Starting out as a personal trainer?

  • fitginger

    Posts: 64

    Oct 01, 2012 6:58 PM GMT
    Hey guys,

    This is aimed primarily at guys already qualified as a PT.

    I have been helping out some friends on the ship I work on in the gym and found that I actually quite enjoy it. It had always been in the back of my mind that I could become a PT. I'm a dancer and dance teacher so some skills are transferable.

    Would love to hear from guys that want to share their experience of how they started as a PT and how they go their qualifications... Where? How long? Type of learning? Etc etc

    Thanks men. icon_question.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
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    Oct 01, 2012 8:19 PM GMT
    Hey, congratulations, that's great. I've been a level one certified crossfit coach for a year and a half or so now. It's been a ton of fun. I'd been doing crossfit for a couple years and with the support of the gym owners got certified. Seeing your athletes progress and learn is really rewarding. Also, being challenged to think about how and why we do things makes you a better athlete too.

    Good luck bud.
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    Oct 01, 2012 9:37 PM GMT
    Hey!

    Well Good Luck!!! Its a great field to get into. I started training in college when I was 20 (now 25). And have been certified ever since. I currently have my ACSM, TRX, and soon to get my NSCA/CSCS.

    Id start basic with APTA or AFAA. Those are 2 basic starting out ones that are good groundwork for future certifications.

    Training is all about knowledge and creativity. My workouts are very unorthodox, and my clients love it. I am never just focused on machines. I mix in everything. I actually do very little machines, I focus on body weight and free weights. Its all about research and testing. I do exercises for myself first and then evaluate which clients I feel can do them and go from there.

    Like I said, the best thing to do is BE CREATIVE! Also learn your clients, know what they want and what they want to achieve. People love that and they will keep coming back for more! But also dont hesitate to do the regular stuff for different clients.

    -Francisco
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    Oct 01, 2012 9:56 PM GMT
    PT_times2 said

    Training is all about knowledge and creativity. My workouts are very unorthodox, and my clients love it. I am never just focused on machines. I mix in everything. I actually do very little machines, I focus on body weight and free weights. Its all about research and testing. I do exercises for myself first and then evaluate which clients I feel can do them and go from there.


    -Francisco


    VERY true. Also, what separates good trainers from amazing trainers (this is just my opinion) is the level of knowledge you have. The more you know about about anatomy, physiology, and nutrition is going to expand your client base. More often than not, you won't get people in amazing shape hiring a trainer. You get the deconditioned, people with various pathologies (I can't stand the crazies; you'll get those), and morbidly obese and these people can't train the same way you do so you have to design their programs with their individual parameters, and not do something that's contraindicated.

    My background is internal medicine, and what has helped me most has been my knowledge of biochem and endocrinology because there's a certain chemistry that occurs during a workout and when you eat, so understanding that has helped me streamline effective programs that evince results much faster than the curve. The best trainer I ever knew though, was a nutritionist and she had a waiting list a mile long. She's now getting offers to write books and possibly work on a tv show. Hopefully I'll be as successful as her!
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    Oct 01, 2012 9:56 PM GMT
    Talk to the PT at the gym and see how they did it.

    Have fun n good luck
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    Oct 02, 2012 2:01 AM GMT
    I am beginning working on my certification from NASM. Also planing to get certified by ACSM.

    I'm doing this after getting laid off from my job 6 months ago. I'm in the gym 4-5 days a week, why not turn an avcation into a vocation??
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    Oct 03, 2012 3:49 AM GMT
    ugh dont listen to some of those trainers at the gym. Most times they are just random guy off the street who know bits and pieces of training. there are very few, at chain gyms, that know what they are talking about. they are there for the image not the knowledge and teaching.

    listen to a PT who trains privately or in a privately owned gym, they usually are the good ones.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Oct 03, 2012 4:44 AM GMT
    got mine for my own edification from WITS World Instructor Training Schools
    10 Sundays full time with 100 multiple choice questions and a practical exam at the end- then advanced CPR.

    Course was 450.00 I thought it was better than hiring a PT to just get it myself. Best decision. PT's in this area get 50 dollars an hour and up.

    I have trained a few friends and family members.

    Knowing what to do in the gym and how to do it(form function) is well worth it.
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    Oct 03, 2012 5:03 AM GMT
    If you're in the Boston area you should look into the National Personal Training Institute there. They offer a 500 hour diploma program with 300 hours in the classroom and 200 hours practical (training each other/working out in the gym). I went through the program in my city, they trained us out of the NSCA Strength and Conditioning Specialist text book though I think they recently switched to NASM's curriculum. There's also in depth coverage on nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology, Exercise testing, and Program Design. All things which are ESSENTIAL to being a trainer, but very few trainers have any real knowledge or understanding of. It's not a Ph D, but it gives you solid enough training to where it's going to put you ahead of Joe Schmoe musclehead who got all of his info and exercises out of a supplement magazine.

