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Become a Personal Trainer


Step 1:
Is Personal Training
Right for Me?

Step 2:
Get Certified
Step 3:
Get the Job
Step 4:
Launch Your Business
Step 5:
Train Smarter

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“You have the knowledge, you got certified, but you still don't feel ready. This section will help.” (about me)

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Shadowing a Personal Trainer

Hooray, you got certified! The next step is shadowing a personal trainer to put your knowledge in motion.If you are here, you are over the hard part and ready for the fun of refining your skills.

Confidence, Confidence, Confidence!

I call this step "Getting Ready to Run" but only because that's a lot catchier than "Building your Confidence". Once you are certified, you have all the knowledge you need to start helping clients, you just need to get out there and try.

So how do we build that confidence?

My first suggestion would be shadowing a personal trainer while they train clients. Observe what they are doing. Ask yourself these questions:

* Why is the trainer doing what they are doing
* Is there a flow to the session?
* How is the trainer connecting with the client?
* Can the client see the trainer during the exercises?
* How is the client responding to the trainer?
* What would you do differently
* Is the trainer making any mistakes?
* How can you do better?
* Is there any areas you need to work on before training a client?

shadowing a personal trainerpersonal training workshop

Shadowing a personal trainer can be a great source of information.

Talk with the trainer after the session and share your observations (go easy on the criticism if you want to shadow more sessions). And after shadowing a few sessions, the trainer might get you involved in the session.

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Who should I shadow?

I would approach somebody your respect. Start at your health club, or perhaps with one of the trainers you met at a local certification workshop. Shadowing a personal trainer who specializes in the niche market you are interested in is a smart move.

Become a Secret Shopper

personal trainer certification course After shadowing a personal trainer for a while, go deeper in your research by becoming a client of a good trainer. You might want to go to another gym and seek out a trainer with a really good reputation. Some people prefer to pretend to be normal clients, but I find that most trainers are very open and love to talk! With a little bit of cunning flattery, your personal trainer may give you years worth of business secrets all for the price of one $60 training session (workout included!). This is also a nice way to find a mentor.

Our readers share many great tips on finding a personal trainer to shadow in this discussion thread.

In addition to shadowing a personal trainer, you can build your confidence many other ways. Lets take a look at the index for Step 3.

Get Ready to Run Index

   Personal Trainer Support Group

   Our Exercise Video Reference Guide

    AFAA Workout Index
        Leg Curl
        Back Squat
        Unilateral Reverse Fly
        Chest Fly
        Supinated Wrist Curl
        Lat Pulldown
        Side Lunge
        Reverse Fly

    Indoor Full Body Workout Index
        Russian Squats
        Ab Crunches
        Back Extensions
        Bicep Curls
        Front Raise
        Barbell Row
        Tricep Extension
        Posterior Flies

    Outdoor Workout Index
        Outdoor Warm Up
        One-Legged Squat
        Calf Raise
        Elastic Training

Insider Tips

insider tipsYou can probably go to any gym and "jump in", however, to do it properly and to learn a huge amount, get with a mentor ASAP and stay as long as you can, even if there is no compensation! I did just that for about 7 months. I learned more than I ever thought I would. I was just recently hired at a great small studio and am being compensated very well for the knowledge I gained as part of my mentorship. Good luck!!

- LLoyd, NY

insider tipsMy advice would be to get into the fitness field in some manner, and to observe how people work out and how trainers/other staff work with them. Notice the things people do wrong (and right) when they're working out. Notice the ways trainers and other staff approach technique issues (the good ways and the bad ways). Make sure you know great form when you see it, and that you practice it yourself. I can't tell you how hard I cringe when I work out away from my "home" gyms and see trainers encouraging people to do "ten more" incorrectly when the person really needs to stop, back off the weight, and do something right. Before shadowing a personal trainer make sure you are shadowing one that knows what they are doing.

- Heather, Alexandria VA

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