How to Become a Fitness Trainer

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personal trainer

  1. CHOOSE A CERTIFICATION. There are different organizations and accredited programs that offer certifications. Before becoming a fitness trainer, you should first select the appropriate certification for your career goals (if you don’t have career goals, then that’s the first step). Just know that all programs will require you to own a GED or high school diploma. It’s best to acquire your certification from the following bodies:

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • American Council on Exercise (ACE)

  • International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)

  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

If you already listed the gym where you aim to apply as a personal trainer, do check the certification they accept.

  1. SELECT YOUR SPECIALIZATION. A personal trainer can either train a whole room of individuals or train work one-on-one with clients. That means you can be a certified group fitness instructor or a certified personal trainer. The decision will depend on your own preference. Know that both careers are excellent choices. If you want, you can even do both! You can choose to get a certification for one and the other one later. Although it’s a little more fitting to focus on one that will satisfy your goals.

  1. INVEST. This part might hurt your wallets, but I’ll proceed anyway. Depending on the package bundle you choose, certification programs can cost you $400 to $1,000. If you want to include flash cards, practice tests, online portal, or textbooks, you will have to spend more. But don’t worry about the price. Sure, it’s going to cost much, but it’s a great investment. A certified fitness trainer is what you should aim to be. After all, your clients will trust you more if you’re certified and the skills you’ll learn to safely and legally train will be the source of your income. If you don’t have enough money, find a gym that’s willing to sponsor your finances. In some cases, landing on a job at a gym can even eliminate the charge of your certification.

  1. STUDY HARD. For goodness’ sake, study well! Prepare for the exam by allotting time to study little by little every day. Sometimes the test date decides to surprise you by suddenly being too close and you wouldn’t want it to catch you off guard. Make a study plan and follow it. Don’t procrastinate. It’s better to take the test with a peace of mind knowing you studied than arrive at the test center with eye bags and a worried mind. There are online portals that can help you study, depending on the certifying body you chose. You can also ask tips and advice from other trainers who already passed the exams.

  1. PASS THE TEST. Hooray! You’ve passed the exam! What’s next?

  1. FIND A GYM. With your overwhelmed heart and certification, go and find yourself a place to work. You can look for a gym or a studio near you. As a fitness trainer, you’ll need a location to train clients. You can apply in a corporation or work as an independent personal training contractor. Before you sign any contract, read it first! If you desire to build your own gym, you can if you have sufficient money. If you don’t, you can work at a gym first, save up, and wait till your contract with the gym ends before you prepare for your own gym.

  1. GET INSURED. Get yourself some reputable insurance. You won’t be able to train clients without one. It will protect you from liability and get you covered against any false claims. This might be provided if you’re working at a gym but if you’re working for yourself, then it’s your responsibility to purchase one. However, most certifying bodies offer insurance, so check with them first. If what they offer is expensive for you, you can look for other companies that offer a package you can afford.

  1. HAVE INTEGRITY. What do I mean by this? Walk the talk. Stay fit and practice what you preach. If your clients can’t seem to identify which part of your body is fit, look in the mirror and ask yourself if you’re still a fit role model. Remember, your clients will respect and listen to you if they can see that you’re physically fit. Be the man or woman they’re aiming to be when it comes to physical fitness. After all, you cannot lead individuals through exercises if you can’t even do those workouts. Widen your physical fitness parameters by trying other activities like CrossFit or yoga. Be open to other physical fitness procedures and be respectful to your co-trainers and clients. Have integrity.