A Day in The Life of a Personal Trainer

When does a fitness professional workout? Eat? Sleep?

"When do you workout?" A common question that seems to come up from time to time. When you make a career out of helping people with their health and fitness goals, sometimes people wonder how you have time to take care of yourself. It's not easy but it's just as important to me as it is to you so I make it happen!

Here's a walk through of a typical day in the life of a personal trainer.

Waking Up before Dawn

I find myself feeling more and more comfortable with going to bed early these days 8-9 pm. It's not uncommon for me to turn in before 9-9:30 pm and wake before 4:30 am. In fact the other day I woke up around 3:30 and just figured I'd get an early start on the day.

I typically spend some time reading or writing but none of that includes keeping up with the news. I try to limit the information I take on so I don't feel stressed out as a self declared extroverted-introvert. Most mornings I'll keep up with things by checking out NFL.com as I eat breakfast.

It varies from day to day but by the time 6 am rolls around I have typically done the following:

  • Washed yesterdays dishes including protein shake bottles-I consume protein and carbohydrates in separate shakes during/post workout.
  • Taken a shower-it helps me wake up and get focused
  • Checked in on client programs for the day and progress made
  • Checked in on my own program
  • Prepared food for the day or started on another batch of  a few days food while making breakfast

Because my current hours allow it, I workout in the morning around 5:30-6 am. Surprisingly, despite the fact that I wake up at 4:30, I still find myself running out of the house.


It's become a habit for me to workout in the mornings over the years. I find that if I wait until the evening something will get in the way or I just flat out don't feel like going. Taking care of myself is really important to me and I find that if I don't exercise my old injuries start to bug me.

I made a couple of changes at the advice of someone smarter than myself. I like to workout often but there's no need for me to lift 6 days a week with my history. Currently I'm on a upper/lower body split routine so I lift weights 4 days of the week. The other two days I've recently begun incorporating a little cardio, mobility and physical therapy exercises. Yes I'm seeing a physical therapist again.

Training Hours

Come showtime it's all fun! I get to spend the day, currently 8-5, interacting with all of my clients and hearing about what they have going on in their lives. Most clients see me 2-3 times a week but there are a couple that do a little more. These people are a large part of my life, it feels like I see them almost every day so I'm picky about who I choose to work with. 

The occasional groans about the types of exercises I'm having them do that get great results but aren't always super fun (typically barbell hip thrusts), are usually followed by smiles and laughter. I perform the exercise myself on a regular basis so I know the feeling of a good glute burn.

In between and sometimes during appointments I find the time to feed myself. On busy days I become a substance eater, usually because I forgot to pack something that looks appealing to everyone else, they ask how I can eat how I do.


As a business owner I'm a little different from the typical personal trainer. One reason is I spend a majority of my time reading or trying to write a little bit about fitness. I recently became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach because knowledge is something I pride myself in. Clients ask me questions all of time about fitness and I want to have a solid answer for them or at least be on the lookout for one. This is something I enjoy so it doesn't bother me to just do this for weeks at a time.

Outside of the books I enjoy reading for recreation. Seth Godin is one of my favorite authors as well as listening to some Tim Ferris Podcasting,  these two have made a tremendous impact on the kinds of questions I ask myself. You can typically find me in a coffee shop working on something, usually Kaldi's downtown or Starbucks on Nifong. When it's nice out I take hikes, and ride my bike. I don't watch much television but I'm finally getting to Mad Men on Netflix, don't spoil it for me! Somewhere in there I spend time with friends and family.

I would like to think my day is pretty normal but I am sure it is not. It seems normal because the types of clients I have in my life are also business professionals so we typically have the same round the clock schedules. From what I've heard from my awesome business lawyer and friend Nathan, I'll get better at balancing the family life and spending less time on things. He's incredibly insightful so I'll just trust him on that.

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