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How to Get Started in Personal Training


Top 5 Tips to Help You Get on the Road to a Successful Personal Training Career

The health and fitness industry is on fire right now! These days everyone wants to be in this wonderful industry.
And why not? It is one of the coolest and most amazing occupations in the world.  Being a personal trainer provides all of the elements you really love and strive for in the workplace:

  • Change and impact lives.
  • Meet new people all the time.
  • Build meaningful relationships.
  • Experience new challenges every day.
  • Be respected and appreciated.
  • Have fun.
  • Experience growth opportunities.
  • Live your passion.
  • Be profitable.

How many occupation opportunities do you know of that can check off each of those points? Don’t worry, I’ll wait …

Personal training is a phenomenal opportunity to create one helluva career, combining what you love to do, which is exercise and help people.  I bet that you’re thinking right now, “okay, that sounds great, but how do I get started as a personal trainer?”  Well, I’m glad that you asked because I have listed 5 top tips to help you get started:

1. Do It For The Love – You have to be led by your passion. As mentioned above, it’s imperative that you love exercising and that you love helping people.  Don’t become a personal trainer because it seems easy, because it seems trendy, or to get a quick buck. Do it because you know the benefits of living healthy and you want to see your community thrive and live a higher quality of a life.

2. Get Certified – If you have established your love for the profession and for the industry, now it’s time to research how you are going to become an official certified personal trainer. There are several fitness certifying companies that exist in the world, but the five most respected and credible companies are:

American Council on Exercise (ACE),

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM),

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM),

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA),

International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)

The above are all NCCA accredited. So even if you don’t get certified by one of the above companies, be sure that any company that you do use is NCCA accredited. That is very important.

3. Select Your Career Path – Usually, once someone gets certified, the first step is to look for a job at your local gym. Although, I agree with that approach for most people, it may not be the case for everybody. This is when you need to do some soul searching and figure out what your long term plan is. Do you want to eventually train pro athletes? Do you eventually want to start a business? Do you want to just train with kids and then start a youth camp? Do you want to be a strength and conditioning coach at a University?  Do you want to start a corporate fitness business? What is it that you want to do?  The quicker you identify your long term goals, the easier it will be to develop your plan for right now and for moving forward.

4. Constantly Be Willing To Learn – Now that you’re certified, it doesn’t get any easier from here. In fact, now it is time to work even harder. You have to be on the hunt for everything fitness-related. Keep up-to-date on the latest and most cutting edge information, such as the newest equipment, fads, myths, nutrition and anything else that falls beneath the health and fitness umbrella. You will need to be a credible source for your clients as they will look to you as the expert and expect an educated, realistic and honest answer. And although it is okay to not know everything that they ask you, you do need to know enough to be a great source of information for them.

To consistently learn and grow, you will need to get your hands on any fitness books that you can. You  will need to seek mentors, join a membership trade organization such as (IDEA Health & Fitness Association), listen to podcasts, visit blogs, attend fitness workshops and conferences. Literally, anything that you can find about fitness, check it out, you owe it to yourself and your clients.

5. Be Willing To Sell – No matter what level you are at in your personal training career, you will be selling.  Selling is just part of the game. A lot of personal trainers don’t like to sell, but it is something that you will have to master fairly early, if you want to have longevity in this industry. As you start off maybe your first selling role is just selling yourself to a gym via your resume/job application? Maybe you’re in consultation with someone (who can potentially become your first client) so you’re selling them on trusting you as a credible source for their fitness regime?  Once you’re a veteran in this industry,  you might be selling new clients on the fact that now you have a personal training team that can take care of them.  Whatever the sell, remember you are selling everyday somehow.  Selling and marketing can go hand in hand and are interchangeable.

So there you have it, these are the 5 steps to not only getting into the Fitness Industry as a personal trainer but also helping you get up to speed to give your career the solid foundation for longevity and happiness.

Best wishes on your journey. You are going to do great … kick butt and give your all to your clients, every day!

About the Author

Mike Z. RobinsonMike Z. Robinson is the owner of the highly successful personal training facility, MZR Fitness as well as Mike Z. Robinson Enterprises which features & highlights a myriad of options to help fitness professionals grow their businesses and careers. Mike was the 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, is the author of the E-Book: “Fitness Up, Everything Up”, and he is also a Media Spokesperson for both the American Council on Exercise & IDEA Health & Fitness Association.

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