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Lead Your Team Personal Growth

7 Health and Fitness Pros on What They Love (and Hate) About Their Jobs

7 Health and Fitness Pros on What They Love (and Hate) About Their Jobs
Credit: nata-lunata/Shutterstock

Have you ever thought about pursuing a career or starting a business in the health and fitness industry? If you're passionate about nutrition, exercise and helping others, it could be a great option for you.

Health and fitness coaches do everything from helping people fix their eating habits and get in shape, to training athletes and helping people recover from injuries. It's a rewarding and flexible career that allows you to improve people's lives, but that doesn't mean every moment on the job is a victory. Just like with any other career path, there are pros and cons.

Business News Daily asked health and fitness coaches and trainers to share what they love and hate most about their jobs. Here's what seven professionals had to say.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Jaime Kenworthy Sutton: I'm an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified personal trainer and Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) group fitness instructor with my own business in Philadelphia, J'aime Fitness. My primarily clientele are one-on-one sessions with some group boot camps. 

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Sutton: What I love most about my job is [seeing] that ah-ha moment from a client. This can be in regards to their health, eating habits, workouts, etc. Seeing that moment and watching something in them click that will change their lives for the better, forever, is worth every minute of what [I do.] The next best thing about my job is when [a client] tells you they are seeing and feeling the difference. You can tell anyone whatever you want, but until they see and feel it for themselves, it's not always real. Another thing I love about my job is the career independence. Having the choice to take on any client — or not — at any time of day, for your determined value, is the best independence I've ever experienced.

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Sutton: Every time a client brings up the new "it" or quick-fix health trend, it can get exhausting. Most trainers are trying to teach lasting lifestyle changes, not the next easy button. [I also hate] no-shows. When a client gives zero notice on not being able to attend a session, it can get frustrating. Rescheduling is fine, even [at the] last minute, but not showing up ruins your whole schedule.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Nick Brennan: [I'm] the owner of Unbeaten Fitness in Chicago, Illinois.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Brennan: The thing I love most about my job is making a difference in people's lives. There is no better feeling than being a source of reliable knowledge for someone looking to make fitness a priority in their life. Watching them achieve their goals and knowing that you had a helping hand in that is truly something to be proud of. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Brennan: My industry is filled with people selling snake-oil. We live in the instant gratification culture and way too many companies out there promote products and supplements that promise results they will never be able to deliver. Unfortunately, the marketing dollars behind those kinds of products have created the perception that it doesn't take hard work and time to lose weight or build muscle in a healthy way. [8 Freelancers on What They Love (and Hate) About Their Jobs ]

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Marissa Vicario: I'm a Certified Integrative Health and Nutrition Coach and the founder of Marissa's Well-Being and Health.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Vicario: I help women change their relationship with food and trust themselves to make slimming, nutritious and energizing choices without resorting to fad diets. I love my job because I'm truly helping people make a positive difference in their lives and it gives me a sense of purpose. I also love that I'm my own boss and can make all my own decisions about my business.

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Vicario: What I dislike most about my job is that it's hard to turn off and shut down. Sometimes I feel as if I'm always working, or at least thinking about work, because it's such a huge part of who I am. When I had a corporate job, the line between work and my personal life was more delineated, which had its benefits.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Christal Forti-Spencer: I am the owner of HealthVolution, a health coaching and fitness training business. I primarily work with children and families.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Forti-Spencer: I love being able to motivate my clients and see them achieve their health goals. It is truly rewarding to watch the progress someone can make with determination and hard work. Health coaching does not just focus on nutrition and exercise but all aspects of a person's life, therefore you get to see their whole lives transformed.

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Forti-Spencer: What I do not like — or rather, what is challenging — is that it can be emotionally draining at times. Some clients are easier to coach because they are open to making changes in their lives. Others can be difficult because they are not as flexible. 

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Amy Jarosky: I'm a Certified Health Coach based in New York. I help busy men and women reach their health goals. This might include losing weight, decreasing stress, sleeping better, increasing energy, eating healthier on the go, etc. 

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Jarosky: I love watching the transition that clients go through during my program. By adding in a few new foods and lifestyle habits per session, as opposed to taking things away and depriving them, my clients feel empowered. Over time, they begin to notice changes within their mind and body. Watching this progression is beyond rewarding and I absolutely love it. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Jarosky: As far as what I don't like about health coaching, it is difficult when clients are not committed to the program. It can be challenging trying to motivate them to follow the recommendations. They have to be ready for change and it's tough when they are only partially focused on reaching their goals. I want my clients to succeed, so it's hard when they are not committed.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Alex Fergus: I am a full-time personal trainer and online coach based out of P.E. DEPT. Gym in Sydney, Australia. I [also] coach clients located around the world through my website. My time is split between one-on-one personal training sessions in the gym, and building and coaching clients over the Internet.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Fergus: I love being surrounded by health and fitness orientated people. My colleagues at the gym all share similar passions and this helps with bonding between other trainers. I honestly feel like I'm working alongside a bunch of close mates. It sounds silly, but helping people become healthier, happier, stronger, slimmer or whatever it may be, is very rewarding. It literally fills you with warmth when you see a client reach their goal. [I also love the] freedom of being self-employed. I can work hard or take the day off — how hard I work correlates to my income level. Most importantly, [I love] being able to share my passion, my knowledge and experience and my love for health and performance with others. Not only that, but being paid for this time and knowledge. If I were to win the lottery overnight, I would continue doing what I am doing — though maybe I'd cut a few early morning sessions!

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Fergus: The health and fitness industry as a whole — where people would rather follow and listen to someone who shows off their body online over an experienced and education coach who releases informative articles. This dilutes the image of a personal trainer or coach. People start to stereotype trainers as those who drink shakes all day while lifting weights. I [also] hate scheduling — clients wanting to change times at the last minute, or someone wanting to change their session to another day because they have something going on. This is fine and I understand things come up, but when clients expect you to completely change your schedule to suit them, it irks me. [There are also] clients that pay you for your advice, yet they never listen and continue to do their own thing. Worse, they don't get results and put the blame on you. 

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Treva Brandon Scharf: I’m an L.A.-based AFAA certified group fitness instructor at Equinox, and a personal fitness coach with my own private training business. 

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Scharf: What I love about my job is being an agent of change for my clients and classes — whether it’s helping people lose weight, get in shape, train for a race, recover after a divorce, or rebuild confidence after an injury. Being a fitness professional is more than just working out in a gym, it’s getting inside people’s heads to work out fears and aspire [to] greatness. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Scharf: The toughest part of the job are the times I’m unable to [make a] breakthrough — when a client gives up, gets frustrated, or can’t hold up their part of the deal. Training is a collaborative experience, a partnership. It’s built on mutual effort and trust. I make a promise to my client that I’ll get them to their goals if they work in good faith with me. Most of the time they’re up to it, sometimes not. In any scenario, I always give it my best shot, and encourage the best in them.

Brittney Helmrich
Brittney Helmrich

Brittney M. Helmrich graduated from Drew University in 2012 with a B.A. in History and Creative Writing. She joined the Business News Daily team in 2014 after working as the editor-in-chief of an online college life and advice publication for two years. Follow Brittney on Twitter at @brittneyplz, or contact her by email.