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How to Become a Personal Trainer – A Complete Guide

Do you want to learn what it takes to become a certified personal trainer? If YES, here is a complete guide plus requirements you need to become a personal trainer online.

There is no doubt that there are different types of jobs existing in this world, some are professional while some are not. Some even require a lot of certification and professional trainings before the status quo could be merited.

Some jobs do not necessarily need knowledge from any citadel of learning before someone could indulge in them. Hence, these types of job are the ones that enable the practitioner to practice, even with the little knowledge attained out of the four walls of a classroom.

However, the job of a personal trainer is one of those professional jobs that don’t mandate its practitioner to acquire a high end degree before he could practice the profession, but having certificate can also serve as an edge. The job of a professional trainer does not require a particular office or place of work for its propagation, a personal trainer work is mobile, and it can be carried out in the gym, the trainer’s apartment, the client’s place or any suitable place.

The craze for being healthy and fit has been on the increase. This is a result of the bad news about illnesses that have continued to disturb ma. For instance; the cardiac arrest has been attributed to lack cardiovascular exercises, types of foods eaten, amongst others. Being a personal trainer is a very good career, but care has to be taken to know what the profession really entails.

What is a Personal Trainer?

A personal trainer is a professional fitness specialist that specializes in the work of coaching people for fitness purpose. He guides his clients by prescribing exercise and giving instructions that would keep the client fit. A personal trainer can determine the strength of his client by gauging it with the results gotten from the exercise prescribed to the client.

A trainer does not only train but also motivate and encourage a client by setting result oriented goals for the client to do. By which he would be able to determine the ability and strength of the client. A personal trainer can also assess the client’s health to determine whether the client is fit for the fitness training or not. If fit, he continues with the training proper and if otherwise, he will refer the client to a health expert for proper medical attention.

It is of paramount importance for a personal trainer to know the health status a client before commencing any fitness training. This is so that all health complications would be avoided adequately. There have been cases of people who lacked the clean bill of health, and embarked on exercising only to slump down.

Duties of a Personal Trainer and their Job Description?

The role of a personal trainer is clear, distinct and unambiguous, as the job is the only professional work that deals with the coaching and tutoring of people for fitness purpose, but notwithstanding the roles and duties of a personal trainer need to be highlighted for clarification. Nonetheless, some of the major duties a professional personal trainer performs in the society entails but is not limited to the following:

a. Screening-: A personal trainer must first of all perform an excellent screening on his client, to determine the potential and ability of the client. He needs to be sure that the client is physically fit before proceeding on the training exercise. During the course of the screening, the health of the client must be tested, and he needs to certify health screening to affirm that he is free from all form of illness that might hinder the running of the fitness training exercise.

The Trainer must collect the medical report of his client from the client’s physician, so that he is sure that the client is not suffering from illness like diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension etc. The personal trainer must know the client is 100 percent medically fit before proceeding to the next stage. Screening is the first and the most important duty a trainer must perform on his client before enrolling him for personal fitness training.

b.Registration-: After certifying the first stage of screening, a trainer will then proceed to the next stage, which is registration. This is the stage where the trainer will reach out to his client to collect the client’s general information.

A trainer must open a file for his client to write down the client’s bio-data, which includes the client’s name, gender, age, blood group, height and age. A trainer must also know the client’s occupation during the course of registration, by taking note of his daily activity, in order to know the particular time to stipulate for the fitness training exercise. It is necessary for a personal trainer to register his client before proceeding to the next duty.

c. Practical Fitness Training-: Just as the name implies, a personal trainer performs the duty of solely giving out practical fitness training to his personal client. A personal trainer would demonstrate the exercises he wants the client to do, he then watches the client as he does the same exercise to a satisfactory level, before proceeding to the next exercise. Also, If the client doesn’t get things right, he may then have to keep at it, until the client masters it. In a nutshell, a personal trainer must swallow in the act of giving adequate and necessary practical fitness training to his client.

This is the most important stage of the trainer’s work; it is the stage where the trainer will structure the fitness training in a particular way that will suit the client’s strength, height and weight. A trainer must thoroughly demonstrate the fitness exercise for a client before throwing it to the client to perform.

