Employing Older Trainers & Instructors: Are they An Untapped Opportunity?

Launching your fitness career later in life can be both daunting and exciting.

You may have already had a long and successful career in a completely different industry and now you are starting from scratch – wondering how you will fit in – in an industry that can appear to be dominated by young, and sometimes chiselled, fitness fanatics.

While age may appear to be an obstacle, it can actually be a huge advantage drawing in clients who may otherwise not attend.

Clients may not know that you are new to the industry as they may think you look experienced and come across as confident.

Whether young or old, it can be a struggle to find work. Below are four quick tips on how to use your age as an asset when launching your fitness career in later life.

1. Embrace Your Age, Do Not Hide It!

  • First up, be proud of the age you’ve reached, rather than ashamed of it.
  • I do not hide my age – I am 45 (25 plus VAT!!!).
  • Use your age as a motivational factor for older clients.
  • If a client, for example, sees you doing press-ups, on your toes, then they can think to themselves that they can do it to.
  • You do not need a youthful physique to be a great trainer.
  • In fact, being real and authentic (aka creaky knees and all) can give you credibility and can help your clients to relate to you.

2. Draw on your Previous Career Experience

Regardless of your previous work, you are likely to have skills to draw on that can aid in your new career as an exercise professional.

For example, a previous role may have required one or more of the following skills:

  • Customer service/relations;
  • Public speaking;
  • Organisational;
  • Marketing; and/or
  • Financial.

All of these are important skill for running any business, not just a fitness business.

3. Use your Life Experience as a Tool to ‘Get Ahead’

Often, it is the little life wisdoms and social skills you glean along the way that can give you an edge in business.

Use your confidence in yourself and knowledge of how to put yourself out there to attract opportunities and build relationships.

Further, if you have overcome personal challenges in your time to reach your current health and fitness, share your learning’s with your clients.

4. Consider Targeting Older Clients

It can be helpful having a niche as a trainer, and if you are older, you are uniquely positioned to target your services to older clients, who will naturally feel an affinity with you.

Zoning in on the specific needs and interests of older clients can be a good way to attract business, for example:

  • Staying fit and mobile;
  • Positive ageing;
  • Exercise prescriptions for chronic health conditions; and
  • So on.

This is especially important in light of the growing size of the aged population.

However, that said, age does not have to determine which age group of clients you will train, whether 18 or 80.

Ultimately it may be more about how you relate to people than anything else.

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