“You didn’t choose this job, this job chose you.”
This is a quote from my former manager stating why I was the only trainer on staff assigned high-risk/low mobility clients. These were the people that other trainers were afraid to train. This is the reason why I decided to earn my certification as a corrective exercise specialist and why I am currently studying for an advanced certification under the American College of Sports Medicine.
The lead photo is four of the more referenced books in my personal library. There are at least another half-dozen that I need to refer to from time-to-time as well.
Why so many? Glad you asked.
By the age of 40, the average adult has had, or is currently living with several injuries. An exceptionally high number of adults experience lower back, knee or shoulder pain and the effects of sedentary lifestyles, poor dietary habits and obesity have all been well documented.
To be effective as a personal trainer, I need to be able to service a wide variety of clients. Furthermore I need to know when to refer out to other professionals if a situation is outside of my abilities or scope of practice.
This is part of the reason why I believe continued professional education is of such importance to personal trainers. It is our responsibility to continually improve in our craft and be of best service to all.
There are many trainers that choose to, or actually are limited in their abilities. This itself does not make them poor trainers, just limited to specified types of clients in which they may be exceptional at producing results.
They have a strong point and they are capitalizing on it, or they have a small comfort zone and are sticking well within it. I personally see no problem either way so long as they are honest about themselves and do not attempt to mislead the public.
On the other hand, some of them really are just plain limited and choose to remain unevolved.
Trainers that choose to specialize in a single area are still common, but they continually face competition from other trainers with the same skills in addition to those with diverse abilities.
Being known for having the ability to add muscle mass to young adult males is quite common. Without having documented success stories you are simply a face among many. You stand the very real chance of being thought of as limited in skill since training a young adult male with his youth, naturally high testosterone level and fast metabolism is easier than training a non-athletic, deconditioned middle aged adult with all the effects that age can bring upon a person.
My recommendation to the aspiring young personal trainer is to have a solid educational foundation and at least two strong areas of concentration. As you mature and gain confidence in your skills you can choose your niche, or perhaps your niche will choose you.