How to become a Personal Trainer
If you have a passion for personal health, sport and have always loved keeping kit, then a role as a Personal Trainer may seem like a dream come true – after all you’d be working in an environment that encompasses all of the above. However be prepared that this is a role that is not all play and no work – and in this role you focus on the fitness of others, not your own. Having said that, if you have a keen interest in health and fitness, then a career as a Personal Trainer may be for you. With this in mind, check out the pointers below to help you in the right direction…
So what is a Personal Trainer?
A Personal Trainer is a trained fitness professional (hopefully people like you!) with the responsibility for the goal setting and motivation of their clients (people like me!) to get fit and healthy via a prescribed and targeted exercise routine. A Personal Trainer will work with clients on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to improve physical fitness and health.
Whilst some careers are perhaps more flexible with regards to qualifications, this is a career that requires particular recognised qualifications as an entry level requirement. This can be a good thing, as it means that job seekers within this industry, have an expected road map and route to entry into this type of role. If you study to Degree level – a sports / leisure related degree will certainly do you no harm, but you will still need to achieve a Personal Training certificate and or become accredited by REPS (Register of Exercise Professionals). Training qualifications can be gained and awarded by bodies such as CYQ, City and Guilds and Active IQ. It is worth taking a look at REPS – as the professional ‘body’ (pardon the pun) for the UK health and fitness industry to understand the level of fitness qualifications that they endorse and how this can impact on your professional personal trainer status.
Apart from the necessity to gain suitable and endorsed qualifications – a personal trainer really needs both the experience of working in the fitness industry and also a healthy outlook and some sporting ability. Gaining experience working at a fitness centre / swimming pool / sports complex could ideally start when you are still in the midst of studying. If you are considering a change of career to become a personal training – experience and a passion for fitness is required, so you will have to work out how you can gain experience, whilst also possibly holding down a full time job and other commitments.
It stands to reason, but as a personal trainer, you really need to be able to motivate others and have good interpersonal and communication skills. There is also no point in talking the talk, if you cannot walk the walk (or in this case run it yourself) so ideally you will have a healthy and sporty outlook and be able to lead by example. As this is a trainer role – you need to be able to offer support, encouragement and positivity – and also be prepared to sometimes lend an ear when advice is required! More general characteristics, such as time management, organisational, and administration skills are also required.
Still fancy a career as a Personal Trainer? Good luck!! We hope these basic tips help you along the way…