A trainer must define the training exercise in a standard and considerate order that would suit the client’s ability. Training is the most important and the most tasking stage of a personal trainer’s duties and that is why it must be done properly; because any error at this stage might yield little or no productive result.

d. Nutrition Recommendation-: One of the major duties of a personal trainer is the responsibility of providing the client with a supportive and effective dietary advice. It is necessary for the trainer to provide the client with a menu list of nutritious foods that would help the client recover fast from exercises or meet the client’s fitness target.

Trainers must explain to the client of the calories present in some foods and the need to take foods of lesser calories. Trainer needs to tell a client the classes of food, their functions and how it could aid the fitness training. For example; Vitamin foods are good for speedy exercise recovery, while Proteins foods are good for muscle gain. It is the role of the personal trainer to even go as far as giving the client a day to day diet list.

e. Assessment-: This is the final stage of the work of a professional personal trainer. It is otherwise known as the result stage, as it is simply the stage that will give the outcome of all the duties performed earlier by the personal trainer. A trainer asks the client to do some specific fitness training, which the trainer already has administered, he must also have guided the client to do these form of exercises before. After that, he assesses how fit and improved the client is, considering the duration and some other fitness factors.

Tools of the Trade for Personal Trainers

Every professional profession possesses tools for carrying out the job. The job of a professional trainer, as a professional job requires the practitioner to have the following equipment, in order to carry out the work in an effective and efficient manner. So, what are these tools? Below are some of the major tools needed by a professional training and their uses:

i. Gym Arena-: This is the site, studio or a specific place designated for fitness training activities. It is very important to have a fitness training arena called gym, as this will help the trainer to do his work in an efficient way. The gym is always the place to house every other training equipment and that is why it is important for a personal trainer to have a fascinating gym for fitness training exercise, as this will as well draw customers to the trainer.

It could be called the engine room of a professional trainer. However, this gym place must be designed in a way that will make it suitable for fitness training exercise. For instance; the floor of the gym must be designed in a quality way for safety training exercise.

ii. Sandbags: Sandbags are important tools that are needed in a standard fitness training gym. They are made of sturdy materials and are always filled with sands or soil. Sandbags are cheap to afford and people can actually use sandbags in a gym for strength work. Sandbags can be for punching purposes or to be carried during fitness training.

iii. Dumbbell: This is another major tool required for fitness training exercise. Majority of the dumbbells are adjustable and consist of metal bars. Weight discs are always attached to the edge of the dumbbells at both end and are always stocked there with a clip. Dumbbell is always used for weight training in a fitness gym.

iv. Boxing equipment: Fitness training equipment that must always be found in a fitness training arena is the boxing equipment. You don’t necessarily have to be a boxer before you can procure and use the boxing equipment. It has even been observed that punching and kicking of target mitts and bags can go a long way in burning calorie and relieving stress from the body. Boxing equipment includes the following: ounce gloves, target mitts, heavy bag, and head gear, shin guards etc.

v. Kettle bells: Another important tool in the fitness training is the kettle bells. It is simply a cast-iron ball shaped weight with a single handle resembling cannonball. It gives the body an excellent workout exercise. A personal trainer will always engage you with this particular training equipment is one of your fitness aim is to have a leaner and tight figure. It is important you start using kettle bells in your gym place for a slim and comfortable body size.

Becoming a Personal Trainer – A Complete Guide

  • Labor market for personal trainers

The personal trainer’s industry includes people, who offer one-on-one and small group fitness exercises. The personal trainers also provides systematic diet programs for their clients and the professional personal trainers are majorly employed by gyms, hospitals, fitness studios or they are self-employed by establishing a personal fitness training Centers.

However, the personal trainers’ job is increasing steadily in this 21st century, especially in the countries like United State of America (U.S.A), United Kingdom (U.K), Canada, Australia and some other western countries of the world and this is geared towards the sudden demand for weight/fat loss services and the increase in people’s interest in workout exercise. On the other hand, many people still prefer the self-induced fitness training methods to buying the service of a professional trainer, as this will help them to thoroughly guide themselves through any form of fitness training exercise, even in their various abode.

