How To Become A Personal Trainer


Authored by Andy Chasse’ in Exercise
Published on 08-26-2009

Are you one of those people that absolutely loves spending time in the gym? Do you love giving out workout advice to help people reach their goals? If you answered yes to both of these questions then personal training might just be your calling.

For those who don’t know, personal training involves taking clients one-on-one and taking them through a workout program that suit their needs. However, that is just a general overview of the profession. There are a number of other factors that encompass the title of personal trainer. Some of these include running gym members through orientations, making cold sales on the gym floor, picking up weights and promoting gym safety, creating custom workout plans based on each client’s needs, and selling personal training sessions. There’s a lot more to the job than many people think.

If all of that doesn’t sound like too much work, then maybe personal training really is the career for you. If you’re still interested, follow the steps below to learn how to become a personal trainer.

  • If you’re still in high school, start reading up on anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, biochemistry, and various nutrition topics. This is the basic foundation of knowledge that is required by the various personal training certifying bodies. You don’t have to possess a college-level knowledge of these subjects, but it helps greatly to understand a few of the terms going into the process.
  • Hit the golden age of 18 and receive your high school degree. Out of all the big personal trainer certifying programs out there, very few allow candidates under the age of 18 or without a high school degree.
  • Okay, so you have finally graduated from high school and celebrated you 18th birthday. Now it’s time to take a look at the organizations that offer a personal training certification. There are tens upon tens of certifying bodies, however we are only going to focus on the most respected. These include the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Each of these certifying bodies focus on different aspects of exercise and program design. Read up on each website to figure out which one is the best fit for you.
  • Save up a big chunk of money. The price shouldn’t run you broke because it’s not that steep considering the fact that it will open up quite a few jobs, but it’s not exactly cheap either. For the material and test, most of the previously mentioned certifications charge close to $500. The price varies between the certifying bodies, but expect to pay at least that much. Becoming a personal trainer may be a little expensive, but it certainly pays off in a short amount of time.
  • Study, study, study – and then take the test. Although there is a wide range of material covered in each of the tests, it is not particularly in-depth. You should be familiar with most, if not all, of the material covered in the books and study materials. If possible, try to take a few practice quizzes or tests to see how you’re progressing.

Becoming a personal trainer sounds like a lot of work – because it is – but it’s well worth it in the end. Remember, your job as a personal trainer is to “fix” people from an exercise standpoint. If you’re not prepared to dedicate your life to helping people reach their goals, don’t waste your time.


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