Will I still be training when I’m 50? The personal trainer’s dilemma.


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I’m 38.  Whoah, don’t think I have ever put it on “paper” before.

I have been training high level athletes and recreational athletes for the past 15 years.  Fourteen of these years have been in a 5 square mile radius in a suburb of Denver, Colorado.

I still enjoy much of the career.

Meeting new people.

Troubleshooting client issues and the new friendships.

In the last year alone I have contracted with the biggest volleyball club in the state, trained a double amputee, a single amputee wrestler, someone with cerebral palsy, tons of endurance athletes, and plenty of recreational athletes.  It’s interesting to say the least.

I do most of this only training about 20 client hours a week.  A purposeful decision since I have been on my own for most of the 14 years.  I find I have more energy and focus to give my clients and it gives me time to pursue other entrepreneurial goals.  Brent Thacker and I talk about this all the time on the podcast.  This article is meant to get you to think about YOUR goals.  There may be no answers for you here but you may find the right questions!



This career path is probably pretty similar to many in the industry.  Although, the burn out and the career changes are more likely from my peers in the last 10 years.  It’s a fact trainers get burned out. Too much work for too little money, or satisfaction, or stability.  Trust me, I get this.  It reminds me of a conversation I have had with at least 10 peers in the industry over my career.  I have had the conversation as early as 2003 and as recent as this week.  It’s a real thing. It’s the perception of ourselves in our own career as we age.

The Question.  Will I still be training clients when I am near the end of my career? Let’s say 50.

So let’s talk about it. Not to the initial knee jerk reaction but from a place that can allow us as professionals to craft and plan a career.  So we are more in control.  You might even learn why Free The Trainer was born in the next couple paragraphs.

  • What is your initial reaction to the idea of training when you are older?
  • Does it excite you?
  • Does it bum you out?
  • Does it mean you reached your goals of making a difference for a lifetime career?
  • Does it mean you didn’t reach enough people?

There are no right or wrong answers but how you feel about the question is going to give you your base of action.

If it excites you, let’s find a way to ensure you have a strong and sustained business over the next “x” amount of years.

If it bums you out.  Why?  If the why is strong enough this industry may not be for you.  

Sidenote:  The longest girlfriend I ever had before meeting and marrying my wife was less than 2 months.  I don’t waste time with things that aren’t working and you shouldn’t either.  If this industry is more stress than reward, get out as soon as you can and find your THING!

Really think about these questions.  Get out a piece of paper and just write the answer to these two questions.

  1. Why are you doing this(health and fitness)?
  2. What will be the end result?

When you have clarity, you can truly start to make a difference in your future!

You may be wondering, what is my answer to this dilemma?

I want to be making a difference in the people that train the people.  I can see myself still teaching and coaching on a bigger scale as I have started to over the last few years with my online training businesses.  I can see myself working with a handful of one on one clients but mostly, I want to reach as many people as possible.  Teaching health and fitness pro’s with Brent is one of those steps we are both taking to define our future.  To set a high expectation for what our careers look like when we are 50!  Free The Trainer is a big part of our answer!

Scott Jones, M.S. Is the co-founder of Free The Trainer as well as a serial entrepreneur in getting people moving with Athlete On Fire, Becoming Ultra, and an event production company he and his wife founded in Colorado.


Last modified: April 28, 2017

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