Im considering becoming a personal trainer

I live in Taichung, and as the post suggest, I am considering becoming a personal trainer.
I listed up a quick “about me” in my first post.
Basically, I have been in the competition circuit for 10 years. I am friends with top pro’s in several sports, and have trained with many of the biggest, strongest, best built people on the planet. I myself set my first record in bench press when I was just 18, and in 2011 was the US National Champion in Powerlifting, and was on Team USA. I was supposed to go to Latvia to represent the USA in November of 2011, but an injury prevented that.
I have given tips and advice to countless people, but I have only trained a few dozen. Everyone I have trained though has been very successful.
Two examples:
Before i came to Taiwan, I was training a guy named Dave. His dad was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam, so Dave was born with a lot of issues. Fast Forwad to last year, Dave had died on the table twice, had 6 inches of spine removed, several pounds of muscle cut out of his back, has a prosthetic hip, has several discs in his back fused together, weighed 400 pounds, etc. No trainer wanted to touch him. When I met him, he could hardly do a body squat. Could only bench press 135 pounds, and did not deadlift.
After 6 months of training, he lost 135 pounds of fat, could bench press 275 pounds, Squat 365 pounds, and Deadlift 500 pounds.

Last month I was at the gym here in Taichung. After doing some Squat, a guy walks up to me and asks me how to get strong like me. Long story short, I started training him. In just 3 weeks, his bench press went from 285 to 330, his deadlift went from 396 to 462, and his squat went from 352 to 418. He has gained close to an inch on his arms, 2 inches on his shoulders, an inch on his chest, and he is actually leaner and more vascular.
He says to me “Dude, you need to start charging people. People here would pay. You need to be a trainer”.

Sooooooo…
Here is my stance.
I have devoted my life to this, and within the next year I will be the all time World Record holder. I have trained champion powerlifters, bodybuilders, fitness models, etc. So I am plenty qualified.
However, It does not seem that there is much demand for that type of knowledge here.
Am I legally allowed to start training people? Is there a market for it? If so, what is the going rate? I can only assume by the lack of decent gyms and the absence of supplement stores, that this won’t be an “easy” thing to get into.

Any thoughts, suggestions, or help is appreciated.

Best bet would probably be to chat with the poster formosafitness forumosa.com/taiwan/memberli … le&u=53516 He’s an American who is very successful in this field in Taiwan and owns a gym in Taipei.

Very impressive, and I absolutely think that regardless of where you are in the world you have all the credentials necessary. So really it just comes down to the business end of things. I work out a True Fitness, and our personal trainers charge 2000$ per session. The gym keeps about 1700 of that so don’t think for a second that personal trainers in Taiwan make a good income because most don’t, but it does show that from the customers perspective there is a market to charge upwards of 2000 NT per hour.

  1. You will need to have access to a gym to train people at. If not it may prove difficult to convince people to train with you. Naturally with your knowledge and experience you could most likely train people better than most of these personal trainers with simple things like a brick, a jug of water, and 12 feet of rope, but in the end I’m sure people really do want to be in the actual gym. So you’re going to have to either have access to a gym or work under someone who has a gym already who will take a cut of your hourly salary.

  2. Once you have a place to take students, it then becomes about marketing. In my experience, in Taiwan your credentials matter far less than your appearance and personality. Most of the personal trainers I see don’t seem to know the first thing about weight training, but they most likely walk and talk the part as well as look the part. Taiwanese people are very much like that. If you look like a fitness trainer, you can be one, regardless of credentials. I can’t tell you how many people I see on the golf driving ranges teaching golf that couldn’t break 80 to save their life. But they walk, talk, and act the part and people believe them.

So where are we at with those things so far? Do you have a gym to train people at and do you look good enough to attract attention? Also:

I’m just curious, what does that mean?

Although i have been involved with many aspects of the fitness industry, my personal area of choice has been powerlifting. I set my first record in bench press when i was 18. I was the strongest in the Nation by the age of 22. I was on Team USA, and in 2011 while prepping for Worlds in Riga, Latvia, I suffered an injury and had to pull out of the competition. A few months later, I found out that my girlfriend was pregnant, so I sold my classic car, took a break from competing, got a bigger house, etc. Now my family and I all live here in Taiwan (my wife was born and raised here), and I have started lifting heavy again. At this point, even my casual gym lifts are back to where they are within range of the all time historic world records, so i have decided to start training for the next Worlds, with the goal of breaking those records.

Oh, and I am currently working on a few ideas as to where I would train people.
I also have both the credentials and I “look the part”.

So it sounds like everything is in place. Like I said, 2000 NT seems to be a price in which many customers seem comfortable paying. I can’t say for sure whether it would be more or less in your case, so you’d have to test out the market to find out. I’d say more of course because of your background and sheer credentials, but then maybe less since I would imagine your customer base is going to be much smaller due to the language barrier. I’ve heard of decent trainers who charged as little as 1000 NT per hour, and although I’ve never heard of any prices over 2000 NT, a guy who lives in my building is sort of on a similar path to you except he says he’s also going to open his own gym as well, he seems to be under the impression that there is a market for 3000 NT or more per training session. I definitely disagree with him, but who am I to say. Maybe there are a couple rich people who would love to pay 3000 just to watch you lifting SUV’s and throwing 1000 pound tires :laughing:

So you’re out to break the world record for bench press, curls, dead lift? What’s your best event? And if you’re really one of the strongest guys in the world, how big are you? :astonished: You must stand out in a crowd in this country huh?

