Case study

Freelance personal trainer — Dan Ferrier

Dan recently graduated from Southampton Solent University where he earned a BSc in Fitness and Personal Training

How did you get your job?

I interviewed at an Everyone Active gym and was given a space in one of their facilities on a freelance basis. I run my own freelance business, Dan Ferrier Health and Fitness.

How relevant is your degree to your job?

I use every aspect of my degree in each session with my clients, from anatomy and teaching them what muscles they're working, to corrective exercise to help remedy imbalances and posture and psychology to ensure the client stays adherent and motivated and strength and conditioning.

My whole degree is used each and every day.

What are your main work activities?

Currently, I work quite long days. I train two to three clients daily for their individual needs in sessions I have planned for them and I also make sure I am seen in the gym regularly. I spend time talking to a large number of the gym's members to try and gain more clients. I am typically in the facility around 10 to 12 hours a day, sometimes six days a week.

What are your career ambitions?

My first goal is to reach 30 one-on-one client hours per week. This is enough for me to live comfortably and will also help me save for my end goal, which is to open my own fitness facility.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The freedom of my role is quite nice. As long as I plan it in advance I have the freedom to work as and when I want. I also enjoy being my own boss and running my own small business.

What are the challenges?

The long days can be challenging. Coming from my first day, which was 15 hours long, knowing I hadn't been paid anything for that time was very different to what I was used to.

Any advice for aspiring personal trainers?

Be prepared to put in long hours at the beginning. This allows you to get the ball rolling much quicker than if you were to only be around the members occasionally.

Never stop learning, whether that's from other personal trainers around you or by taking a relevant book to work to read through during quiet hours in the gym. It's always good to expand your knowledge further.

Confidence in your own knowledge is important. If you undertake the personal training degree at Southampton Solent University, you'll receive a wealth of knowledge as well as access to many successful lecturers. Be confident in your ability to apply this knowledge and you will succeed.

Find your niche. Discover what area you feel the most confident in and let potential clients know about it. It becomes much easier to gain clients if you are seen as the go-to trainer in your gym for a specific population.

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