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HomeOpinionThe complete guide to becoming a personal trainer

The complete guide to becoming a personal trainer

If you had to rate your commitment to personal fitness from 1-10 would it be an 11? If so, you may have considered a career as a personal trainer.

However, it’s important to understand that it takes more than just a passion for health and fitness to be successful.

If you’re serious about becoming a top personal trainer, you need to have a wide range of skills and knowledge. Below you’ll find everything you need to know to kickstart your personal training career.

Compelling reasons to become a personal trainer

Working as a personal trainer can have some real benefits. These include:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Rewarding
  3. Growth

You have flexibility as you control your own schedule and set your working hours, but this does mean you also need to be disciplined as you need to ensure you keep to appointments and keep your schedule reasonably full.

On a personal level, a career in personal training is rewarding as you watch clients achieve their goals and make real changes to their lives. You’re more than just a contractor, you are a cheerleader who can help them through tough times.

Finally, there is massive potential for growth in the personal training industry due to the myriad pathways that a career can bring.

The fitness and personal training industry was valued at $12.9 billion in the United States alone by 2021. Globally, the health and wellness industry was valued at $4.4 trillion. Which gives you some indication of how lucrative a career in this field can be.

Understanding the negative aspects of the career are also important. You may have to deal with extremely difficult or frustrating clients. Also, to accommodate them, your working hours may be unusual.

Character traits of personal trainers

You may be beginning to understand that you’ll need a wide variety of business and interpersonal skills if you want to succeed as a personal trainer. A non-exhaustive list can include:

  • Financial acumen
  • Attention to detail
  • Health and fitness encyclopaedia
  • Exceptional personal fitness
  • Love to teach
  • A cheerleader or motivator
  • Believes in customer service
  • Calm and collected at all times.
  • An extrovert who loves to chat

To stay up to date and current in the fitness industry you will also need to keep up with industry trends and new research. You must be hungry for knowledge and committed to employing the best known strategies for your clients.

If you’re working for yourself and not for an organisation you’re also going to need to be exceptionally organised to keep things on track. You can look to solutions like personal trainer software to make things a bit easier as it can take a lot of the administrative hassle for you and help you run your business effectively. To find out more look at providers such as PTMinder.

What can you expect your day to look like?

Of course, helping people achieve their health and fitness goals is the primary focus of this position. To do this, you will likely be in charge of creating exercise programmes for both individuals and groups.

If you’re working with solo clients, these plans can extend to months or even years. You may also be in charge of setting out meal plans and carefully watching the nutritional input of your client. For solo clients, personal trainers often become critical components of their life, assisting them with more than just fitness.

For group classes, you need to be able to effectively plan and accommodate for different fitness levels and goals.

You can see why you need to be an excellent communicator in order to thrive in the job. You’re going to have to find the right kind of inspiration for a wide range of people. Some people require the rod, while others need encouragement.

Starting out as a personal trainer can be tough

Finding your first clients and getting enough business through the door to be comfortable can be tough when you’re starting out. You may want to start working for a gym or fitness centre where you can get a feel for the industry and focus on building your relationships.

Aside from gyms, you could also get special qualifications and go work for a medical rehabilitation institute. These are important areas to focus on, but can take you longer to train for.

You could also find employment in a corporate health and fitness facility or even a spa or resort. It’s important to explore all options to find which sector of the industry you best fit in.

Finding a mentor who can help and advise you as you enter the industry can be immensely helpful and it can be good to reach out to someone who has more experience.

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