Personal Trainer and 6 Ways to Become One

The health and wellness industry is growing by leaps and bounds. People are turning to professional trainers to see consistent and reliable results. If you have a love of fitness and exercise and want to help others reach their fitness goals, becoming a personal trainer could be an excellent career choice. As a top personal trainer, you can earn a respectable income and have fun doing it. Not everyone who enters the field will become a great trainer, however, It takes hard work, dedication and the willingness to adapt to a changing industry. If you are considering this career path, it pays to learn the steps to becoming a great personal trainer. 

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1. Invest in Your Education

A good education in exercise science and anatomy will carry you through a personal training career. Yes, you can get by with a standard certification but the knowledge gained in a degree program will serve you for years to come. You can start with a two- or four-year degree or, if you already have completed a bachelor’s program, consider pursuing a master’s degree.  There are great programs available that will help you grow as a fitness professional. Even if you already have a busy schedule or have started your career, you can still go back to school to advance your education. For example, if you find a passion in exercising, a master of exercise physiology online program can help you make it a reality. 

2. Get the Proper Certifications

Whether you have decided to pursue higher education in the exercise sciences or not, you may still want to obtain a proper certification as a personal trainer. This will help you understand the dynamics of personal fitness and working with clients in small groups and one-on-one. If you are planning to work at a gym or athletic facility, keep in mind that each has its own requirements about certifications and which ones it will accept.  Because there is an increased risk for injury or cardiac event during physical activity, you should always have training and certification in CPR and first aid. 

3. Build a Solid Client Base

It is much more profitable to retain established clients versus attracting new ones. Work to develop a strong base of regular clients who you work with. Consider offering incentives and specials to encourage them to keep coming back. Referral bonuses and bring-a-friend incentives can build that base with minimal investment of time and effort on your part. 

4. Hone Your Communication Skills

Communication is vital to success as a trainer. You will need to listen carefully to clients to understand their goals. Sometimes, these are not very clear, even to the person expressing them. Additionally, you will need to understand what motivates each client to achieve those goals and tailor your communication and training style to accommodate that. Start by building a connection and opening a clear line of communication. Find what works and use it to help encourage and motivate. Then, as your clients progress, challenge them by tapping into the relationships you have built. Keep in mind that communication is a two-way street. Be willing to listen to feedback from your clients and adjust your strategies based on that. 

5. Cultivate Empathy

When you make a connection with your clients it builds trust. One of the most effective ways to do this is through empathy. Contrary to images of trainers yelling at clients on televised weight loss shows, most trainers find that empathy and understanding are more effective tools for building motivation. 

6. Lead by Example

When you enter a fitness field, you should be prepared to practice what you are preaching. While it is fine to indulge every now and then, if your clients regularly see you enjoying things you ask them to avoid, they may begin to doubt your methods. Avoid unhealthy lifestyle behaviors like excessive drinking and smoking. Maintain a healthy weight and fitness level, too. 

A career as a personal trainer or fitness professional can be worthwhile and rewarding. You can become a great trainer if you follow the right path. Start with a solid education in exercise science, work toward proper certification, and lead your clients toward success by communicating openly and setting a good example. 

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Article Author Details

Kevin Gardner

Kevin Gardner loves writing about technology and the impact it has on our lives, especially within businesses.