Well as long as i could make a minimum of NT$1,000 an hour, I would be happy. Of course, how much I charge would depend on the clients needs. I would of course not charge much for basic stuff, and would charge much more for a complete bells and whistles sort of approach.

I compete in full power, so I compete in the Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift. I also compete all raw, which I wish more people knew the difference in (example, the world record RAW bench press is 722#, but add one of those goofy bench shirts, and the world record is around 1,100#).
I do get a lot of people looking at me wherever I go. Most say something to the effect of me being “so big”. I am not unusually tall, just shy of 6’ actually. However I do have 58" shoulders, 50" chest, 19" arms, and a 33" waist.

My best event is probably the bench press. For example, right now I don’t even train very heavy, and I have only been back to doing bench press after not benching for nearly a year. Still, my current workout has me usually has me going over 400#.

Yeah I know what bench shirts are and how much of an advantage they are ( once you get used to them )

As in 1 rep max of 400? You think you’ll be able to close the gap to 722 within a year to set the world record as you said?

Well, right now I will do 400# or more. Sometimes I go up to 440# for a single.
However, I am not trying to hit the all time bench record of 722#, I am trying to set the all time world records in my Class. In my age and weight class, the Raw Record are a 700# Squat, a 496# Bench, and a 725# Deadlift. That is the Raw, Drug tested area. When you look at the untested, the numbers are higher, as well as with lifting gear, etc.
Right now i can Squat 600, Bench 440, and Deadlift 650. I am also “out of shape” right now. I know my body well, and I have no doubt I will be able to close the gaps within a year.

I know nothing about weight lifting, but I’m amazed that the “shirt” you wear allows you to lift an extra 400 pounds.

I just don’t get it. :ponder:

Its basically like a huge armored rubber band. It pulls your arms together so hard it feels like it is going to fold your chest in half vertically at the sternum. So it actually requires hundreds of pounds of weight just to push the bar down to your chest. So, take your bench power, then add the multiple hundreds of pounds of resistance the shirt helps with, and suddenly you can “bench” much more.

Bench shirts are totally ridiculous and in my opinion an embarrassment to the sport of power lifting that we even have to distinguish between “raw” lifts and assisted ones. In the future i’m sure we will have Elysium type exoskeletons that will help us lift thousands of pounds. Does that make the person strong? It should go without saying that any lift worthy of note would naturally be raw and unassisted.

Drugs, not so clear and cut because it’s actually quite a slippery slope. What’s allowed, what isn’t, why, what’s the difference, it’s not so easy to regulate steroids and supplements. It would be great if everybody took nothing worse then simple protein powder but that’s just not a reality. But bench shirts, how stupid. For anyone who hasn’t seen what it is, you can go on Youtube and see people using them. It’s so intrusive that some people need help walking around and laying down on the bench when they are wearing one.

[quote=“BrentGolf”]Bench shirts are totally ridiculous and in my opinion an embarrassment to the sport of power lifting that we even have to distinguish between “raw” lifts and assisted ones. In the future I’m sure we will have Elysium type exoskeletons that will help us lift thousands of pounds. Does that make the person strong? It should go without saying that any lift worthy of note would naturally be raw and unassisted.

Drugs, not so clear and cut because it’s actually quite a slippery slope. What’s allowed, what isn’t, why, what’s the difference, it’s not so easy to regulate steroids and supplements. It would be great if everybody took nothing worse then simple protein powder but that’s just not a reality. But bench shirts, how stupid. For anyone who hasn’t seen what it is, you can go on Youtube and see people using them. It’s so intrusive that some people need help walking around and laying down on the bench when they are wearing one.[/quote]

^^^^This^^^^

I suggest you try to get to know the folks at the Chinese Taipei Weightlifting Association (ctwa.org.tw/). They could be a channel for access to professional workout facilities where Taiwan’s competitive weightlifters train, and also a way to make contacts with potential clients or to find work as a coach. The “Taipei” in the name of the organization actually means Taiwan (ROC), but they use the name “Taipei” because of pressure from China not to compete under the country’s official name. It is a national organization, although its head office is in Taipei. You might ask your lady to give them a ring and explain your situation and see whether they have any suggestions. Or you could drop into their office or associated facilities when you are next in Taipei and introduce yourself.

Their contact info is below:
電 話: 02-2375-6626 02-2375-4631
傳 真: 02-2375-4692
地 址: 10841-台北市西寧南路26號 (Address: No. 26, Xining South Road, Taipei)
E-mail:ctwa@hotmail.com.tw
E-mail:ctwa@seed.net.tw
E-mail:ctwactwa@gmail.com
ctwa.org.tw/

By the way, not sure whether you have considered the legal aspects of working here as a foreigner yet. If you and your girlfriend are already married (or once you get married), you will be entitled to open working rights. If you’re not legally married yet, you would need to get separate work permits for each coaching job, which would be very difficult. You might consider registering your marriage first to get your work rights, even if you are not planning to hold a wedding ceremony until sometime later. (It is common practice in Taiwan to legally register a marriage first and then hold the wedding ceremony/party later – if you want to have a ceremony/party that is.)