If you strive to lead a healthy lifestyle and wish to help others do the same, you may be considering how to become a personal trainer. Being a trainer is a rich and rewarding profession. It allows you to grow as a person. Also, you will lead and inspire others to become the best person they can be. With a little planning and a lot of hard work and dedication, you can turn your passion for fitness into a meaningful career. Are you ready to find out how to become a personal trainer? This step-by-step guide will have you well on your way!

6 Must-Know Tips on How to Become a Personal Trainer

a female fitness trainer

Step 1: Make a Commitment

Perhaps the most important step in how to become a personal trainer is simply committing to your goal. Becoming a trainer requires hard work, and it isn’t right for everyone. If you hope to succeed, you need to stay committed to the core principles of fitness, discipline, and passion. Personal trainers serve as helpful and instructive guides, as well as motivators and living embodiments of a healthy, fit lifestyle. In other words, you need to be prepared to practice what you will preach to your clients and serve as a positive example through the way you live your own life.

Step 2: Do Your Research

In order to become a personal trainer, you’ll need to become certified. There are many available options, but it’s critically important that you choose the right one. Some gyms and fitness centers only accept trainers who are certified by specific programs. So, be sure to ask in advance if you already have a gym in mind. Also be sure that the program you choose is nationally recognized and accredited. Each program offers a slightly different focus. Therefore, do your research to determine the right fit for your goals and aspirations. Though not an exhaustive list, certification programs from the following agencies boast strong reputations and are widely accepted by most employers.

  • National Academy of Sports Medicine.
  • American Council on Exercise.
  • International Sports Sciences Association.
  • American College of Sports Medicine.
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Step 3: Get Certified

Before you even begin the work of how to become a personal trainer, you’ll need to become properly qualified. Most reputable certification programs require that you first become CPR and AED certified. This involves taking a standard course, generally lasting two to three hours, during which you’ll learn how to perform CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). These are skills that every personal trainer hopes they will never have to put to use, but they represent basic requirements on the path to full certification. Also, bear in mind that these certifications do expire, so you’ll need to take a refresher course every two years in order to stay current.

Step 4: Pass Your Exam

Once you’ve chosen a personal trainer certification program and become qualified in CPR and AED, it’s time to get to work on studying for and passing your certification exam. The length of time this takes will depend on the program you choose as well as your existing body of knowledge. Still, you should expect to spend at least two to three months in preparation. If work or other obligations prevent you from devoting yourself fully to your studies, many programs offer self-paced studies that utilize primarily online courses and flexible schedules. It is during this time that you will build the base of knowledge and skills you’ll need for your future, so work diligently and soak up as much as you can!

Step 5: Choose a Specialization

You now know how to become a personal trainer, but that’s only half of the equation. The other half is becoming successful as a trainer, and one way to do that is by choosing a specialization. While you must be well-rounded in your knowledge and abilities, choosing a particular area of focus allows you to stand out in the very crowded and competitive field of personal training. Whether it’s nutrition, strength training, endurance training or something else entirely, identify a specific area you’d like to pursue and work to become an expert in that field. You’ll gain advanced skills and expertise needed to truly make a name for yourself, which in turn will open up greater opportunities to grow both personally and professionally.

Step 6: Begin Your Career

By now, you should have your studies completed and all your certifications in place. Now, it’s time to put all of your hard work into action. Go ahead and launch your career as a personal trainer. While you may have any number of opportunities, the two most common ways to start a career are to join an established gym or strike out on your own. Joining a gym or fitness center has the advantage of building your resume.

Furthermore, it brings you into contact with a steady stream of clients. This will place you in an environment where you can work and grow with like-minded individuals. Starting your own business is far more difficult. On the other hand, it may be even more rewarding. You’ll need strong skills in networking and sales. Still, you’ll also need the equipment and space necessary for your training. Another important thing to remember is your personal trainer insurance to protect you from liability.

Fitness training is a rapidly growing occupation. Moreover, it’s an excellent way to lead and inspire others while challenging and growing yourself. Now you know how to become a personal trainer. All you need to do is put in the work and follow the steps above. If you’re considering becoming a personal trainer, or if you’ve already achieved your certification, we look forward to hearing your experiences!

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