“What do I need to become a personal trainer?” is a common question. Fortunately, learning how to become a fitness instructor or fitness expert is a fairly straightforward process. Here are nine steps you can follow to become a certified fitness pro:
- Assess your own attitude and abilities.
There are many types of personal trainer careers. Whether you want to become fitness coach, aerobics instructor, wellness coordinator, or various other sort of fitness professional, it’s important to think about your personal qualities and motivations to be able to ensure that sure you’re prepared for what’s ahead.
Persistence and overall flexibility are two key skills you should be an exercise instructor. To be a truly successful personal trainer, you also need to be good with people. To be able to determine whether it is the right path for you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I in reasonably good physical condition?
- Do I lead a healthy lifestyle?
- Am I passionate about fitness?
- Am I a good listener?
- Can I motivate and inspire visitors to do their utmost?
- Do I enjoy working one-on-one with many different varieties of people?
- Can I deal with non-traditional working arrangements that could keep me busiest in the evenings and early mornings?
- Can I be patient with clients who make excuses for not sticking to their routines or may place blame in the incorrect areas when they don’t reach their goals?
Think about where you’d like to work.
Personal trainers are employed in a diverse range of settings. Having an idea of where you’d like to work can help you focus your training and choose the correct certifications. Here are some examples of places that hire fitness trainers:
- Commercial gyms
- Health clubs
- Corporate fitness facilities
- Hospitals and wellness centers
- Training studios
- Cruise ships
- Hotels and resorts
- Retirement complexes
- Community centers
Of course, many trainers also work in clients’ private homes or open their own studios. Online fitness coaching is also becoming an extremely popular option as it lets you connect with clients no matter where they live. Through online training, you can develop customized workouts without having to travel to clients’ homes or schedule time in a gym. Visit this website to get more insight, https://www.nestacertified.com/personal-fitness-trainer-certification/
Consider post-secondary training.
You don’t need to go to school to become a personal trainer, but post-secondary training can give you a great foundation of relevant knowledge for passing the recognition exams. Additionally, it may help you advance in the fitness field, several specialty certifications require college training.
Many vocational schools offer focused programs that are designed to prepare you for just one or more personal trainer certifications. Some even include a certification exam within the curriculum. You’ll likely learn about a range of subject areas such as anatomy, nutrition, biomechanics, and exercise physiology. You will also be taught how to determine a client’s fitness level and design a safe workout program that addresses specific goals. Plus, many programs can be completed in less than a year.
Another option is to get a bachelor’s degree in an area like exercise science or kinesiology. These programs typically take four years to complete you need to include more general education courses such as English, art, and social knowledge. A qualification is not strictly essential to become a fitness expert, but it can open the doorway to many niche specialties.
Meet basic personal trainer recognition requirements.
While requirements vary somewhat between certifications, you will likely need to:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Have current CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator) certification
Note that many programs will not accept CPR recognition from an online-only provider. They want to know that you have had your skills assessed face-to-face. Check with your chosen program to learn which providers it prefers.
Develop a study plan.
Most recognition programs give you a set amount of time to prepare when you have registered for the exam. Two to six months is fairly standard, but some programs let you take up to one or two years. The amount of study time needed will change from person to person, but a general guideline is to allow for 80 to 150 hours. Following good study tips are a good idea.
You may also want to consider investing in materials like study guides, textbooks, flash cards, and practice tests. Each documentation program offers analysis packages which include varying levels of instruction and support. Be aware that you are not required to get some of these materials in order to take the exams. The price tag on such plans ranges from about $50 to $2,000, with regards to the certifying organization and what’s included. (In many cases, package costs are the documentation exam fee.)
Of course, there are also plenty of free resources that can help you prepare. Read blogs, watch relevant online videos, and speak to experienced certified trainers to learn what they recommend.
Pass a recognition exam.
Most exams consist of 100 to 300 multiple-choice questions related to anatomy, physiology, nutrition, client assessment, program development, and ethics. Depending on the certification you choose, you will have between two and three hours to complete the exam.
There is a cost to get certified as a personal trainer if you forgo a study package and just sign up for a recognition exam. Take into account that some vocational schools include these fees in their tuition rates. Also, some employers would like to cover the qualification costs for their trainers, so make sure to look into the available options.
Pass rates vary between different exams. If you don’t pass the first time, most programs enable you to retake the test, but you may have to wait a certain amount of time between attempts. In most cases, there are retake fees.
Once you pass the exam, you receive your recognition and can officially call yourself a qualified personal trainer. You should recertify every so often, usually every several years. Recertifying requires completing a designated amount of continuing education credits and paying a fee.
Begin your career.
Most personal trainers get their start in gyms. Allowing you acquire experience and build a reputation on the market without having to find your own clients or invest in costly equipment. Plus, as an employee, you may receive benefits and may be covered by the gym’s liability insurance (but it’s worth looking at getting some for yourself).
As you gain knowledge and confidence, you can branch from your own. Just keep in mind that you probably won’t be able to take your clients with you. Most gyms need you to sign a non-compete agreement that prevents you from doing exactly that.
Here are a few things you can certainly do for starters in the personal training field:
- Ask gyms in your area about the opportunity of job shadowing a trainer. Some gyms offer internship programs that incorporate job shadowing and supervised coaching. However, the internship may be unpaid.
- Hire a personal trainer and clarify that you are looking to break into the field and will be asking plenty of questions. It costs $60 or more an hour to obtain a personal trainer, so you will want to make the the majority of this opportunity. Take note of how your trainer interacts with you and take into account the approach you’d use.
- Offer to provide a few free training sessions at a gym to be able to get client feedback. A whole lot of fitness gyms are happy to accept free labor. Focus on making a positive impression on your consumers in order that they not only come back but also recommend you to their friends.
Consider a specialty.
Getting additional training in a specific area can help you expand your clientele and let you charge higher fees for your services. A wide variety of specialty certifications can be obtained. Some prepare you to work with clients who’ve medical issues such as cancer, heart disease, asthma, or arthritis. Others let you concentrate on weight management, sports conditioning, nutrition, or programs for young people or older adults. Remember that many of these specialty certifications need you to be described as a certified trainer or have a college degree in a fitness-related field.
- An American Council on Exercise (ACE) survey of fitness professionals discovered that these were the most frequent types of clients that personal trainers worked with:
- Healthy adults: 76 percent
- Seniors: 70 percent
- Overweight or obese adults: 69 percent
- Post-rehabilitation clients (i.e., those recovering from injury or surgery): 34 percent
- Special populations (i.e., those with medical limitations): 29 percent
- Athletes: 26 percent
- Youth: 22 percent
You could also develop a niche in a particular activity. Some of the top fitness trends of 2018 include high-intensity interval training, group training (such as aerobics or spin classes), bodyweight training (i.e., when people use their own weight for resistance), strength training, and yoga.