You can become a personal trainer if you enjoy exercise and have a passion for leading a healthier lifestyle. Personal training can be one of the best and the most exciting careers. Personal trainers have flexible hours if they are working independently and they can help people achieve their fitness goals. If you are passionate about fitness, then most likely you have been working out yourself over the years. However, if you want to pursue your career as a personal trainer or a fitness trainer, then you need to know more than just how to train yourself. You need to know how to train other people with totally different fitness goals. Here a few points to consider about becoming a personal trainer.
Start by Getting Certified
If you are determined to become a personal trainer, then the first thing you need to do is to be certified. This is the most important step, as most clients would only want to work with qualified and experienced trainers. If you intend to work at a local gym or health club, they will require you to become certified first. Certified institutes have a specific set of requirements, procedures, and protocols that you must follow to get certified. While there are other certification institutions, the National Institute for Exercise & Wellness (NIEW) is a world leader in personal trainer certification.
Consider a Specialization
Like many other career options, personal training also has various dimensions and specialization. Once you start working as a personal trainer, you may realize that one certified personal trainer is different from another certified personal trainer. You may opt to keep it general and work with any type of client. Or you can choose a training demographic based on your interest and the type of clients you want to or would like to work with. This helps you focus on clients that you know who is good for your services. Select the one that best meets your objectives and interests. You cannot be everything for everybody, no matter how amazing you are in your work. It will also narrow down your potential clients, which will make it easier for them to pick you. This will boost your business and clients. You will build a sense of the types of clients you enjoy the most over your tenure and through practice.
Work independently or get Hired
After getting your NIEW certification, you are ready to work as a personal trainer. You would need to find a place where you can train the clients. You can start a business as an independent trainer and train clients out of your home, out of their home, or rent a small studio space. You can also be hired at a gym, health club, or at a place of business with a health and wellness program. If you work for a gym you do not have to invest in anything by choosing this option. All equipment and resources are provided for you. Conversely, if you are a self-employed trainer, it will require money to start a business. You will not only need to set up your business from the scratch, but you will also need to market your business to potential clients. You will have to understand the market, needs, and you will have to create means for your clients to contact you easily. If you want to work independently as a contract personal trainer, you should know the laws in case of a lawsuit or any similar situation.
Set up your Business
Before setting up your business, you need to know the details of business registration or incorporation such as licensing, zoning, budgeting, accounting, tracking your expenses, filing taxes, and more. It may be useful to take a small business class at a local community college if you need help with the fundamentals of starting a business. If you decide to set up your own business, marketing is probably the single most important thing you will do to get more clients.
Invest in Your Business
Once you have your certificate and/or specialization you can work at a gym as a trainer. If you want to work as an independent trainer then you should know that like any business, you will have to spend money or invest in your business to get it off the ground. You can start by creating a website for your business or creating and selling business cards. Many places allow you to create websites for free. This will allow your potential customers to recognize you as an operating business.
You would also need special equipment to operate as a personal trainer. In the beginning, you can easily get away with just dumbbells, bands, and a yoga mat, If you decide to expand your business and rent a studio space you may need cardio equipment, including a treadmill, a full selection of weights, bands, yoga mats, weight bench, squat rack, steppers, balls, BOSU and other equipment for strength, balance, stability, etc. to get started.
As an independent contractor or self-employed fitness trainer, you should get some trustworthy insurance before you start training your clients. This protects you from lawsuits and protects you from potential litigation. The company or the business might provide insurance if you work in a gym, but if you work for yourself; you have to acquire an insurance program before beginning your work as a personal trainer. Health insurance is also important, as personal training requires hard physical work. It is possible to get injured while training or demonstrating training methods to the clients. Having health insurance will help you cover the cost of any possible injury you may get during work.
Practice and Keep Learning
It is necessary to be fit when you have a career in the fitness industry. It could be difficult for your clients to trust your ability when you do not practice what you preach. Your customers will value you and see you as a successful role model, and you will be able to guide individuals through training with confidence. Be flexible and open to different types of exercising and fitness methods. Take care of your health, exercise, and train daily so that you can better serve others. You can also learn a few other fitness methods such as TRX, kettle-bells, Pilates, or acquire a specialization in any other field of personal training. Continuing education credit (CEC) is designed to be used in continuing education programs to assist the professional to maintain their certification as a personal trainer. This will not only increase your abilities but will provide you with enough skills and specialization to attract more clients. However, keep in mind that you cannot learn everything about anything even if you spent years training and learning. There will always be something new to learn for you. The field of exercise and wellness is always evolving. Do not go and talk as if you know all, because you do not. Be open to learning and take in fresh information from ongoing training, fitness practitioners, and other professionals. There are nearly infinite options, with fitness evolving more with new approaches.