We Know: How to Be a Fitness Trainer

What is a fitness trainer?

Fitness workers instruct or coach groups or individuals in various exercise activities. Because gyms and health clubs offer a variety of exercise activities such as weightlifting, yoga, aerobics, and karate, fitness workers typically specialize in only a few areas. Fitness trainers help clients to assess their level of physical fitness and help them to set and reach fitness goals. They also demonstrate various exercises and help clients to improve their exercise techniques.

What are the requirements?

The duties of a fitness trainer can be physically demanding. Take some time to consider if your body and skill level are up to the challenge before deciding to pursue a career in the fitness industry. While certifications are a good idea, if you have great communication skills, know how to motivate people in a positive way, and live for early morning workouts and grueling fitness classes, then this job is for you! However, the duties of a fitness trainer can be physically demanding, so it's a good idea to take some time to consider if your body and skill level are up to the challenge before deciding to pursue a career in the fitness industry.

Do I Need a Specialty?

There are many certifications and specialties to choose from within the fitness training world. In order to gain a competitive edge, many trainers choose to specialize in areas such as yoga, kickboxing, or weight training. Some specialties can help a trainer earn more money and many can broaden the client base by allowing them to work with people in rehabilitation from an injury or those suffering from a chronic illness.

Where are the jobs?

Call local clubs and gyms and ask if they hire personal trainers. If they do, ask about the application process, and set up a time to visit if possible. Many smaller gyms may not hire personal trainers as part of their staff, but most are more than happy to post flyers or keep your business card on hand, for clients who might be interested in your services.

Where are the clients?

If you want to go into business for yourself, finding clients can be as simple as placing a newspaper advertisement with a phone number, to the more expensive option of opening your own gym. Either way, it's all about getting your name out to the public and letting everyone know that you're ready for business. If you work out at the gym regularly, strike up a conversation with the person next to you, and see if they might be interested in your services. If they aren't, they might know someone who is, and you will have made a friend in the process.

How much are fitness trainers paid?

The pay can range from $10 an hour to upward of $100 an hour, depending on where you work, and who your clients are. If you specialize, and are fully certified, your chances are greater for obtaining high paying employment.

Where can I find out about training certification programs?

A good place to start is ACE (American Council on Exercise). This organization offers certification exams for a number of different fitness areas, and has home study courses as well. Other good sources of information include the National Personal Training Institute and American Fitness Professionals and Associates.

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