Personal Trainer Certification

June 6, 2017
Personal trainer education
Image titled Become a Personal Trainer Step 2Complete a degree related to health (recommended). Some personal trainers only have a high school diploma or equivalent. Elite fitness centers, however, often require an associate's or bachelor's degree. Physical education, exercise science, and kinesiology are all good options.
  • If you do not plan on earning a degree, study human anatomy on your own or through certification courses (see below). The best personal trainers have a deep understanding of the way the human body works. Your own fitness routine may work for you, but you'll need a broader knowledge base to help a range of clients meet their goals and avoid injury.
  • Study other useful subjects. If you are still in college, consider taking some business courses to learn how to attract and keep clients. If you can fit in a degree in education, this will qualify you for related fitness jobs as a gym teacher or coach in the school system.
Work on fitness and people skills. Personal trainers are responsible for educating their clients on physical fitness and self-motivation. In order to be effective, personal trainers must demonstrate that they have mastered these areas in their own lives. As you consider becoming a personal trainer, ask yourself these questions:
  • Are you in optimal physical shape? This does not mean meeting status quo standards of beauty, but you must be fit and healthy enough to be an example to clients.
  • Do you believe in the power of fitness? Personal trainers don’t just exercise because they want to stay slim.Image titled Become a Personal Trainer Step 3 They see physical fitness as a powerful force that fundamentally enhances people’s lives.
  • Are you able to empathize and collaborate with people from a range of backgrounds? Your success depends on forming long-term bonds with your clients, from body-building teenagers to senior citizens overcoming medical problems.
Earn certification (recommended). Most employers require at least CPR / AED training from a brief emergency first aid course. They may also require personal training certification, although this is not a legal requirement in the United States. Most clients do not care about certification, so choose a program based on what you would like to be trained in. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) offer the two best-known programs, but you may choose another program certified by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
  • Some other countries, including the UK and Mexico, require a standard training program before you are legally allowed to work as a personal trainer.
  • Some gyms actually pay for their trainers to receive certification as an incentive for continuing to work there.Image titled Become a Personal Trainer Step 4 Call your favorite gyms to find out if they offer this type of program.
Seek entry-level work. Your first job will probably be at a commercial gym. Working on the gym floor or training under a more experienced mentor are common starting points, especially if you have minimal to no certification. Your income typically comes directly from your clients, after the gym takes its cut.
  • Don't be afraid to cold-call gym management, or chat with employees at your own workout places. Even if there's no job opening, you may be able to land an internship and work your way up.
  • It may be six months or longer before you get enough clients to make a living. Consider working part-time alongside a second source of income. Front desk work or another customer service job at the gym can be good practice interacting with customers.
Develop relationships with clients. Many gyms attract new clients by offering free first sessions with personal trainers. Use these sessions to keep clients interested in your specific skills and style. Personal trainers’ pay is commission-based, so the more clients you have, the better.
  • Keep in mind that the gym may require you to sign a non-compete agreement to prevent you from taking clients if you decide to leave. Read the section below if you are interested in working towards your own business.
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Personal Trainer Certification Testimonial - Grand Rapids
Personal Trainer Certification Testimonial - Grand Rapids
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