It can be frustrating when the entire system is built around selling more supplements and training systems. Some ineffective products are sold only because they make a good profit. 
  3. Excessively Crowded: Gyms these days are crowded and that means having to deal with annoying people, having difficulty accessing equipment you usually use, sweat and lack of hygiene.

This is why we encourage people to invest in their home gyms. If you are just getting started on creating your very own home gym, our articles on  Building Your Home-based Weightlifting Platform, The Best Half Racks, and Best Squat Stands For Your Home Gym might give you a good start. 

How much can you make working at a gym?

salary range
salary range

The average annual pay for a Gym Staff in the United States is around $32,600 a year (roughly $16 an hour). However, we see gym staff making as much as $66,000 and as little as $16,500 per year with the majority making somewhere between $22,000 and $33,000. 

These rates however, might vary based on your qualifications, the area you are working in and your role at the gym.

Where Do You Start?

starting point
starting point

For almost all the jobs at a gym, being qualified is a necessity. A high school diploma is a prerequisite for most of these qualifications.

Being certified by a recognized body like the NASM or ACSM is a major plus point for your application. Some gyms even consider it a requirement.

Again, similar to the pay, different positions require different qualifications.

Apart from that you should be physically fit and healthy yourself to reflect the fact that you practice what you preach. Having a problem-solving mindset, being a good listener and conversationalist would greatly help motivating and supporting your clients.

If everything turns out great, you will most likely be asked to audition before starting your job at the gym. Most often, newbie trainers are required to work with experienced trainers before being deployed entirely.

Wrap Up

A gym can be a wonderful place to work at if you are ready to put up with the sales pressure and the other drawbacks that come with it. Of course, if you put in your best effort, you will definitely make a good fit for the gym environment.