As a result, the personal trainer’s industry has been repressed in recent years, but the cost to procure the facilities needed for professional fitness training is enabling some people to forcefully employ the service of professional personal trainers. Moreover, the percentage of obese and overweight people in the Americans, Europe and other western countries is expected to increase greatly before the year 2020, leading to the greater demand for the services of personal trainers in the labor market.

According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates, the number of personal trainers/fitness instructors increased by about 20 percent between 2010 and 2015 and according to the National Bureau of Labor, “employment of fitness trainers and instructors is projected to grow by 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, this projected the job of a personal trainer to grow as an average occupation would rise and with the challenge of obesity tormenting several countries, trainers can be assured that they are on the path that would yield to an excellent and sustainable career.

The occupation of a personal trainer is a highly competitive occupation in the labor market nowadays and it has a glorious future, as it has been suggested by experts that the need for the occupation’s practitioner would increase exponentially in the future years. The practitioners of this occupation don’t have to fear labor market and it is a fascinating occupation for people who have the mission or already on the part of becoming a personal trainer.

Positive and Negative Impact of the Internet and Technology on the Personal Training Profession

One of the positive side of technology and the internet on the personal training profession is the fact that people have become more aware of their health and the implication of being overweight, because of the tons of information that the internet has to offer. This means that more and more people are beginning to want to have personal trainers because they feel they would be helped to reach their weight goals.

Another positive is the fact that personal trainers can use the technology wisely through the various social Media to make their businesses known to all people even across the United States of America. Some of the means through which they do this is through owning a website, blogging about training, using the various social media platforms that can help in promoting your services, and a whole lot more.

Now, to the issue of the negatives; the negative implication of the internet on the personal training profession is minute compared to the positives. Some of the negative is the fact there people are now really exposed to aerobics and exercise information on various search engines. So that instead of hiring personal trainers, they can perform the exercises their selves. For instance; there are videos and audio works of art that can be used too to practice some aerobics styles on their own without having to bother to pay a fee. When this happens, the personal trainer automatically is knocked of the radar.

Career ideas / Sub-sectors That Exist Within the Fitness Profession/Niche

  • Diet Planner
  • Weight Loss Supplement Seller
  • Sale of Gym Equipment
  • Organize Boot camps
  • Start a fitness talks show
  • Start a fitness and health reality show
  • Write fitness books
  • Become a nutritionist
  • Fitness blogging
  • Organize workshops and seminars
  • Be a sports coach
  • Invent Exercise equipment

Professional Bodies and Associations for Certified Personal Trainers

All over the world, there will always be the need to register with a regulatory body when you are starting a business. It is the same with the personal trainer business. Here are some professional bodies and association you will need to be a part of;

  • In the United States of America

You will need to get certified first, before you are able to join any professional body. There are a few professional personal trainers’ certification exams that is mandatory before you join these bodies. Here are the five most popular training certification programs, which happens to also be the bodies that you automatically become a part of:

  • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

In Australia

A personal trainer may decide to work autonomously with suitable insurance. He or she may choose to be a member of a registering body (Fitness Australia or Physical Activity Australia). However, it is mandatory that before one joins, that you qualify. Some of the qualifying levels are;

  • Level 1 – Certificate III in Fitness
  • Level 2 – Certificate IV in Fitness
  • Level 3 – Diploma of Fitness

These can be gotten from nationally accredited colleges like the; TAFE, Fitness industry training, Australian College of Sport & Fitness, Australian Institute of Fitness and Australian Fitness Academy. Once you are in the fitness business, it becomes important that you complete short courses to obtain continuing education credit (CEC) points that will be needed for your   registration.

  • In Canada

The foremost certifying bodies are Canadian Fitness Education Services (CFES), Canadian Fitness Professionals, Certified Personal Trainers Network, and Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology. There are several   qualification needed to join this body. They include; for CSEP, it requires a diploma or degree in the exercise field. Having the experience will also be a determiner in absorbing people into the association.

  • In The United Kingdom

Like it is in other places mentioned here; there is the need to join an association. However; you cannot join the association without being certified. Most personal training qualifications are screened and certified through awarding bodies like CYQ (Central YMCA Qualifications), Active IQ (Active International Qualifications) and City and Guilds.

