Whether you are a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, fitness professional, or even a blogger – below are 6 tips to help you avoid burnout.


6 Steps to Avoid Burnout as a Fitness Professional


Just like in fitness, if you do not rest and recharge, you will either burnout, plateau, or get injured. Your profession and life are no different. You have to refuel your tank from time to time or you will crash and burn.


Burnout is feeling overwhelmed, emotionally drained, lacking interest and motivation, and stressed due to being unable to meet constant demands.


So, whether you are a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, fitness professional, or blogger – below are 6 tips to help you avoid burnout.


Stick to a schedule 

As a new trainer or fitness professional, you have to put in your dues. I get that. You might have to work long hours, early mornings, and late evenings. But the best piece of advice I can give you – is to create a schedule and stick to it!


Your schedule can include some long days, but be sure to factor in rest, continued education, your own workouts, and personal time.


You cannot do EVERYTHING and do it well. 


For this reason, it is especially important for new trainers to set time aside for personal and professional growth (reading books and blogs, taking fitness classes and certifications, working on client programs, etc.)


My first day as a trainer at my job was January 1. It sounded like a great time to start, but it was not! I taught 3 fitness classes in the morning, had a staff meeting, couple other tasks that needed done, and met with two new clients that were ready to start the next morning. I know it sounds awesome, but I was so overwhelmed and stressed. Looking back, that literally might have been one of the worst days of work.


I got home after working 10 hours and still had to come up with two programs for two very different people by tomorrow morning – oh and my computer crashed. I wanted to cry. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for this?


Lots of time and effort went into those first two programs over the next couple months – as they should when you are starting out. But over time, once you have a few templates, it should not be that difficult to plug in exercises and make modifications and progressions.


If you are just as good now as when you began – you are not growing.


If you are just as good now as when you began - you are not growing. #fitnesssuccess #sweatpink Share on X


Stick to your purpose

Knowing and understanding your purpose is SO important. WHY you started and WHY it was important to you will carry you through on those days weeks, and months you want to quit.


Here is a little practice that can help on those days you lack motivation:


Visualize where you want to be in one year and what you want this next year to look like. What would your PERFECT day be like?


Visualizing gives you something to work towards and allows you to recognize what you want when you see it. This is why athletes visualize their win before a big game. Muhammad Ali saw himself victorious long before the actual fight. And Michael Jordan always took the last shot in his mind before he ever took one in real life.


It is OK to say NO

Take the time to recharge, reconnect, and do more of what you love – and in order to do that, you have to say “NO” to some other things. It might be hard at first, but is worth it in the long run.


As First Lady Barbara Bush said, “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent.”


Don’t trade your time directly for money

Time is our most important commodity, and all the money in the world cannot replace that fact.


By trading your time directly for money, your income (and freedom) is limited. If you want to make more money, you either have to charge your clients more per hour or work more hours each day.


So, what options do you have? 


Create a product, create a program for multiple people at one (more on that below), automate and systemize as much as you can, hire someone, and start building your expertise and authority.


Work less, make more money – Create a program for multiple clients

This piggy backs off of what I mentioned earlier about having workout templates and being able to plug and play exercises and make modifications and progressions.


Emotions drive action and logic justifies it. Benefits are emotional, features are logical. Promoting “losing weight” is a logical goal. It’s a feature. It’s a means to an end, but it’s not an end.


The benefit for wanting to lose weight is the underlying reason why a client wants to train. Communicate these benefit clearly to your ideal client.


I help mamas improve their energy and trim up. Because young moms don’t have a lot of time or money, we train for 30-45 minutes at a time in groups small enough that everybody gets personal attention but big enough that it’s still cost effective.


The example above allows you to train similar people in small groups – making more money in that time frame than you could with training one-on-one.


Keep learning, doing, and seeing

How do you set yourself apart and constantly come up with fun, creative things to do with your clients?


Educating yourself and experiencing new things in the fitness realm will inspire you and your clients. Be sure to surround yourself with other Fitness Professionals and like-minded individuals.


Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. We are more affected by our environment than we tend to think – and are greatly influenced by our relationships with those close to us. It affects the way we think, make decisions, and our self-esteem.


I like this quote from Mylrea the creator of Tabata Bootcamp, “It’s like that advice we’ve all heard about marriage and relationships. You can’t love your partner unless you love yourself. Likewise, we can’t teach our clients if we aren’t learning anything ourselves. Get out there and try new things. Take new classes with different instructors. Experience new foods. Take a different route on your run…

All of these things create a more cultured you, a more adventurous you, a BETTER you. Your clients will appreciate this, because it’s reflected in your energy, motivation, and your desire to inspire when you’re with them.”


You might like: Expert Advice: New Personal Trainer Tips For Success

Let’s Chat

Do you have any tips or tricks to avoid burnout?

Have you experienced burnout as a fitness trainer,instructor, or blogger in the past?