How to Become a Personal Trainer

how to become a personal trainer

Are you exploring ideas on how to become a Personal Trainer? Personal trainers are specially trained fitness workers who assess and assist clients in increasing their physical fitness and achieving their fitness goals. Personal trainers generally work within gyms, fitness centers, offices, or within clients’ private residences offering customized instruction, demonstration, and plans through exercise. Trainers may work with individual clients or with small groups of them ensuring exercises are executed properly and safely. Personal trainers’ work extends beyond gym floors and weight rooms as they also offer clients diet and lifestyle techniques to maximize health and fitness. Due to an overall interest and increasing focus on fitness, exercise, and wellness, the demand for qualified personal trainers is anticipated to be vast. Employment for personal trainers is expected to increase at a much faster than average rate and offer numerous job opportunities.

Individuals with an interest in establishing a career as a personal trainer must possess specialized skills and knowledge offered through certification, licensing, and educational programs. Individuals may prepare for employment as a personal trainer by living a healthy lifestyle and completing classes, workshops, and formal training programs. High school students may complete courses in physical education, English, biology, business, and communications to increase skills and understanding required for future training programs.

High school graduates often advance to certification or licensing programs offered through organizations like the National Personal Training Institute or the International Fitness Professionals Association. Certification programs provide students with classroom instruction and supervised gym experiences to increase skills and gain a basic understanding of the field. Courses generally include: legal guidelines and business management, health screening and fitness, cardio-respiratory fitness, muscular strength and endurance, strength training program design, communication and teaching, flexibility and stretching, human anatomy and physiology, nutrition, musculoskeletal injuries, emergency procedures, injury rehab, advertising marketing, adherence and motivation, CPR and first aid, fitness center etiquette, sales and marketing, and special health concerns. Certification programs offer students the ability to demonstrate the knowledge learned within classroom experiences through a cumulative practical experience. Individuals who complete certification programs often advance as licensed personal trainers or continue studies within degree programs.

An associate degree in exercise science offers individuals interested in becoming personal trainers an expanded understanding of the field. Courses include: anatomy and physiology; sport and fitness psychology; introduction to motor learning and motor control; obesity prevention and treatment; functional kinesiology; sport biomechanics; movement analysis; physical activity epidemiology; conditioning and strength training; teaching fitness and physical activity concepts; wellness and health promotion; first aid, safety, and CPR; prevention and care of athletic injuries; research and quantitative software applications in movement science; nutrition; exercise and aging; movement science seminar; nutrition for sport and exercise; fitness for special populations; advanced exercise testing; health fitness instruction; and exercise science internship. Graduates who complete associate degree programs may advance to licensing programs to gain employment or continue studies within higher degree programs.

Bachelor degree programs in exercise science provide students with specialized knowledge and training. Courses include: lifetime fitness and wellness, human physiology, human anatomy, introduction to kinesiology, biological foundations of kinesiology, sociological/psychological foundations of kinesiology; nutrition for wellness, exercise physiology, human biomechanics, exercise programming for special populations, theories and practices of weight management, college physics, principles of exercise testing and prescription, physical activity behaviors, advanced topics in exercise science, practicum in exercise science, and internship in exercise science. Graduates with bachelor degrees often advance to employment as physical trainers or gym managers. Some may continue studies within master’s or doctoral degree programs to gain employment within other career fields.

Experienced personal trainers often must continue education to maintain licensure, gain promotions, and remain current of industry changes. The following organizations offer licensing and continuing education programs: the International Sports Sciences Association, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, National Personal Training Institute, or the International Fitness Professionals Association. Many experienced trainers advance to head trainer or group exercise director positions within fitness organizations or establish self owned and operated fitness centers upon securing adequate experience and funding. With this information about how to become a Personal Trainer, you’re well on your way to a successful and rewarding career in this field.

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