A personal trainer is someone who is educated and trained in finding the best way to get you to your desired shape, weight, or mindset. There are many reasons why someone might get a personal trainer, from motivation to nutritional advice. If you have a passion for fitness and improving your body, you might be considering a career change to personal training.
Working on yourself is never a bad decision, and a great personal trainer that you have a good relationship with can encourage you to see improved recovery times and varied workouts. Not to mention the expert advice and tips that are personal to you and catered to your lifestyle and schedule.
If you are wanting to go one step further, you might be considering becoming a personal trainer. This can be a great way to help people learn how to look after themselves, as well as work towards a healthier population.
Knowing that you are a part of improving someone’s life can be a great motivator because it provides satisfaction and fulfillment by seeing small improvements and life changes take place. Other reasons why you might be considering becoming a personal trainer as more of a full-time job include making a healthier nation and empowering people to make better choices.
This is a complete guide on how to become a personal trainer, with everything you might need in one place. From more information to specific reasons why a personal trainer can help enforce healthier habits, this guide has been made to answer all of your possible questions as well as show you how to become a personal trainer.
What is a Personal Trainer?
A personal trainer is defined as someone who has been professionally trained to help people achieve their fitness goals. However, many people will argue that they are much more than that and can play an important role in someone’s life.
A lot of people might be looking for a gentler way to ease them into regular exercise because smaller changes made over a long period of time are the most effective way to create healthier habits that will help you in the long run.
This is why the introduction of a personal trainer can be effective because they are able to check that you are keeping to your goals and that you remember what you’re working towards. It can be tempting to dive in at the deep end when trying to improve yourself, which is why a personal trainer plays an important role in showing you realistic goals that are achievable for you within the agreed timeframe.
Exercise plays an important role in a person’s life because it can empower someone as well as encourage them to feel more confident about their bodies. This is why a lot of people hold their personal trainers very highly in their lives because they can be the ones who made a healthier lifestyle accessible to them.
One of the main reasons why someone becomes a trainer is to be a part of this change and enjoy seeing people learn healthier habits as well as challenging old ones.
Not to mention the fact that you will be able to see an array of different clients throughout the week, each with their own goal and levels of baseline fitness and strength. Each client can be seen as a project because a trainer will take away some responsibility and make you feel like your goals are achievable and realistic after all.
What do Personal Trainers do?
Some main duties of personal trainers include encouragement and motivation, although many people might think that this is all that they do. The most common things that are involved with a personal trainer’s typical week are covered below.
This is one of the primary roles of a personal trainer and shouldn’t be underestimated because it is essential in motivating clients. Coaching clients is the main duty, and whether that involves showing them how to use new equipment, or enforcing routine, coaching can be more of a contributor to lifestyle changes.
Create Exercise Plans
Another essential part of the job involves spending time with a client so that they can figure out what their goals are. This can be fitness, strength, or health-related. You will also need to see what their current baselines are in order to see how realistic they can be when setting goals and boundaries.
Additionally, a personal trainer will be working with several clients over the week, meaning that they are able to focus on their needs and create a specific plan that encourages them to move their bodies and work towards healthy change. This can be a very rewarding stage if you enjoy consultation and organization.
Not to mention the unique quality of interactions that will set each client apart.
Perform Fitness Assessments
This is usually one of the initial parts of consultation with a client, and it is just as important as some other duties. A personal trainer is required to carry out comprehensive baseline measurements of clients’ fitness and strength levels so that they can see if your goals and focuses are realistic within any given time frame.
For example, if you want to lose weight, then it is a personal trainer’s job to show you how to be more consistent while encouraging more flexible goals if you have other health issues. It is also essential that personal trainers complete regular fitness assessments with their clients throughout the training process.
This allows the trainer and client to see progress and feel encouraged to know how far they have come.
Give Advice and Client Feedback
Additionally, a personal trainer will be able to answer any questions or concerns. A shoulder to cry on or advisor is another way in which the personal trainer experience is catered to clients’ needs and preferences.
Through this, you are able to build up a good rapport with the client as well as find some common interests. This is a great way to make them enjoy their experience and feel more comfortable about opening up to you about any concerns or questions they might have.
