How to Start a Personal Trainer Career

If fitness is your passion, you may be wondering how you can incorporate it into your career. Click here to discover how to start a personal trainer career.

Becoming a personal trainer can net you a salary of $70,000 or more, but there’s much more to pursuing a personal trainer career than the money.

It’s one of the most emotionally rewarding jobs around, where you’ll help people meet and beat their goals every single day of the week.

There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a grin shine through on a client’s face after a grueling, sweat-drenched session — you’ll both feel great afterward.

If you’re serious about fitness and love helping other people, a personal trainer career could be the right choice for you.

We’ve set out seven key things you need to consider before you get serious about starting your personal trainer career.

1. Are You Right For a Personal Training Career?

The first question to ask yourself is — do you love, or live, to work out? Both are a good start, but you’ve got to be an absolute fitness fanatic to really fulfill your potential as a personal trainer.

If you don’t know a crunch from a lunge, maybe it’s not for you. But if you’re already familiar with, and practice, technical exercise principles like progression and overload, you’re in good standing to start a personal trainer career.

Of course, the exercise itself is only one aspect of the job. Any experience of managing other people’s time, such as in a past life as a project or general manager, is really valuable.

You may also draw on your own experience of building exercise plans for yourself to inform how you work with clients.

And you need to be a good motivator — you need to know when to push people to their limit – and recognize when they’ve reached it to prevent injury.

Advantages of a Personal Trainer Career

Being a personal trainer comes with many advantages. In many cases you’ll be your own boss, rather than being directly employed by a gym, so you can run a flexible schedule to suit your day.

Your overheads should be reasonably low, as you’ll work in a gym, using their equipment. But you will still have some costs to cover.

You will also have the benefit of still doing plenty of exercise in one of your favorite environments.

But all these advantages do require enthusiasm and commitment — as well as a good understanding of gym etiquette.

2. Choose a Course

To prepare for certification exams and your personal trainer career as a whole, you’ll have to pick a great personal training course.

You need to choose one that prepares you to keep your clients safe, work them hard, and be able to answer any and all fitness questions that they ask.

That means getting a good grounding in fitness theory, as well as having an encyclopedic knowledge of exercises and fitness regimes.

On top of this, it should offer you advice on managing and growing your business, preparing training programs – and first aid techniques, just in case!

The ExpertRating Personal Trainer Certification course will educate and test you on your in-depth knowledge of personal training. You’ll learn all about different types of exercises, their physical benefits, sequencing, and building

Our course is incredibly affordable, and the cost includes everything from course materials to test fees, and we even pay for the shipping for a hard copy of your certificate once you’ve passed.

3. Business Planning Alongside Fitness Planning

You’re not just helping people to get fit — you’re running a business now.

Writing a business plan is a vital step to success. You need to understand what targets you need to hit for business to be viable.

If you’re a fully independent personal trainer, any gym you want to work in may ask to see it, to make sure you’re serious.

A good business plan should outline your business model, identify your audience, and set out a pricing structure. It should also consider challenges to your business – such as the competing personal trainers in the area.

But keep it short and simple. It should act as a quick reference guide to make sure you’re hitting key targets each quarter and will let you see your financial goals are on track.

4. How to Find Clients Once You’re Certified

The next exciting step after becoming certified is finding your first clients.

Securing and keeping clients is one of the hardest things about any personal trainer career — but certification will give you the confidence and expertise you need.

You need to market yourself and be pro-active to win them over. Approaching people at the gym is always a winner — be confident, and don’t be pushy. If you’re offering good advice without being condescending, people will trust you.

You might not pick up the person you’re helping as a client that day — but gyms are an open room where people often listen into other conversations. If an eavesdropper notices you’re a good trainer, they might want you to train them!

Next, ask the gym(s) you train at, and local businesses (like nearby coffee shops) whether you can leave pamphlets on their front desk.

If you can make friends with the receptionists at your local gym, they might even give your name when customers ask them for recommendations. There’s nothing shameful about bribing them with a fresh coffee a few mornings a week!

5. Using Social Media

Market your personal trainer career online using social media — get involved with local groups to do with fitness and establish yourself as a valuable source of advice.

Then as more people start to ask you fitness questions, take their details and offer a taster session. If they already recognize that you’re knowledgeable and have a passion for fitness, they’ll probably take up the offer.

You can build on this with a content-led website that shares useful tips and basic workout regimes, to secure your position as an expert to turn to for help on the topic of fitness.

6. Think About Specialist Qualifications

Once you’ve nailed the basic certification, you can look at taking up other certifications in specialist areas.

Yoga is on-trend right now, so you might look into getting certification as an instructor so that you can lead lucrative one-to-one or group sessions.

Alternatively, you might want to lead aerobic classes or spin groups. There are lots of areas you can move into with the right training.

Or if you’re just looking to enhance your own knowledge and boost your personal trainer career, a master trainer certification might be the one for you.

Getting a master trainer certificate isn’t just about being able to charge more per session. It’s about having the knowledge to add value to your client’s experience.

This will make your personal trainer career more secure, as customers who feel confident in your skills are more likely to come back for more training sessions with you.

Before making a decision, it’s important to consider what your local gyms are like, and the types of people who train there. Is there a gap in the market that a new class (led by you) could fill?

7. Taking Your Business Elsewhere

One of the best things about a personal trainer career is that you can do it pretty much anywhere in the world – you’re not tied down to one town and one gym.

This is really exciting, as it’s a great career to choose if you want to go traveling and make some money on the side.

But in your own country, or even your own town, it’s worth looking outside the gym. For example, corporate wellness programs are a good earner.

You may be able to make a strong pitch by pointing out that a healthy and fit workforce isn’t only a happy workforce — it’ll keep any health insurance package insurance costs down too!

In the summer, you might want to forget the gym and head to a local park to lead your sessions. This may involve some investment in your own equipment, but it’s likely that your clients will appreciate getting some fresh air along with their workout.

You can even work at a distance by selling bespoke exercise plans for clients in other locations to follow. Tweak them according to the client’s needs, and follow up with regular Skype chats to offer advice and motivation.

Why Choose ExpertRating Certification?

ExpertRating offers its online training facilities to some of the world’s largest and best-known companies, including Ikea, Dell, Geico and HarperCollins.

Our diverse training library allows people to train in a huge number of areas. If you need to expand your knowledge once you’ve got your personal trainer career off the ground, take a fresh look at our courses.

Once certified, you can pitch your services to a wider range of clients, and impress your existing customers.

Clients are increasingly demanding personal trainers to take a holistic view of their health and advice on other areas. So diversify your deep knowledge with our other courses, and develop an expertise in sports nutrition, weight loss management, or a number of other areas.

Armed with our certifications, you’ll be the gym’s top dog.

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