If you are passionate about health and wellness, motivating others and of course, enjoy logging long hours inside your favorite gym or health club, you might be well suited for a career as a personal trainer. While getting into physical shape can be hard work, it’s even harder work to achieve and sustain a career as a personal trainer. Though it might be challenging, it’s more than just physical effort.
“The most challenging part about being a trainer is helping clients deal with their personal issues. Often, clients are working to lose weight and sometimes you need to cross the line into a person’s emotions to help them solve issues that might be affecting their weight problem,” said Tony Cress, NASM-CPT, of Tony Cress Personal Training. “It’s very hard and emotional, both as the trainer and the client.”
To become a personal trainer, there are a few things a person should accomplish before they begin looking for a job or planning to launch their own private consulting business.
Become certified. While every state has different certification requirements, all trainers must become certified, at minimum, with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). To become a legitimate personal trainer, you should take the NASM-CPT exam and become certified in CPR. The NASM program will prepare you to design goal-specific programs for clients to help them achieve optimal results, provide an accurate performance assessment for anyone from a first-time health club member to a high-performance professional athlete and develop and modify exercises in a safe, effective manner adaptable to any client’s needs.
Stay motivated: In order to inspire your clients to achieve their fitness goals, a personal trainer should keep their own goals top of mind as well. “A key quality in a successful personal trainer is to be in shape,” sad Cress. “You don’t need to have six-pack abs, but look like you work out. Your clients will believe in you if you care about your own body.”
Be a people person. While some people think that being a good trainer means putting the fitness part of the job first, it’s actually quite the opposite. “The first thing I would tell anyone who is looking to be a personal trainer is to make sure they have a genuine desire to help people,” said Cress. “Take a percentage of responsibility for each client’s goals and make them your own. Different people have different goals, so care about your clients. You have to understand what motivates and drives people, to get the best out of them.”