Skills Required to Become a Personal Trainer
Some of the skills that recruiters look for in personal trainer candidates are covered below.
Desire to Learn
Being driven and motivated is an important trait to have when becoming a personal trainer because you will need to tap into this ability to adapt and learn quickly when with different clients. The desire to learn is what will drive you to complete the required training and qualifications.
Another reason why you will need to be motivated to learn is that personal trainers are encouraged to work with clients and demonstrate workouts, which is why your brain and body will need to be ready for new things. A new client could have a health concern that you don’t know about and will need to research and create a routine that is centered around that illness or risk.
Another essential quality is excellent communication. Being able to express your concerns to clients is just as important as effectively demonstrating workouts or sets. Communication is highly important within any client-based job because you will face many types of people throughout the day, with their own varying backgrounds and ways of communicating.
Clients vary in how they present themselves, mannerisms, and slang, which is why it’s important to keep yourself familiarized with how different clientele are using spoken language and forms of communication.
You will need to think on your feet and adapt to any change that occurs. Whether that involves helping someone who is injured or changing your client’s workout based on their mood or outside variables affecting their day. Being able to adapt quickly to whatever the environment or client throws at you is a very important skill desired by recruiters.
Passion for Fitness
This is one of the most common reasons why personal trainers go into the profession. Being able to exercise your passion and show other people how fun and rewarding it can be to work on yourself is the most fulfilling part of the job.
Being a personal trainer focuses on fitness and health, which is why it’s pretty important that you have passion as well as drive to make a better, healthier lifestyle for clients and yourself.
Motivational and Open-minded
Of course we know how motivational a personal trainer needs to be, but it’s also important that you are open-minded. Being adaptable and able to adjust to clients every day means that they are more likely to be open with you. It’s also essential to avoid placing judgment or stereotypes on clients because this can be extremely limiting as well as damaging to them.
A personal trainer interacts with a wide demographic of clients every day, which is why you will need to be open-minded and avoid pushing them too far in some cases. Put simply, it’s just as important to be open to base-level goals rather than clients having excessive or extreme fitness ideas.
Qualifications Required for a Personal Trainer
Next, we will move on to cover some of the qualifications that recruiters look for when hiring. Whether you want to be a gym instructor or self-employed personal trainer who works across different gym venues, there are some ideas below on where you can start thinking about applying.
Some of these allow for more flexibility, while others are legal requirements that you are going to need before you can legally and safely practice as a personal trainer.
Level 2 gym Instructor Qualification
There are full-time or part-time options available for this, which will allow you to work as a gym instructor in any health club or gym. This isn’t required for some level 3 options, so it’s definitely worth researching how to apply and which courses to choose. This can be a good option if you’re looking for work experience within gyms or even private health clubs.
Level 3 Personal Trainer Qualification
This is the most commonly used qualification when it comes to becoming a personal trainer because it is very widely recognized. People with this will be able to work on a self-employed basis which allows more freedom with time management, scheduling, and venue.
This is a great option for those wanting to cater their training to focus on specific clientele, or even to promote a certain type of exercise.
In addition to the above qualifications, it’s just as important to carry out first aid training to ensure that you can help others when they are struggling, and know how far to safely push clients. This is also important when thinking about muscle recovery periods and alternating workouts.
A first aid course will encourage you to show clients how important hydration is, as well as good nutrition.
Personal Trainer Insurance
Being insured allows you to safely practice without worrying about injury, equipment damage, and other unforeseen circumstances. Your client is at risk of pushing themselves too far and causing injury when under your care, which is why insurance can allow coverage for this kind of event.
A personal trainer is legally required to have insurance when practicing, so it is an essential part of becoming a personal trainer.
Easy Steps to Becoming a Personal Trainer
These are some great places to start when thinking about becoming a personal trainer. Before you apply for courses or insurance, make sure that working as a trainer is something that you can see yourself doing in a few years’ time.
You need to bring passion and drive to it, meaning that it shouldn’t be something that is fashionable or trendy to do right now but will fade out in a few months. It’s important that fitness is your passion and that you really want to work towards the greater good and encourage people to be the best version of themselves.
