According to NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association), the need for personal trainers is estimated to rise significantly by 2026 as people are paying more attention to their health and looks. If you aspire to be a personal trainer and love to help people become the best version of themselves, there are a few things you need to take care of first, for this to be an enjoyable and fulfilling career for you. It is not necessary for you to have certifications as a personal trainer but people will always prefer a personal trainer with credentials to prove that they know what they are doing. Most of the clientele you’ll have as an in-demand personal trainer are people who will not just let anyone into the privacy of their homes and mess around with their health. Having certifications will solidify your credibility and reputation to not only retain your clients but also attract new ones. So where do you begin?
First Know Your Place – Who is a Personal Trainer?
Unlike an athletic trainer, a personal trainer can work with people from all walks of life in cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and stretching. I’ve compared a personal trainer to an athletic trainer because to be an athletic trainer, you’ll need a more specialized training and program that takes more time to master compared to being a personal trainer. This is how complex it is, you may need to be in possession of a bachelor’s degree to be an athletic trainer. If you feel that’s where you want to go, now you have a clue what it takes. Now, back to those who prefer being personal trainers.
What is a typical day of a Personal Trainer Like?
Most personal trainers either will be working for a fitness agency or will be self-employed with their own clientele. Your clients will vary from one-on-one sessions to working with groups of people in rehabilitation centers, athletic teams, gymnasiums, your own gym, etc. To be eligible for all these, you need to be competent in a few areas. You must:
- be familiar with the human anatomy and physiology
- have a good understanding of nutrition to help your clients eat healthily
- Learn to understand people and develop training programs tailored to each client’s specific needs.
However, these are just to do with the training itself, there is more. You also need personal skills and of course, for credibility, you need certification. Let’s start with the certification.
Personal Trainer Education
As an in-demand personal trainer, you’ll want to invest in personal training courses. A basic personal trainer certification can be acquired online. However, you want to ensure you have a certification that is from a credible institution, something that your most expensive and educated clients will find worth paying for. The education will involve all the things I’ve highlighted in the foregoing section; education in human anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and developing customized programs for your clients. Furthermore, you will learn business fundamentals, how to market yourself, and how to handle your finances. As an on-demand personal trainer, you will find yourself spending a significant amount of time arranging your schedule for the week, billing clients, following up on payments, and trying to figure out what the future has in store for you. The fundamental skills you’ll acquire from your certification will be invaluable to you. The main organizations that provide credible certification for personal trainers are:
- NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association)
- NASM (National Academy of Sports medicine)
- NFOPT (National Federation of Personal Trainers)
- ACE (American Council on Exercise)
- ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine)
- ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association)
In choosing your certification program, consider something that will get you where you want to go. Some training courses are expensive. This is the advice I have for you; when it comes to education, give it your all. Even if you’ll struggle a bit to pay for a program that you know will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to be at the top, go for it. Sacrifice for now because as soon as you are done, you will be one of the best personal trainers in the industry, and this is what will make you an on-demand personal trainer.
Another important certification you’ll find useful is in first aid and CPR. You’ll be training people with different health conditions. You’ll find the skills that come with this certification very useful. Most people won’t bother to find out whether you can do CPR. However, if you ever aid a client by performing one or by performing some first aid when a client is in need of one, provided it was not your fault that he or she was injured, your credibility will be undeniable and your reputation will definitely become more solid.
Personality and Personal Skills
You will also learn personality and personal skills in your certification programs because you are a “personal” trainer and you’ll often be dealing with people from that level. It is easy for people in this line of work to be unprofessional. You don’t want that. Remember, the thing that will keep your lights on and ensure that you have a place you love, to live, is your reputation. In the event a client finds you to be unprofessional, it can ruin your career. In this industry, my rule is, “stay safe”. It is better you cancel a session with a client than ruin your reputation. Some clients may be unreasonable; they may tempt you, push you to the edge, and try your patience. Be prepared for these things in advance. You should have standards and good work ethics. Furthermore, you must have:
- Listening skills
- Motivational Skills
- Customer Service
- Problem-solving skills
- Good communication skills
In addition, you can’t be chubby and expect another chubby person to listen to you to help them get a lean or muscular body with amazing abs. As a personal trainer, your body is one of your biggest marketing assets. As soon as a client sees you, they should have the desire to have a body just like yours, if they are of the same sex, or they should feel they are working with someone who understands what they are saying, if they are of the opposite sex. However, you don’t have to be super ripped, muscular, or very lean to impress. You essentially need to have a decently healthy, body that’s in shape that shows that you understand and apply the techniques you are teaching.
To become an in-demand trainer, the above should be your goals. Nevertheless, understand that acquiring clients is a process and patience will be necessary. The secret is, make sure you maintain any client you get. Do your best to make yourself invaluable to them. Let them always prefer you. As long as you have the correct certification, have good work ethics, and you treat your clients like the precious people they are, it’s only a matter of time until you are running up and down because everyone prefers you as their personal trainer.