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How do I become a personal trainer

by Chris

I am a junior in High School and would like to get into the field or personal training. I have very good grades in all subjects and love to train myself.

1)What degrees and/or certifications do I need?

2)How many years of college can i expect to attend?

3)How many hours are in the typical workweek?

4)Is it better to open your own gym rather than to work with or for someone?

If you can answer any of my questions it would be greatly appreciated!

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by: Anonymous

1) All certifications are the same exact thing! One cert is not much different from another. Just because you have a huge well known cert does not make you a good trainer. A good trainer is one with any cert who has the heart, love, and passion to change someones lifestyle thru health and fitness. This is where trainers fail. I assume you will be working for a gym? In that case, it's a requirement that all the trainers have a well known cert such as NASM. It just makes them look better. Marketing

2)Just because you have a degree and certification, will not make you a good trainer. It's all me! Read 1 again

3)There is floor time, where you are there working the floor. The gym determines this which is some where around 6-9am and 5-8pm. Some gyms will pay minimum wage for floor time, others wont. Your pay is actually training a client. Put in the time, and you'll get paid

4) If you are just getting started, start at a gym and get an idea of how it works. Just get your feet wet. It's alot of drama and just about all trainers who work for a gym are a joke and dont even workout themselves

Or you can find a independent trainer and learn from him or her. You need someone to take you under their wing and teach you

It's best to be on your own!

Answer to Your Question
by: Dan

I have been in the business for a long time now.
To start of, its best to get your personal trainer certification. Generally the more certifications you receive (sports nutrition, group fitness, etc) the more money you can charge. Pretty much every certification company requires you to be CPR certified. Its really important because in case of an emergency you need to know what to do. There are very few certifications (I can only think of 1) that require you to have anything else but a highschool diploma. There are hundreds of certifications companies out there. The only thing that really gives the companies an edge is becoming accreditted by a third party. The highest one is NCCA/NOCA.

As far as the work week goes, you choose your own schedule, thats what is so great about personal training. You can do it as much as you want. Unless you work in a gym. Then they may require you to work X amount of hours.

At first I think it is best to work at a gym. You will get alot of experience and you have a pool of clients to work with from day one. Then after you worked with numerous different clients, been in tons of different situations and have a few certification under your belt, I recommended opening up a gym. I personally really enjoy my working situation, in about another year I plan to open up my own gym.

I have 3 different certifications from 2 different companies. Before I got my second certification I really considered moving on and doing something else. I didnt like the gym I was at or my boss.

I hope this info helps you out. I wish I knew half of what I knew when I first started out. Good luck.

getting a career in personal training
by: Sensei Roanld Panlilio

You can get a degree in kinesiology, but that is not gonna be enought to work at the gym. I would recommend getting certified with NASM or ACSM. Or you can get a strength and conditioning certification if you want to work with college or pro athletes.

When I was at the gym I worked a split shift, afternoons and evenings, some people did early mornings and evenings. It is up to you, but the gym sometimes requires you to work a certain number of hours. But they prefer that you just train as many clients as possible, and that will be the best for your income as well.

Income depends on the gym, at my location I would charge clients between 50-65 per session. But the gyme takes a portions of that for giving you a job, and for the marketing they do to bring you clients.

you can find income estimates for your city and gym at, just search for median salaries for the gyms you like

Having more certifications will give you more confidence, and an ability to charge more for your services.

Start at a gym, and then if you enjoy the work, then you can move on to a private practice or buying your own private studio. Or some people make a career at the gym, and go on to fitness management.

Actually you deal with so many different types of people and having to inspire them and motivate them, so a psychology degree might be very helpful to you.

hope that helps you. It took me a few months to study for the NASM certifications. Really do your research before you pick a gym to work at, talk to the trainers at the gym and get advice before you accept a position.

They may not offer you insurance and benefits, until you have trained a certain amount of clients, or a certain number of sessions and proven yourself

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