Benefits of Becoming a Personal Trainer

Apart from the monetary reward which is a motivator as to why you can be a personal trainer, there are also other benefits that can be found in the trade. They include:

  • It helps to enhance your professional image amongst your competitors
  • It opens your eyes to other business opportunities is the health and fitness sector.
  • Greater earning potentials
  • It helps you to broaden your skills
  • You garner great knowledge
  • You work with the rich in the society
  • You help solve a problem- weight problem.

Factors or Challenges Discouraging People from Becoming Fitness Trainers

  • One of the foremost challenge personal trainers face is the point that they have to convince people that they know what’s best for them and their goals.
  • Suggesting a thing to a client and they just do not want to live by such rules.
  • Not being able to hire employees that you are confident will train your clients as well as you do.

How Much Do Personal Trainer Professionals Earn?

  • In the United States

It is one thing to get all the certification needed in the fitness niche and then move ahead to become a licensed trainer; and it is yet another kettle of fish to be valued and paid what really is deserving. There are several personal trainers in the United States of America, and truth is that there might not be a hard and strict regulation saying that a personal trainer should earn so and so.

This is because it varies from country to country. Here are the possible earnings of a personal trainer in the United States of America. If you have got what it takes to become a personal trainer, it is important that you note that a Personal Trainer job can be very rewarding. Ordinarily, full time personal trainers realize about $50,000/year, and yet have the prospective to make over $130,000/year.

There are some trainers who are being paid on an hourly basis. Although, this might be a bit challenging, as he has to work hard to be worthy of the wage, yet it is better than the routine 9 to 5 job. Furthermore, you can draw up your own plans you move along. When commencing your personal trainer quest, you may want to start with working in a gym. Here, you will be given the freehand to sell your own tips and magic to clients about fitness, and the pay for this can range from $8 to $15/hour depending on your gym.

  • In Australia

According to a report on the fit bandit website; it says that; “most personal trainers make $25-$40,000 annually or $21-$40 per hour with the senior personal trainers making between $41,000 and $55,000 per year. Group fitness trainer rates go from less than $20 per class to $100 per class with the majority earning between $21 and $40 per group session.

Only 2% of group trainers make more than $80 per hour. Similarly, around 70% of yoga and Pilates instructors make $41-$60 per hour with less than 10% earning more than $60 per class session.” It is worthy to state that the personal trainer may earn so much in Australia if they have the right support staff and have great employees to hold things up for them.

  • In Canada

In terms of the type of reward which personal trainers; here is what the pay scale site has to say; ‘The average pay for a Personal Trainer is C$20.44 per hour. The highest paying skills associated with this job are Nutrition, Rehabilitation, and Training Program Development.

Most people move on to other jobs if they have more than 20 years’ experience in this career. Experience has a moderate effect on income for this job.” This sure goes a long way to show that one needs to stay in the job for a while before he begins to reap a lot.

  • In the UK

The United Kingdom just like other countries is also faced with the issue of finding what might be deserving of a personal trainer. Here is what the exercise studies site has to say about the pay scale of a personal trainer in the UK.

“It is first important to understand what factors contribute to a Personal Trainer salary. A Personal Trainer salary is determined by the qualifications that you have, including specialist courses and experience that you have gained, and of course how hard you are prepared to work. Other factors include the location in which you are based and which clubs you are working within.”

So, it wouldn’t be wrong if we said that giving time and resources to getting some qualifications in the fitness field would be an added advantage to earn more.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Certified Personal Trainer?

It is true that there are some certificate courses that might be needed before you are called and are expected to operate as a certified trainer. One of the advantages of this certificate is so that you can be well versed in the business, and can attract upwardly mobile clients. As such, the duration which the training for being a personal trainer could be said to be divided into three parts, namely; the short, medium and long durations.

  • Short Duration

Personal trainers have to be certified by passing a qualifying exam. For some folks who do not want to be tied down for too long, an exercise or more, accreditation courses can take just about a few days. For instance; an indoor cycling certification from the National Strength Professionals Association runs for one day. Therefore, you may be awarded units that would now help run other certification exercises. Courses of this sort, impart personal trainers with the knowledge of how to develop a mixture of moves for indoor cycling programs.

