Do you have a boundless amount of enthusiasm for fitness? Are you the first person your friends and acquaintances turn to for advice about getting in shape or losing weight? Do you wish you could spend more time at the gym? Perhaps you’re wondering if you could earn extra money as a personal trainer – or even make a career of it. Answer the following questions honestly to get a better idea of whether or not you’d make a good personal trainer:
Some of your clients are no doubt going to be vulnerable people. Maybe they’ll be overweight, or possibly even grossly obese. Will you be able to talk to them in a positive, encouraging, sensitive and diplomatic manner – without judging them or making them feel inferior?
On the other hand, will you be able to find the right things to say to motivate them to push their hardest in the gym (without overdoing it)?
If you’re unsuccessful in developing just the right rapport with your clients, you will fail as a personal trainer. This is one of the most important aspects of the business – so be honest with yourself in answering these questions.
You will need to empathize with your clients’ struggles to lose weight, build muscle, increase their stamina or otherwise meet their fitness goals. If you’ve always been lean and fit, you may have to work extra hard to empathize with someone who is not. Can you do it?
Training others will be a real challenge for you if you aren’t even able to effectively train yourself. Personal training is a career path for people who are self-starters. If you’re a procrastinator, or you’re on the lazy side, you will be at a disadvantage in this role.
You may also have a hard time getting clients to take you seriously if you don’t look the part of the lean, fit, muscular personal trainer. You will need to demonstrate your own ability to act as a role model for those who are considering using your services. Routinely meeting your own fitness goals is one of the best ways to accomplish that particular objective.
As a personal trainer, you are going to find yourself, and your clients, up against perplexing problems on a daily basis. Are you able to systematically work your way through a problem to figure out how to best solve it?
Furthermore, each problem will be unique. One of your clients may be a professional athlete who’s hit a plateau in his game – and he wants you to help him find a way to start improving again. Another client may be a woman who’s just given birth, and she simply cannot lose the weight she gained while pregnant on her own. Yet another client may be eager to work out more frequently, but he is dealing with agonising back pain. So each of your client’s problems will require a unique solution.
If you answered yes to these questions, it is likely that you’d make an excellent personal trainer. So how do you get started?
There is no set-in-stone pathway to becoming a personal trainer. Some employers will empower you to launch your career as a personal trainer by setting you up with an advanced apprenticeship. Alternately, you could seek formal training before starting your own business or applying for work as a personal trainer.
Formal training is extremely beneficial in this role. You’ll have an advantage over other trainers if you’re able to take some relevant health courses and nutrition courses. The better your understanding of the human body and how it functions, the better you’ll be able to advise your clients on how to meet their goals.
In general, if you are serious about personal training as a career, it is advisable to obtain a level 3 certificate in personal training. It is sometimes also possible for personal trainers to find work with a level 2 diploma in instructing exercise and fitness. You will also need to complete a first aid certificate to qualify for most personal training jobs in the UK. If you’re self-employed, Public Liability Insurance (PLI) is absolutely essential to protect yourself from liability in case a client develops an injury during one of your training sessions.
Those are some of the essential things you need to consider when you’re thinking of becoming a personal trainer. Best wishes with deciding whether personal training is the right career path for you.
Andrej is a dedicated writer, digital evangelist and a freelance writer. He is a contributor to a wide range of business and technology-focused publications and the editor at Tech Loot. You may also find him on Twitter.
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