Real World PT: Nicole Hahn
A SNAPSHOT OF HOW TODAY’S PERSONAL TRAINERS ARE WORKING, LIVING AND SHAPING THEIR CAREERS
What’s your business called?
In my different roles of PT, S&C Coach and Crossfit Coach I actually have three businesses! These are Coach Nic, Oly Squad, and We Build Women school events.
How long have you been a PT?
Are you full time or part time?
Full time and then some!
What made you decide to become a trainer?
I knew I wanted to work for myself, and I knew I didn’t want to be in an office. I had played state level netball my whole life so I was quite familiar with the industry and I loved the thought of being able to help people.
What’s your signature style of training?
I’m all about Olympic lifting, CrossFit, strength and conditioning, rehab and Body Positivity.
How many hours do you train clients for each week?
How many hours do you spend working on your business?
Sometimes a very small amount, but currently about 5 hours per week (because I have something new in the works!)
What hours do you work?
It varies day to day, but most weekdays look like 5:30 until 10:30am, one or two classes or PT sessions at lunchtime, and then from 3:30 to 7:30 or 8:30pm every night. On Saturdays I work from 7am-12pm.
What do you do in any downtime during the day?
Train, nap and admin. Did I say nap?
How much do you charge?
$110 per hour.
What do you do in terms of your ongoing education?
Attend events, do online education courses, personal research and personal development courses.
How many clients do you have?
20 very committed PT clients, plus classes at two different gyms. I used to have a lot more PT clients (40+) but some were quite unreliable. I have culled them to a core group of committed legends.
How long, on average do your clients stay with you?
Years. My longest client has been with me for 9 years.
How do you get new clients?
Word of mouth, social media, and getting in front of people by teaching 10 or so classes each week. Classes can be a great source of prospective PT clients!
Do you vet clients before you agree to train them?
Yes, I have a criteria! Clients must: be ready to learn some fun stuff, have a good attitude, be ready to work hard, and be willing to share food!
Do you ever turn clients away or refer them to other PTs?
Yes, sometimes. I don’t really work with people who have only aesthetic goals. I want to train people who are keen to see what their body can do, not just focus on how it looks.
What differentiates you from other trainers?
I am very straight down the line. There is no bullsh*t with me, but it comes from the most loving place. I invest a lot into my clients and I expect a lot out them – I’m a stickler for technique, but I also live by the motto “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong”.
What is the best thing about being a PT?
You make your own hours, you get to spend every working hour with amazing people and you literally make a difference in peoples’ lives daily.
And the hardest?
The hours, no sick leave and the pressure to be ON at all times. The early alarms and the late nights can make it hard on relationships sometimes.
What’s the biggest misconception about working in fitness?
That we get to train all day! There have been times when I haven’t trained for weeks because I am making myself available to everyone else. That just comes down to poor time management and not blocking out my personal time properly.
Where would you like your career to take you?
If all goes to plan, I will be the proud owner of my own boutique gym very soon!
What is your fitness philosophy?
Take the time to do it properly – an effective warm up will get you everywhere. Your body is an instrument, not an ornament.
What advice would you give to someone starting out as a PT?
Do not discount your prices for anyone. Arm yourself with knowledge and never stop learning, so you can be valuable to those who trust you with their time, money and bodies. Stay in your lane (i.e. don’t go beyond your scope with regards nutrition and injuries). Don’t try and do it all: arm yourself with a team of allied health professionals who you can work with and learn from. Get outside of your own circles, you don’t know what you don’t know. Above all, show a real interest in people: listen to and genuinely engage with them. People can feel when you are just in it for the money.
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