  • Medium Duration

Learning this type of rope is important for those folks who are concerned about proposing a variety of exercises, to their clients. Here, personal training certification can take as long as a year. For instance; the Fitness Instruction Certificate program accessible by UCLA extension covers 13 options, and they are; anatomy and biomechanics, personal training, resistance training, nutrition, fitness testing, and coaching techniques. It is vital that students must pass the course with a C grade or more. The program could be over and done within a year, whilst some may take three years.

  • Long Duration

This is for people who want an all-encompassing training and personal training certification by national organizations like the American College of Sport Medicine. There are also degree courses that take a minimum of two years of full-time study. Here, applicants must be at least 18 years; have a high school diploma or equivalent; and should have already obtained a certificate in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Educational Requirements Needed to Become a Personal Trainer

When you are looking at becoming a personal trainer, it is very important that you have all the educational qualification intact. This is so that you can pursue other higher certificates in the future. In some cases, a simple college degree may be necessary, but for others, a certification in a field may be what will be required.

Is a Professional Certification Needed to Become a Personal Trainer?

In becoming a personal trainer, the level at which you wish to attain a certification depends on whether you are looking to scale your personal trainer business in the future. Here are some professional certification that might be needed:

  • High School Diploma and Vocational Programs

First and foremost, in becoming a personal trainer, it is vital is to obtain a high school diploma, or GED. If you are looking to get employed as a personal trainer, then you will have to enroll in classes and obtain the proper certifications to gain employment as a personal trainer. On the other hand, some high schools propose that they can offer vocational programs that are able to allow students work at obtaining the necessary personal trainer qualifications before graduating from high school.

  • Specialized Training

Some parts of the fitness practice may need that you come to the table with some specialized training other than a fitness degree and certification. For instance; Yoga instructors to a large extent go for trainings that last up to of two years. Some of these specialized trainings may be in the area of anatomy, teaching techniques, anatomy, and a whole lot more.

  • Certifications

In the United States, many certifying bodies have come into existence in the last years; and they individually have specific requirements for certification. Some of these bodies include; the American College of Sports medicine, the International Sport Sciences Association, and the American Council on Exercise. Some basic universal certification requirements include that you should be at least 18 years of age, which you must work at present with a certified personal trainer and all.

How Much Will It Cost You to Obtain a Personal Training Certification or Degree or the Equivalent Training in the U.S, UK, Australia and Canada??

The cost of being trained to be a personal trainer varies from country to country. This is because of the different ways and approaches they come by. The average fee needed for taking a fitness certification ranges between a minimum of $70 and a maximum of $2500 in these countries.

Can You Take Some Fitness Certification Exams Online?

These days, online courses and certificates have continues to be popular. One good thing about this trend is that you can take the various courses involved at your own pace and at your convenience. There are a whole of fitness bodies in America, the UK, Australia and the US, who are aware of the business schedules of people, and have done it so well that some of these courses can be taken online.

It would entail that you specify the course you want, as well as identify the mode of payment that has been provided, before you proceed.

What Industry Can You Work as a Personal Trainer?

  • At the Gym
  • As a coach
  • As a sports administrator
  • As a physical education teacher
  • As a fitness school director
  • As a fitness blogger

Skills and Personal Traits You Needed to Become a Successful Personal Trainer

  • You need to be resourceful –You have got to be able to go the extra mile in digging up solutions that can help solve your clients’ fitness issues.
  • You should be a goal getter- you have to be all out to accomplish all your business and fitness goals at all times.
  • A wonderful marketer – No one could possibly blow your trumpet than you. So, you have to have great marketing skills to do just that.
  • You should be confident – no one wants to be associated with a dullard. Your composure matters a lot.
  • You have to be tactful – mind how you treat your clients, for you need to be diplomatic at times.

Tips to Help Advance Your Course as a Personal Trainer

It is the wish of every trainer to always be at their best and attract the best of clients who will be able to pay a premium for the services that they render. Here are some tips to help you as a personal trainer scale through some hurdles;

  • Be Innovative
  • Have a great personal trainer – client relationship
  • Attend Networking events
  • Stay focused
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