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So You Want To Be A Personal Trainer Or Coach?

So You Want To Be A Personal Trainer Or Coach?

So lately I’ve been getting some emails in my inbox with questions about what all is involved with becoming a fitness trainer or coach. Well that’s a loaded question, but today I figured I would lay out some of the expectations of what all is involved and what you can look forward to should you choose to dive into this profession. Continue reading my young Jedi.

What Does It Take To Be A Personal Trainer Or Coach? 

Well the short answer is that it really doesn’t take a lot to be a personal trainer or coach. However, if you want to be a successful trainer/coach then buckle your chinstrap my friend because you’re going to have to be willing to do the work if you want to be successful at doing it.

One of the first variables to look at when considering moving into the fitness industry as a coach or trainer is the good ole certification. Now I would categorize this under education because they sort of go hand in hand.

For instance, I’m certified through the National Strength And Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). This designation allows me to throw those letters out beside my name sort of like 007 can be thrown up beside James Bond. I figured that sort of relates, right?

Ok, moving along now.  The point is that those letters can only be acquired with this certification… and you can only have this certification if you have a college degree in an exercise related field that the NSCA will accept.

It’s been a while so I don’t remember the exact details, but this is what was demanded at the time that I acquired mine. The point is that this is just the start and it is only setting you up for the opportunity of what’s to come should you decide to pursue this little venture in the fitness industry any further. Keep in mind there are other respected certifications that you can pursue as well.

The ISSA, RKC, ACSM, and ACE are a few other good ones to mention as well. In addition to all of this you’ll also have to keep up your continuing education within these certifications in order to keep them up to date and to maintain a steady flow of strength training knowledge bombs so that you can better serve your students.

Aside from education there is also experience. I would strongly recommend seeking out a quality internship, job, or some sort of work practice with a reputable coach, trainer, or organization. This hands on experience is invaluable and this is what will help you to start formulating a plan of approach when you start the process of writing programs and helping others to reach their respective goals within their sport or life situations.

Just remember that as a coach it is up to you to recognize the need of the trainee. I always have a set plan of approach that I implement with my students, but this plan has evolved over the years and came from my own experiences when I started work experience at UGA and with an athletic performance based company here in Gwinnett when I first started out in the business.

The point is that you want to be confident and have a solid understanding of how the body works and what to look for in every individual when setting up their training program so you don’t end up doing something so over the top that even the circus would call you into question…much like the picture demonstrates at the beginning of this article!

This is how you can meet the needs of the individual, see progress, and start building a solid reputation in the industry so that you can grow your business. If it’s not your business then you can do this to grow your client base with the organization or business that you are working for at the moment.

Now as far as the business side of this there are several things for you to consider. Here are some tough questions to ask yourself when looking at entering the field of exercise and fitness.

1. Do I want to work for another business or be self employed?

2. If I’m going to be self employed how do I go about training my clients?

3. Where do I train my clients?

4. Do I invest in equipment?

5. Do I invest in a facility?

6. How much should I charge?

7.  Should I get liability insurance?

8. How do I acquire my clients starting out?

9. What is the next step towards growth?

10. Will I have to train people forever or is there another way to earn income in the fitness business?

As you can see there are a lot of different things to consider if you’re going to be a coach or trainer. Look I’m not trying to bust your bubble on getting into the fitness industry. For one I never discourage people from pursuing their dreams or goals, but I do like to be honest with people.

You don’t want to walk into anything blind. The truth is that you want to formulate a plan of action if you’re serious about pursuing a career in the strength and fitness industry. To put this in greater perspective I thought this video laid it all out on the line.

Once again understand that I’m not discouraging, but this guy’s message is about busting your bubble if you’re looking at getting into the fitness industry. Aside from the hint of discouragement in his message I thought the details of what obstacles he talks about are very valid. This is an honest depiction of what to expect when you’re starting out as a coach or trainer.

As you can see he brings up some valid points. Keep in mind though that regardless of the mood of that video my message to YOU here is that if you decide to tighten your chinstrap and tackle being a trainer, or coach in the fitness industry then be a ball busting rise above the challenge kind of individual and DO IT!

Look…regardless of the challenges this gent points out it’s all the same in every industry. If you want it then you’ve got to go and get it! Don’t be victim of circumstance. Create your circumstance. That’s the point. So there you go. I shined it up real nice for you and now that you have an idea of what all you’re in for you can go and hit it in the mouth full speed.

Are you going to fold up like a tent, or are you going to fight like hell for the goal you have in mind? I hope you enjoyed today’s message and if so make sure you drop a comment in the box below. Stay strong and be better!

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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