As a personal trainer, you probably assumed that you’d be helping people of all sizes, genders, and shapes accomplish their unique, personal fitness goals. That being said, unless you planned to specialize in it, senior fitness probably wasn’t automatically on your radar.
But it should be. For so many reasons.
For starters, there’s an enormous number of senior citizens out there who are actively seeking out personal trainers.
Secondly, understanding senior citizen fitness is hugely beneficial for your long-term career goals.
Because the average personal training client is a woman who is in their 40s—if they’re starting now at taking their health seriously, don’t you think that’s a trend that will continue into their future? Doesn’t being able to stick with them through it all, as their bodies change and require different styles of fitness to keep them in shape, speak to the longevity of your career and relationship with that client?
Of course, there’s always that added bonus of reaching a new market, boosting your business, and amping up your profits—but we know that money isn’t all you’re thinking about.
Adding in special personal training services for your clients shows that you care about every person out there who’s looking to accomplish a goal—no matter what age they are.
Have we piqued your interest? We thought we might have.
We’ve laid out a few of the best ways to kickstart your senior citizen fitness services below!
How You Can Add Personal training for Seniors to Your Services
Don’t be intimidated by this list we’re about to dive into. Sure, personal training for senior citizens is going to be different—they have different goals, different capabilities, and different attitudes—but remember, you’re still a certified personal trainer, you’ve got this!
Get a Special Certification
As you know, certifications in special niches can go a long way—for both you and your new clients. Even though you might have years of certified personal training experience, taking the time to learn how to work with senior citizens, enrolling in courses to understand their unique physiology, and investing efforts into learning special techniques to help keep them healthy shows that you’re qualified.
That’s going to be huge, especially for a generation who puts a lot of stock into certificates, licenses, and verification's.
Take some time to enroll in special courses, attend a convention, and earn your senior citizen personal fitness license the right way. It’ll pay off in the long run and you’ll learn so much.
Offer Introductory Courses
There are a lot of senior citizens out there who may want to invest in your personal fitness training, but they might be scared, nervous, or anxious about working with you. That’s OK—it’s natural for folks who are older in age to be hesitant to start working out again, especially if they’ve taken a break from it for a few years.
Combat this by providing senior citizens with special introductory courses. Offer reduced cost classes that go over the very basics of what you’ll be doing with them. Talk about their goals, their limitations, and their overall reason for wanting to invest in your program. Take the time to talk about the important stuff, get to know them, and slowly but surely introduce them to more advanced personal training classes with you.
Include Solo + Group Options
Everyone is different, but often, providing a group atmosphere of like-minded and similarly-abled people can boost someone’s confidence enough to get them to begin working out again. If you have a few senior citizens interested in working with you, see if you can start up a group fitness class specifically for senior citizens.
Additionally, make sure you’re offering solo classes. There are some folks out there who aren’t going to be interested in being vulnerable and rekindling the workout fire while other people are watching and participating. Offering both types of options makes you available to a broader market, too.
Put a Special Focus on Discussing Their Needs and Goals
We know you’d likely take this step with any client you were thinking about bringing on, but it’s of even more important when it comes to working with older clients.
Your older clients are going to have different goals, different limitations, and different activity levels, so making sure you’re on the same page with them from the start is going to make an enormous difference in how your relationship blooms.
Further, communication needs to be a common theme throughout your relationship to ensure safety, confidence, and trust.
Make Sure You’re Creating an Environment That Makes Sense for Them
When we say this, we’re not being ageist—we’re simply acknowledging that different age groups tend to flourish in different environments. For example, the 20-something crowd might love a packed gym with blaring music and lots of good selfie-lighting, but an older crowd might find this overwhelming, obnoxious, and overbearing.
When you’re talking with your new senior citizen clients, make sure you’re getting a firm grasp of what kind of environment they want—then, deliver on that to ensure they’re comfortable.
Market Your New Services
Like we always say—doing all of these things is great, but if not one knows about your services, it’s all for nothing.
Put time, effort, and maybe even some money into marketing your new niche so that you’re reaching the audience you want. Try partnering with local care facilities that might need an on-call personal trainer, work with local doctors who might be recommending personal training to older folks, and overall, try your hardest to get the word out about your services. Check out our expertly curated marketing tips, just for fitness pros, here.
Now, you can start helping people quickly, building up a client base, and getting folks healthy.