Do some Research
See if you can find someone in your family or social circle who has experience with a personal trainer, or who has even practiced as a personal trainer. This can be a great way to ask what kind of person they want to see as a trainer and to talk about how to stay motivated. You can also research how some well-known trainers started out and how they got to where they are today.
Find a Course
As part of your research, you can make a plan about how to work towards qualifications. Not only that, but you could search for courses with flexibility that will fit in with your current lifestyle. In-person teaching or remote learning, part-time over a longer period, or full-time options, there are plenty of varieties to choose from in order to fit learning into your routine.
You could also check course fees, any foundation qualifications, and how to apply. Some look for work experience within the field, so it could be a good idea to contact your gym and see if you can arrange some coaching sessions.
Complete the Course
This is the next obvious step to take on the journey to becoming a personal trainer. Once you have found a course that suits you and your situation, it’s time to knuckle down and start studying. The addition of practical experience is very important here because it allows you to apply what you’re learning while improving yourself and your knowledge.
It’s also important to figure out how your own brain works and what learning style suits you best, to allow for note-taking and efficient pass rates. Make sure that you are working with tutors and teachers because they are there to get you through and see your progress. Make the most of the available resources around you and finish your course easily.
Once you have completed your course and have met all the prerequisites, you can then apply for insurance as a personal trainer. This is crucial before you begin working, as it can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Not to mention, potential employers will check for this when they do background checks. If you already have insurance, you are more likely to be hired because it means you can begin as soon as possible.
It isn’t the end of the world if you aren’t insured though, because gym owners and managers can help you through the process, it just takes a little more time to get a job and experience this way.
You can reach out to gyms and health clubs near you to see if they are looking for personal trainers. This might allow you to find some other resources in the job hunting process, such as contacting local groups or councils.
Gain as much experience as you can, and start to build up a reputation among potential employers and clients alike. A great thing to do at this stage is to build up your LinkedIn profile because recruiters will look for an online presence, so make sure that you stand out. Highlight your focus areas and desired role, as well as philosophies and what drives you.
Start a Business or Look for Employment Opportunities
These are the two main ways you can find regular employment. Starting your own business has its own challenges, but can be really rewarding to see something grow and develop over time. By creating your own brand, you are able to really customize the client experience based on your approach and lifestyle.
Social media can be a great way to get your name out there and foot in the door when looking for potential clients, or even to see if there is a market for your desired approach.
Looking for employment opportunities can be more straightforward because it allows you to gain experience, practice your skills and work on client interactions. This can even be something you do while working on your own business in the background. It can be good to have job security and valuable relationships with clients and other trainers.
Consider Becoming An Online Personal Trainer
Another option for starting your career as a personal trainer is working online. The modern world has seen more and more services becoming available online, and personal trainers have begun to use it as a platform to reach more clients. There are a lot of services available nowadays which allow you to access information, but there are some of the basic things that you could focus on when growing your online profile and business.
How To Get Setup For Online Personal Training
Using equipment that is accessible to a lot of people is a great way to start, especially if your following is still a little small. You could do workouts that use minimal equipment or that are designed for beginners in order to reach a wider audience.
Another thing to consider is your desired platform, for example, skype, zoom, or another service. Do your research and make sure that you find a way to carry out online consultations and regular check-ins. A lot of online services rely on good internet connection and speed, so it’s important to check that yours is reliable and that you have a good quality laptop to work from.
Make sure that you can create a space to demonstrate certain workouts, stretches, and exercises for clients to follow. Ensure that your area is well lit and free from clutter or other distractions. You could set up a tripod with your phone or even invest in a decent camera to record your sessions. One disadvantage of this is that it is more complicated to set up and put together footage.
Growing Your Online Personal Training Business
You could set up a website and purchase a domain name for your business so that you are even more accessible to clients. This can be a great platform to give product recommendations or nutritional advice, as well as take payments or include a link to schedule bookings.
