Personal Trainer Career

If you are interested in the area of health and fitness and in working with others to achieve their personal goals, the career of a personal trainer may be for you!

How To Become A Personal Trainer

1. Conduct Research = Once you have decided to pursue a career as a personal trainer, the first and most important step is to research different certification programs. There are hundreds to choose from, but when you consider accreditation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) to be a crucial factor, your number of choices narrows down. 

2. Choose Your Program = After learning about different certification programs, it is time to choose one! In order to be successful, it is imperative that you choose the program that best suits your goals. 

3. Pick A Study Plan = Once you have chosen your certification program, you now need to pick a study plan. A program may offer various plans that differ based on the amount of guidance given. Your decision may be contingent on the cost and the amount of sources and supplies provided. 

4. Take The Exam...And Pass! = After studying for months, you are now prepared to take the certification exam. Before registering for your certification exam, assure that all the prerequisite requirements are met. Once you pass your exam, you will be a certified personal trainer, ready to work! 

5. Job Hunting = When you have received your certification, it is now time to find a job. You can choose from different settings, including gyms, fitness centers, medical fitness facilities, and homes. 

6. Specializing = Most certification programs offer specialty certifications. You have the option to focus on a specific area, including fitness nutrition, weight management, youth fitness, and functional training. You should consider your community, your passions, and your typical training style to determine which area of specialty is appropriate for you. 

7. Maintain Your Certification = To maintain your current certification, you are required to obtain continuing education credits (CECs). The amount of CECs required and the cost for recertification differs from program to program.

Traits Of A Personal Trainer

1. Demonstrate Leadership= As a personal trainer, your clients view you as leader because of your expertise and advanced knowledge about fitness and health. Your clients depend on your guidance, therefore it is important that you lead them towards a exercise plan that best suits them. Also, having a positive attitude throughout the process is necessary to become a good leader. Leadership further entails group performance and communication.  

2. Promote Cooperation & Teamwork = In order to increase your client’s adherence to their exercise plan, it is imperative that you emphasize the fact that they are not alone. As their personal trainer, you are working with them to achieve their goals. In addition, if there are other clients that have similar goals, you may offer group exercise as an option weeks/months into their exercise plan. There are numerous benefits to group exercise, including support and the establishment of a fun and social environment. 

3. Communication Is Key = A good relationship with your client consists of communication. Avoid lecturing your clients about the do’s and don’ts and instead, ask them questions to determine the influences on their behaviors and the cause of their problems. Educate your clients about the body and the proper ways to exercise, but do so in a language they will understand. Avoid terms that are common only to health professionals. Lastly, motivate your clients with encouraging words in order to assist them with their goals!

Responsibilities Of A Personal Trainer

1. Initial Meeting = In order to understand your client’s personal goals, a meeting prior to the start of the training sessions is usually carried out. At this time, you have the opportunity to learn about your client and their health and/or fitness goals. Depending on the setting, you may also give them a tour of the facility you will be training at. In addition, you may demonstrate a few of the exercises your client may be doing.

2. Developing A Plan = After meeting your client and gaining an understanding of their goals, you are responsible for developing a customized exercise plan that includes a variety of different exercises. 

3. Training Sessions = Once you have a personalized plan for your client, you may begin working with them. At each session, you are responsible for guiding your client through the exercises and ensuring that they are safely and correctly performing the exercises. You can also offer advice on nutrition and lifestyle if relevant to your client’s circumstances.

For more information on national certifications, visit:

ACE Certification

NASM Certification

ACSM Certification 


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