How to Become a Personal Trainer

If you are physically fit and have a strong desire to motivate and help others, you may be wondering how to become a personal trainer. This is a good career choice for someone who is patient, well organized, and a good listener.

Personal trainers work with people at different fitness levels to help them reach their goals. You should be able to demonstrate and explain how to use different pieces of fitness equipment to your clients, as well as offer information about how to lead a healthy lifestyle as part of your job.

Education and Training to Become a Personal Trainer

Although a degree is not required for people who want to become a personal trainer, you may want to consider completing an Associate degree in Fitness Management or a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Fitness Management. If you choose the two-year degree, you would be enrolled in courses in the following subjects:

• Anatomy and Physiology
• Basic Human Nutrition
• Biomechanics of Resistance Training
• Exercise Physiology
• First Aid and Safety
• Fundamentals of Sports and Fitness Management
• Kinesiology
• Personal Health
• Stress Management
• Tai Chi

Students enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree program will take courses in:

• Applied Biomechanics
• Dynamics of Weight Control
• First Aid, Safety and CPR
• General Chemistry
• General Physics
• Human Anatomy and Physiology
• Legal Environment of Business
• Microeconomics
• Motor Development
• Nutrition for Performance
• Sport Management
• Stress Management
• Survey of Special Education

Certification for Personal Trainers

There are a number of organizations which offer certification to personal trainers. You will want to make sure that the one you are considering is nationally accredited. It’s a good idea to contact a few local fitness clubs to ask what certification programs they recognize when hiring trainers.

Some certification programs offer a home study option, while you would need to attend a workshop for others. Be sure to ask what prerequisites are required and whether the exam is taken at home or at a specific location. The cost of a certification will vary as well, and you should compare rates when making your decision.

It’s a good idea to choose a specialty when considering a certification program. This designation means that you have expertise in a particular area and that you will be able to charge a higher rate for your services.

Get a Job or Start Your Own Personal Trainer Business

Once you have become a certified personal trainer, you will need to decide whether you want to get a job or start your own venture. If you are brand new to the industry, you may want to start by working at a gym, health club or a senior’s residence first. Resorts and cruise ships may also have openings for personal trainers, and this is a great way to work with people from different backgrounds.

If you decide to start your own business, you will need to make a choice about whether to open up a home gym or to work with clients in their homes. Once you know where you will be working, you will need to develop a marketing plan to help you find clients and reach your goal to become a personal trainer.

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