One of the ways in which you can grow your business as a personal trainer is to give clients a taste of what your services are all about. You could cover a brief consultation followed by an introductory workout or stretch tutorial and see if they want to set up weekly sessions.
Another thing that many online personal trainers have used is fitness tracking apps. This allows effective before and after progress displays, not to mention that they can be great at showing whether clients have actually done the background work or not.
Social media plays a massive role in growing businesses and generating clients. Build up a profile for your business that is separate from your personal accounts that you can promote your brand and allow clients to see what you are all about.
You could start by creating a professional-looking profile on Instagram, Facebook, or even some new apps. Showing clients that you are accessible is a great way to generate more followers and bring in more revenue.
The Pros and Cons of Online Personal Training
- More flexible- clients don’t have to travel anywhere and can work out whenever suits them. Additionally, the work you put in can follow flexible hours, allowing you to find a consistent schedule that fits your routine.
- Improved knowledge of using social media for online marketing and advertising can help you learn how to effectively create a brand as well as increase demand.
- Variety- clients will seek out personal trainers for many reasons, such as medical conditions or strength training. This means that no two days will be the same and that you are always encouraged to keep learning more about how the body works and develop unique client relationships.
- Online platforms can be difficult for some people to access, for those who are older and want a customized exercise program or routine to follow, it can be hard to know how to get a computer set up or even how to use certain apps.
- Less motivation- it can be a lot easier to motivate clients when you are in person because when there is the obstacle of screens in the way it is a lot easier to ignore.
- Equipment restrictions mean that it’s especially difficult for clients who are wanting to work on strength training or focus on weights. Another limiting factor is the reliance on computer equipment needed, which some clients will not have, such as a webcam.
- Internet- Online services rely heavily on a strong internet connection, which means that if there isn’t electricity or even an effective connection, then you wouldn’t be able to reach clients.
- Hard work- It takes a great deal of time and energy to grow a brand from nothing, and to generate enough clients to see a profit. There is a lot of research involved, as well as practice and determination. Some might argue that it’s easier to be a personal trainer at a gym or health club in order to see regular income.
The Benefits of Being a Personal Trainer
These are some benefits of becoming a personal trainer, with the focus generally on the role you can play in people’s lives and how enthusiastic they can be when working with you.
Working with people
You can stay motivated by working with people who are motivated and encouraging. Clients can be a great motivator, not to mention the fact that working in a gym can allow you to meet other personal trainers. This means you can compare techniques, client experiences and even offer a different perspective to workouts.
We’ve covered how no two days are the same because of the unique combinations of clients that want different things. Another reason why the personal trainer experience is so varied is that there are different sites that you can work within, like a gym, health club, or even go to a clients’ home if they have some gym equipment.
Flexible working hours
If you have other life commitments such as children or caring for a loved one, it can be hard to stay true to your passion because of working hours. One of the great things about becoming a personal trainer is that the hours are flexible.
Depending on how you choose to work, you can find a contract with a gym that is part-time, or organize your business so that it is every other day. The flexibility of this is one of the biggest advantages because there is still room for your everyday life while you do something that you are passionate about.
Overall, there are many reasons why someone might want to become a personal trainer, such as fulfilling their passion or looking for a flexible job. However, one of the things to remember before applying for courses in personal training is that you need to be a motivated person who can see yourself working within the field of fitness for a few years at least.
Additionally, you will need to carry out more thorough research into whether there is a market for your approach and find advice pages to see where to start. You could also check how to build a website and try to create a design that you like.
Online personal training is a unique way to grow your business because it allows access to a different type of audience while encouraging you to create a social media presence for your brand. Not to mention, the role that it plays with flexibility and general accessibility.
It’s important to get some valuable experience working in person with clients before considering working online. Alternatively, you could work on your online presence in your free time while working in gyms.
One essential thing to remember is to research extensively around the topic of personal training. You can find advice pages about a lot of topics, including how to build a brand. This might be useful when thinking about creating a reputation for yourself and trying to get clients.
Another thing to consider is client feedback, this is something that employers and potential clients will look for because they tend to be the most honest. Have fun with your new journey and find what works for you, do what you’re passionate about, and learn as much as you can along the way.