    I opted for this program because #1 I'd heard good things about the school and had met the instructor. #2 I was (and still am) working in a related field, under state licensure, and I wanted to expand upon what I was doing.

    Good luck.
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    Oct 03, 2012 8:53 AM GMT
    Go for it! No job like it...
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    Oct 04, 2012 11:27 PM GMT
    Personal Training is first excellent people skills: if you can't build rapport with people who are not typically self-motivated or deconditioned, then you will be very poor. The most successful trainers are often the ones who're most social--being shy or intimidating does nothing to convince clients to buy session packages even with the best workout. Once you have their interest and trust, then they will do the work of spreading how great you are at getting results.

    Certifications do not matter beyond having one for the sake of credentials. Get whichever one floats your fancy and then don't worry about anything they tell you to do...the only opinions that matter are from the strength coaches who consistently produce the best athletes in the world. Look at what they do rather than whatever the latest NASM/whatever trend is.

    Learn your anatomy hands-on and not from a textbook. Cadavers are nice but are not accurate in many cases: a dried up psoas is completely different in size from a live one. I'd suggest finding an anatomy CEU from a local massage school.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Oct 05, 2012 8:29 AM GMT
    beats working one of those many low paying minimum wage jobs Obamaicon_redface.gif has created just for youicon_idea.gif
  • CRAZY_DIAMOND

    Posts: 38

    Oct 09, 2012 2:18 AM GMT
    way to go man!! I have been an NASM certified trainer for just over a year and love it. I have started my own business Bonobo Fitness and I work with private clients. I'm not the big box type of trainer and really enjoy working for myself. I go out of my way to make it "personal" (not in a dirty way) lol!! Get to know your clients and communicate with them as people not just clients. Take the time to make creative and fun workouts too. I take my Bonobos out to the park for some TRX training, jungle gym time, and even tree climbing.
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    Oct 09, 2012 2:38 AM GMT
    fitginger said Starting out as a personal trainer?
    Completely different clientele. You're no longer dealing with coworkers and friends. Now you're dealing with fatasses who wanna be skinny.

    Political correctness will determine the future of your income.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Oct 31, 2012 7:42 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    fitginger said Starting out as a personal trainer?
    Completely different clientele. You're no longer dealing with coworkers and friends. Now you're dealing with fatasses who wanna be skinny.

    Political correctness will determine the future of your income.

    not always true my gym has many athletes that are looking to take their bodies and performance to the next level. As you get more experience Fitginger you can pick your clients.icon_idea.gif
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    Oct 31, 2012 8:02 AM GMT
    I got ACE certified a couple years ago. Did a one year preparatory program for it at my local community college then took the exam. I never worked.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Oct 31, 2012 1:33 PM GMT
    MikemikeMike saidbeats working one of those many low paying minimum wage jobs Obamaicon_redface.gif has created just for youicon_idea.gif


    Haha, Mitt Romney's claim to fame is Staples.... Not exactly a high paying employer.icon_rolleyes.gif
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Oct 31, 2012 1:35 PM GMT
    Ariodante saidI got ACE certified a couple years ago. Did a one year preparatory program for it at my local community college then took the exam. I never worked.


    If you we're my PT, I'd be truely ripped.icon_redface.gif
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    Nov 01, 2012 3:50 AM GMT
    NSCA (Nat'l Strength and Conditioning Assoc) is by far your best source. Not sure what education background you have but you should be able to get your CSCS (Cert Strength and Conditioning Specialist) even without a sports science degree. In my opinion, the trend is focusing on whole body wellness -- functional movement, clean eating, fitness for life type stuff. Get away from the golds gym - spray tan bullshit.

    Good luck and really get into it. Don't just accept your online cert and think that's enough. It will change your life. I've been NSCA certified and CrossFit Level 1 for years. Do not currently actively 'use' these certs with personal training clients - but its an important part of my work. Def glad I made the investmetn in fitness.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Nov 01, 2012 7:07 AM GMT
    HottJoe said
    MikemikeMike saidbeats working one of those many low paying minimum wage jobs Obamaicon_redface.gif has created just for youicon_idea.gif


    Haha, Mitt Romney's claim to fame is Staples.... Not exactly a high paying employer.icon_rolleyes.gif


    and Sports Authority. Did you know that many of the people responsible for creating and selling products to these stores have very high paying jobs.icon_idea.gif
    Without big business everyone suffers. Did you ever take basic economics in school??
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    Nov 01, 2012 7:19 AM GMT
    The OP is hot. I'd hire him to be my PT (Personal Towelboy). icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 01, 2012 8:09 AM GMT
    I got my PT certification years ago just so I could train friends and family on weekends. I later volunteered as a trainer at a treatment centre for addictions. Seeing first hand the positive aicon_razz.gifffect fitness had on those people changed my life. Now, 6 years later, I have 14 fitness certifications and just recently bought a private gym. To be a good trainer, it has to come from the heart. --Good luck and all the best man, if you love, do it!

    -GMACK