Jen, 27, from West Edinburgh, has been named as YOUR Personal Training’s PT of the month for June.
Jen currently runs her PT business at Xcite Craigswood, part of the West Lothian Leisure Charitable Trust.
Here Jen explains her career change, and how she is combining being a PT alongside her part time role as a mental health nurse.
Jen says: “I studied Mental Health Nursing at university and worked as a mental health nurse, but in 2019 I decided to take my PT qualification. Originally, I did the qualification for my own knowledge and personal development; I’ve always been interested in fitness and wellbeing and I’m very experienced training with weights - I really love how empowered and strong weight training makes me feel.
“I believed the PT qualification would make my own weight training better. However, during the lockdowns I started to take on a few private PT clients. These sessions were held mainly in people’s back gardens or in the park. I also did a few HIIT zoom sessions. I was doing this alongside my full-time nursing job. I really enjoyed training people and in Spring 2021 I decided to reduce my nursing hours and concentrate more on my PT business. In May 2022 I joined the YOUR PT team.
“I’m thrilled to be PT of the month. I only joined YOUR PT last month and this early recognition reinforces my belief that training to be a PT was the right thing to do.”
Jen currently does three shifts a week as a nurse and around 20/25 hours a week as a personal trainer. She currently has 16 clients, eight of which she brought with her.
Jen says: “There are a lot of correlations between being a mental health nurse and a PT. Both are quite practical and physical jobs – but more importantly being a good nurse means I am trained to listen and to understand people, and I bring this skill to my PT clients.
“A lot of clients, for whatever reason, may feel insecure about their body and may lack self-confidence. I build a trusted relationship with my clients where I can help to build better mental and physical health. A good PT must listen, mentor, guide and ultimately support clients in their journey to better wellbeing.
“I know from my own personal experience how better physical health can lead to better mental health, and my main and ultimate goal with my clients is to make them happier for the long term.”
Jen continues: “It’s great to be working at Xcite Craigswood. Not only is it a great facility, it’s the gym where I still train myself, so my clients get to use modern equipment and because I already know lots of people, it’s much easier to start up a conversation about working with me. The team at YOUR PT, especially my line manager, have been helpful in supporting me through upscaling my PT business. Any time, day or night, you can ask for guidance and it’s reassuring there is someone there to offer advice and guide my progress.
“In the future I plan to drop my three regular nursing shifts and just pick up cover and bank shifts while continuing to grow my PT business and self-development. I’m currently earning more as a PT than as a nurse.
“For the long term I’d love to be a wellbeing coach, offering exercise therapy, and I’m already undertaking further training, completing a sports massage course, as well as YOUR PT’s CPD in business support.
“I’m busier than ever, but I’m loving my new work life. It's great to have flexibility and variety in my career. I’m excited for the future.”