Becoming a trainer.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 07, 2008 2:37 AM GMT
    I've been thinking about it for some time now and I'm sure I want to be a trainer as a profession, but no clue how and web hasn't been much help. So can anyone point me in the right direction?
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16906

    Mar 07, 2008 3:55 AM GMT
    Well my suggestion would be for you to do your homework
    before you make your final decision and make sure its a prudent decision based on your facts (and have them in order!)

    First go to several gyms, talk to the owners and talk to some of the trainers. Find out what they are paid per hour (and know the annual income)and how they are paid (via "an employer relationship" or "self employed"
    (thus a contracted relationship).. important because of taxation and how you need to market yourself.
    You need to know and understand... and be comfortable with the income, expenses and expectations and client requirements.. which is another thing yet. Each gym will have different requirements for you.....
    including your education.

    You will need to become certified.. I've focused on being ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified, but I'm not a trainer, just have the interest, but I do know something about the process. There are a number of certifications from a lot of sources (with requirements). Make sure you know what certification you want to focus on and how much money its going to take to do it.

    Good trainers are excellent to work with. They are teachers and more. Best of luck to you should you wish to go forward with it.

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    Mar 07, 2008 5:30 AM GMT
    Good suggestions so far. Look into ACE; it's a good starter certification that will provide you with the basics. More respected (and challenging) certifications come from NASM and NSCA (can't remember the url...Google National Strength and Conditioning Association.
    Also understand that becoming a successful trainer is very difficult. Having an aptitude for fitness is great, but you must also love working with people and have keen business sense. Trainers burn out early because they got into it not knowing that, essentially, they are a small business. It is said that 80% of new trainers quit after the first year.
    As Hndsm suggested, go into local gyms and talk with the trainers. Ask them about the difficulties and challenges as well as the benefits.
    From personal experience--it is NOT an easy profession. Sure, it's fun working with people, but there's so much more that goes into it than developing great programs. This is not to dissuade you, it's to help you make an informed decision.
    Hope this helps.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 07, 2008 7:37 AM GMT
    NASM is pretty much regarded as the gold standard, and many gyms REQUIRE it.
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    Mar 07, 2008 3:32 PM GMT

    Another organization with excellent training materials is

    I'm NSCA certified, my partner is ISSA. We've also examined the curriculum of ACE. ISSA is far more practical, and one of the first to offer specialized certification in Older Adult Fitness - a fast-growing segment of the market.

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    Mar 07, 2008 11:07 PM GMT
    Thanks you guys, your a big help, and yeah I plan on talking to a cupple trainers in the local gyms, get a few different views before I commit to anything.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 27, 2008 4:35 PM GMT
    As another former Personal Trainer with over eight years experience at several gyms in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, make sure you do your research and give it some thought.

    I hold certifications through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM, the Gold Standard in the industry), the National Strength and Conditioning Association (CSCS, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist), and American Council on Exerice (ACE, as both a personal trainer and a group exercise instructor). NASM is NOT the Gold Standard in the industry.

    Most IHRSA clubs will accept certifications from ACSM, NASM, NSCA, ACE, AFAA, and WITS (World Instructor Training School). An Exercise Science degree or a degree in a related field will help you as well. Any certification also requires a CPR/First Aid certificate as well as continuing education credits (CECs) every two, three, or four years.

    It takes a lot of work to make it in the field. And a lot of hours. Early mornings like 5 am and 6 am, dead afternoons, and late nights are when you will have clients. Everyone wants that 5 pm and 6 pm slot. Your schedule is based on everyone else's.

    Good luck to you.